Saturday, December 21, 2019

Jersey Boys (And Girls)

When I saw this record at the Salvation Army store recently, I thought it looked very promising. It was the only thing I found in the store that I needed, and I didn't have any cash on me.  I had to hide the record and run out to the car to scrounge some spare change and pay the $0.50. I got it home and recorded it a few days later, and it wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. But if I record it, I'm gonna share it, so you get to hear what I heard.  I sat down to work on the cover art the other night and I was just about to Photoshop out the writing at the top and the bottom when I actually read it.  That's when I realized it was autographed by the namesake of the choir, Lewis Shearer, and his wife, the accompanist. I thought that was pretty cool, so I left it in the picture.  Maybe there'll be something on here that you can appreciate, but I was left a little cold.  This is The Lewis Shearer Chorale, Lewis A. Shearer-Director, Elsie Shearer-Accompanist-Born Today! (Record Room/Argus Records RR-1945, Stereo, 1977). Remember folks, you can't tell a record by it's cover!

1. Alleluia!
2. Glory To God
3. Come Ye Lofty, Come Ye Lowly
4. Go Where I Send Thee
5. Alleluia! Now Is The Christmas Morn
6. Go Tell It On The Mountain
7. Born Today! (Hodie Christus Natus Est)
8. Sing A Round For Christmas
9. The Christmas Polka
10. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
11. Put Your Hand In The Hand
12. A Marshmallow World
13. Christmas Day Is Here
14. It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas


God On Your TV

Here's the first of a small set of albums from TV preachers back when they seemed to be all over the airwaves. We only had three or four channels, and you didn't have much else to watch if you happened to be looking for something on a Sunday morning.  We usually settled on a Tarzan movie on the local independent station, but not before flipping through all the network channels and finding nothing but preachers dressed in their Sunday best doing their thing.  And one of those was Robert Schuller and The Hour Of Power. This past January, I was in California for a few days of software training, and the class was being held at a small hotel sort of katy-cornered from the former Crystal Cathedral, a huge house of worship that Schuller built some years after the release of this album. The music here is not bad, it's probably what you would expect from a group that was on TV every week performing behind a well-known preacher. There are also six different parts of the story of the first Christmas, as told by Schuller. Those might be the part that's most worth the price of admission here.  This is Robert Schuller And The Hour Of Power Television Musicians-Merry Christmas From The Hour Of Power (Hour Of Power RS 1002, Stereo).

1. Christmas Is Here
2. The First Christmas-Part 1
3. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
4. In Dulci Jubilo
5. O Holy Night
6. The First Christmas-Part 2
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. Carol Of The Manger
9. The First Christmas-Part 3
10. Angels We Have Heard On High
11. The First Christmas-Part 4
12. Stille Nacht
13. I Wonder As I Wander
14. Noel
15. Adeste Fideles
16. The First Christmas-Part 5
17. He Came Here For Me
18. The First Christmas-Part 6
19. Joy To The World


Friday, December 20, 2019

Back In The USA

OK, back in the USA and into the cesspool that is our nation's capitol, Washington, DC.  I'm sure the people who live and work there are mostly good folk, but the itinerant politicians are on my nerves of late.  Well, some of them need to be a little more itinerant, if you get my drift. Anyhow, this is a nice collection of tracks from a local artist who teams up with a couple different groups to make a nice sounding collection of stuff.  I think there's even a handbell choir in here on a track or two, so be sure you download and listen to this one closely.  This is Paul Hill & The Paul Hill Chorale-Christmas In Washington (NCF Records, No Number, Stereo). There it is, The Festival Bell Choir