Saturday, December 07, 2019

The Mystery, Expanded

During the Christmas season last year, I shared out an album that's very similar to the one I'm about to share, but not the same. My old copy came without a sleeve, but this time I got one with a sleeve, so you can see what's going on a little easier.  What I've decided is that the one I'm giving you tonight is the original, and the other one is a version that came out a little later.  They shuffled the tracks a bit, changed some artists around, just generally made some weird changes, and I don't know why.  Take a look and listen at this one, then go get the other one so you can compare and contrast.  And if you have any idea why they're different, please let me know. This one was pressed by Columbia, the other one was pressed by RCA. I thought maybe there were some licensing issues going on, but they seem to have all the same artists on both records, just with different songs in a different order.  It's really bothering me, but then I'm easily bothered by such mysteries.  Here is The Christmas Story In Carols, Basil Rathbone-Narrator (Westminster WP 6034 (XTV 25256/25257), Mono, 1956, Original Pressing). The pressing code on the RCA version (the other one) tells me it was pressed in 1957, not 1956. That's why I'm calling this one the original and the other one a re-issue.

Again, I'm too lazy to type in all 37 tracks.  Download it and see for yourself.


Update-25 Jul 2020-I appear to have omitted track 14 from the download due to technical errors on my part. I've updated the link above, but if you only need the missing track, there should be a link to just that in the comments.  My apologies, but now you can hear it the way it was meant to be heard.

A Yellow Christmas

Looking at this record, I'm struck by how yellow it is.  And I can't think of a single other yellow Christmas album.  Surely there has to be something.  But I'm drawing a complete blank.  Hmmm, if you think of one, you'll have to clue me in down there in the comments.  In the meantime, I'm happy to share some Swedish Christmas music with you, by way of Chicago.  Some days I don't know how I find music like this, I think it must somehow find me.  Who else is going to bring you a glee club from Chicago singing Swedish Christmas carols?  Who else would give this album a second glance?  I was actually excited when I found it! But that's just me, your mileage may vary.  I'm not in a very talkative (typative?) mood tonight, so jumping right in, here is The Chicago Swedish Glee Club-Wayne Spies, Conductor-Sam Hill, Accompanist-For Your Christmas Collection-Wishing You God Jul-Merry Christmas (AKA Songs Of Christmas) (Chicago Swedish Glee Club U-63051, Stereo).

And I'm also too lazy to type out all these Swedish song titles with their umlauts and accents and carats and diacriticals and what not. Just download the ZIP file and you'll see what the songs are.


Friday, December 06, 2019

Back To The Harmonicas

Today's remastered LP is this classic from a splinter group of the original Harmonicats. When I decided to re-record this one, the copy I found turned out to have a slightly different back cover that featured a picture of the band.  And as I looked at the picture and actually read the words, I realized that Don Les, former Harmonicat, was not the most famous person in the group.  That honor goes to Mildred Mulcay (not 'Mudcay' as they've decided to spell it...) of the famous Mulcays!  They may not have been as famous back in the day as The Harmonicats, but at least she was a primary member of the group, unlike Don Les.  I've made a lot of fun of this album over the years, but it's certainly grown on me, and it's far from the worst thing I've ever shared with you.  Maybe this new rip will make you a fan.  If not, at least you didn't pay anything for it.  I had to buy the album. I think this could have been a real classic if they'd pepped up the tempo a bit and added some backing instrumentation.  This is The Don Les Harmonicats-Christmas With The Don Les Harmonicats (Halo 1005, Stereo). Note that 'Upon The Housetop' is listed on the cover, but doesn't actually show up on the album. (Instead you get 'O Little Town Of Bethlehem'.)  If you read the notes closely, I don't think that's the only error here.  Halo was certainly a budget label.

1. White Christmas
2. The Christmas Song
3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
4. Jingle Bells
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
6. Silent Night
7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
8. March Of The Three Kings
9. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
10. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear


The Boys Of Christmas

Isn't there a Christmas movie about Boys Town?  Maybe it's not a Christmas movie, but there is certainly a movie, and that was the first thing that I thought of when I spied this album. I also thought about an album that Buster has shared out before at his blog, but luckily this was a different LP altogether. I'm not super familiar with the concept of Boys Town, other than it seems to be a home for underprivileged boys that provides them with some sort of support system to help them grow into strong men.  And that's a good thing.  So to support that mission, they released this album back in the day.  I think it's the sort of thing we can all support and enjoy.  This is The Boys Town Choir-Msgr. Francis Schmitt, Director-Mr. Frank Szynskie, Assistant-Mr. Malcolm Breda, Organist-Christmas At Boys Town (Mastertone Recording Co. M-102, Mono).

1. Chimes-Magnum Nomen Domini
2. Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
3. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
4. Pastores A Belen
5. With Heart And Spirit Reconciled
6. Inimicitias Ponam
7. Ave Maria
8. Chimes (Adeste Fideles)
9. Chimes-Winter
10. As I Out Rode This Enders Night
11. Widele-Wedele
12. What Cheer
13. Now Start We With A Goodly Song
14. De New-Born Baby
15. The Christ Child
16. Der Englishche Gruss
17. Chimes (Silent Night)


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Weekly Feedback

Well, it's been a week since we got this party started, how you doin' out there?  Having any fun?  Too early to say?  How about favorites, you heard anything you can't believe you lived without all this time? Any questions?  Just opening up the floor here. :)

Ring Bells In Stereo

As we move on through December, I hope you're enjoying some of these older shares that I'm bringing back in remastered form, or in the case of this one, in a stereo version when I had a mono copy previously.  Having sound come out of both speakers is kinda nice, especially when you're listening to the soothing sounds of the carillon and handbells. You might want to save this one for Christmas morning as your children are waking up at 4 am and running down the stairs to see the magic Santa left for them overnight. I like how this early Word LP shows us how they identified the Stereo versions from the more common Mono versions at the time. Other labels did a top-to-bottom shift, but Word just did one cover for both with a small overprint in the upper right corner. But in this case, the Word logo was barely visible aagainst the dark photograph, so they added a small white sticker up there so that you knew it was a Word record. The smallest things interest me sometimes, I can't explain why. This is Del Roper With The Mason Swiss Bell Ringers-I Heard The Bells (Word WST-8011-LP, Mono, 1959).

1. Jingle Bells and White Christmas
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Carol Of The Bells
4. We Three Kings
5. Gesu, Bambino
6. Joy To The World
7. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
8. O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel)
9. The First Noel
10. Silent Night
11. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
12. O Come, All ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis)


Gospel Goodie

I pick up a lot of gospel Christmas albums, but it's pretty rare that I listen to them.  They tend to all be the same, and not the sort of thing that excites me.  But this one sorta stood out for some unknown reason, and I put it on the turntable recently.  Turns out it's very good, somewhat different, and well worth a listen. Two different groups, both on their own and in a couple of joint efforts, as well as a handful of instrumentals that are really well done, that's what makes up this short album. The instrumentals are uncredited, so I put the name of the arranger in there, Jerry Nelson. There's not a whole lot more information on this album out there, it's not on Discogs, though I did finally find a copy at Rate Your Music. The two non-traditional songs on here, Holiday of Love and March Of The Three Kings are particularly great. I could see using them in a mix somewhere. I love finding unknown stuff like this and sharing it with you.  This is The Envoys & The Keystone Quartet-The Greatest Gift (Majestic Recordings LPS 1023, Stereo).

1. The Envoys & The Keystone Quartet-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen-Go Tell It On The Mountain
2. Carol Of The Bells (Instrumental)
3. The Envoys-The First Noel
4. What Child Is This? (Instrumental)
5. The Keystone Quartet-Fum, Fum, Fum
6. I Wonder As I Wander (Instrumental)
7. The Keystone Quartet-The Christmas Song
8. The Envoys & The Keystone Quartet-O Come All Ye Faithful-Joy To The World
9. The Keystone Quartet-Holiday Of Love
10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem-Silent Night (Instrumental)
11. The Envoys-March Of The Three Kings
12. The Envoys-Still, Still, Still


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Have A Gray Christmas

You may recall that The Free Design wanted you to hear the Now Sound of Christmas, but such sounds are few and far between.  A little tiny bit of that sound showed up on this private-press LP from a gentlemen here in Florida sometime in the early 70s. I first shared this with you back in 2008, and I've reripped it for your listening pleasure tonight. Listening to this again, I'm struck by not only the little bits of The Now Sound that pop up here and there, but also by how much Veo sounds a little like Don Pardo in places.  Close your eyes for a moment and just imagine either Veo MCing a game show, or imagine Don Pardo wishing you a Merry Christmas.  See what I mean?  Anyhow, this is a much nicer rip and in a much higher bitrate than before, so be sure you grab this one and give it a listen.  This is Veo Gray And The Jodie Lyons Singers-A Christmas Happening (Alaco Records SLP-2156, Stereo).  Note that the label name, Alaco, is just Ocala backwards. Ocala is a city in Florida where I think Veo was based. Somewhere I've got another LP from a church chorus that features him as music director, and I believe the church is in Ocala, or at least that same part of Florida.

1. Christmas Medley-O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard On High
2. Deck The Hall
3. Jingle Bells
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful
5. O Come, O Come Immanuel
6. Rest Your Head
7. Silent Night
8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
9. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks


Broadway Baby

For my second library record share of the season, I present to you Miss Carol Channing. I've had this record for quite a few years no, but couldn't get a decent rip of it.  It would skip badly in the first minute or so, and I never got past that.  Finally I manged to get a good rip of it, and then surprisingly, I saw another copy.  But it was an expensive copy, so I made do with mine. Once I got past that first little bit, it played fine though.  I don't think you'll even be able to tell where I worked through the skips.  And it's a nice story or two here, I think you'll enjoy it. She was never my favorite guest star on The Love Boat, but she acquits herself quite nicely here. This is Carol Channing-The Year Without A Santa Claus (Caedmon TC 1303, Stereo, 1969). As I mentioned, it was a library copy, so there were stickers all over it.  I removed many of them, but some of them I just couldn't do much with. And there was a record-care card taped to the front of it, too. I cut that off, but left a scan of it in the share just for fun.

1. The Year Without A Santa Claus
2. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (A Visit From St. Nicholas)
3. How Mrs. Sana Claus Saved Christmas
4. The Gingerbread Man


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Back To Pittsburgh

One of the shares I really enjoyed last year came to us from the city of Pittsburgh, and I'm happy to share with you tonight a stereo copy of that record I shared in mono last time. I know these folks made some more professional recordings later on, I even found a CD featuring a much more recent performance the other day. But this is the one I found and have really enjoyed, so I'm sharing it with you folks.  This is The Mendelssohn Choir Of Pittsburgh-Russell G. Wichmann, Director-Love Came Down At Christmas (A Mendelssound Production MCP-1000, Stereo, 1965).

1. Joy To The World
2. Love Came Down At Christmas
3. A Sequence Of Carols: Coventry Carol; I Saw Three Ships; The Twelve Apostles; The Holly And The Ivy
4. Kolyada (Spirit Of Christmas)
5. Glory To God
6. Silent Night
7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
8. Adeste Fideles
9. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
10. For Unto Us A Child Is Born
11. Christmas, The Year One, A.D.
12. The Shepherd's Star
13. Slumber Now Beloved Child
14. Glory To God


Glam Time

I haven't been sharing out many old things this year without a remaster, but this record popped into my brain this morning, and I figured it would be a good thing to bring back.  Looks like I shared this out in 2011, and it's not been seen or heard since. I guess it wasn't too popular, it only ever got one comment, but it's the weird, unknown, forgotten sort of thing that I love to find and share with you. I don't know anything more about the artists now than I did then, but I encourage you to go to the same Wikipedia page I sent you to in 2011. Not much help, but it's got some basics. Anyhow, this is a re-encode I did last year, so it's in full 320 for you listening pleasure.  Please enjoy The Vibra Corporation-The Vibra Corporation Christmas Single (Passport 12" 45 RPM PSC-7910, Stereo, 1977).

1. Snow White Rock Christmas
2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday


Fix It In Post With CanCon

You know what you need?  You need some production music.  No, not just production music, but Canadian production music!  That way you can comply with the Canadian Content rules. And I've got just the thing for you right here.  Thirty short tracks of great music that you can use for all sorts of things.  I'm sure you'll love it just as much as I do.  It's volume two, but I've never seen volume one and I really never expect to.  This sort of thing is pretty rare in the wild. It sorta reminds me of my old share from back in the day by Elliot Lawrence.  Same sorta thing, but a much more modern sound. (Be sure you check the comments over there for the working download link.) I will warn you about something on this record.  For completeness' sake, I included two test tones that were pressed onto the record in a locked groove after the regular program.  If you don't want to hear a loud sine wave play through your speakers at the middle and end of the program, you might want to remove those.  It can be a bit jarring when they play.  Otherwise, this is great stuff!  This is Parry Music Library-The Christmas Season 2 (Parry Music Ltd (Canada) PML 127, Stereo). Not sure of the date here, but I'm sure it's getting into the '80s here.

1. Jingle Bells
2. Happy Xmas
3. Christmas Joy
4. Yuletide Greetings
5. Snow Bells
6. Deck The Halls
7. Auld Lang Syne
8. Silent Night
9. I Saw Three Ships
10. Santa's Sleigh
11. Joy To The World-1
12. Joy To The World-1
13. Christmas Spirit No. 1 (With We Wish You A Merry Christmas)
14. Christmas Spirit No. 2 (With We Wish You A Merry Christmas)
15. Winter Fun
16. Test Tone
17. Winter Ride
18. Christmas Magic
19. Santa Claus
20. Merry Christmas
21. Snow Riding
22. We Wish You A Merry Christmas-1
23. We Wish You A Merry Christmas-2
24. Twelve Days Of Christmas-1
25. Twelve Days Of Christmas-2
26. Jingle Bells
27. Silent Night
28. Joy To The World-1
29. Joy To The World-2
30.  O Come All Ye Faithful
31. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
32. Test Tone


Monday, December 02, 2019

Christmas Mann

Time for another remaster of something from ye olden days, and this time it's a classic from 2006. An insurance company premium record featuring the voice and trumpet of Gary Mann.  It's got a nice tone to it and I've grown rather fond of it over the years.  He sounds a little like Louis Armstrong in places, I don't know how much of that is his actual voice and how much of it is a desire to sound like Louis Armstrong, if you know what I mean. But it's good stuff.  This is Gary Mann-Blues For Baby Jesus (Educator & Executive Insurance EE-101, Stereo, 1972).  There's a nice long biography on the back of the record, so have a read if you want to know more.

1. Jingle Bells
2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3. Alone At Christmas Time
4. Sleigh Bells
5. Blues For Baby Jesus
6. O Holy Night
7. Adeste Fidelis
8. The First Noel
9. Silent Night
10. Christmas Song


Organ In White

I think this may be the first double album I've shared with you in all these years.  Maybe, maybe not, but at this moment, I can't remember sharing out any other double LPs.  And this is a good one, featuring two full albums of Christmas tunes played on the cool looking organ you see below.
How's that for classy? I posted a shot of this organ on Facebook a month or so ago, and got a little bit of feedback about it. Seems it was pretty popular and showed up on a few albums by David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, among others.  Imagine that, and you get to hear it playing Christmas music! And it's cheesy Christmas music to boot!  You can't go wrong with this stuff! I won't distract you from your goal any long, please be my guest and download Bill Thomson-Merry Christmas (Skylake Music 2xLP EX 101, Stereo), featuring the Yamaha Electone EX-1!

1. Medley
2. Ave Maria
3. Jesu Bambino
4. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
5. O Holy Night
6. Deck The Halls
7. Toyland
8. March Of The Toys
9. Silver Bells
10. Little Drummer Boy
11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
12. Jingle Bells
13. Snowfall
14. The Christmas Waltz
15. The Toy Trumpet
16. Winter Wonderland
17. White Christmas


Sunday, December 01, 2019

Stereo Seeburg

Here's one I've been hoping to share for years now, but only recently found a new copy in stereo for you. I can remember buying a copy many years ago, but when the season came around, I couldn't find it.  I looked and looked, but like so many other records, it's disappeared into the stacks, never to be seen again.  But then this new copy came my way, and I'm happy to say that I managed to keep track of it long enough to record and scan it. Seeburg was a manufacturer of jukeboxes, but they also made background music similar to what Muzak did. They also made machines to play the music, and pressed up their own records with really large center holes for those machines.  But this isn't from one of those records, this is a regular old 33-1/3 RPM microgroove 12" album, which I suspect they pressed up as a giveaway for clients or prospective clients at some point in their history.  I've seen other similar non-Christmas records from Seeburg, so I suspect it was something they did at some point to increase sales.  It's good music, and there's a blurb on the front cover comparing the arrangements to those produced by Pro Musica Antiqua. Not sure I agree with that, but maybe.  Anyhow, I'm sure you'll appreciate this upgrade to stereo, but if you really want the old mono version, I think you can still download it from a link in the comments here. But for your stereo listening pleasure, here is Seeburg-The Sound & Color Of Christmas (Seeburg 7-700189, Stereo).

1. Medley: We Wish You A Merry Christmas; Carol Of The Bells
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
4. Angels We Have Heard On High
5. Good King Wenceslaus
6. Coventry Carol
7. Carol Of The Drum ("Little Drummer Boy")
8. Deck The Halls
9. I'll Be Home For Christmas
10. Medley: Shepherd's Carol; Patapan
11. O Christmas Tree
12. Here We Come A-Caroling
13. The Christmas Waltz
14. God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen (SIC)


Country Greetings

Still need some more Christmas greetings? How about a bunch of popular early 80's country artists?  This is another small record I brought home with me from Ameoba in Hollywood.  I've been holding onto it all year, just waiting to share it with you, but it turns out that I wasn't the only one who had it and wanted to share it.  My buddy Stubby shared this one (and the last one) and a third one that I don't have featuring Jeannie C. Riley over at FaLaLaLaLa.  Hopefully he won't mind that I'm sharing out my own version here at my blog.  If you aren't already a member over there and like Christmas music, I encourage you to take a look and join.  Lots of fun in the forums nearly all year 'round. For your mixtapes, this is Christmas Country Messages (Elektra 7" 45 RPM E-47254-X/Y, Stereo, 1981).

1-2. Mel Tillis
3-4. Sonny Curtis
5-6. Dave Rowland (No Sugar...)
7-8. Helen Cornelius
9-10. Joe Sun
11. Jim Glaser
12. Tompall Glaser
13-14. Eddy Raven
15-17. Hank Williams, Jr.
18-21. Johnny Lee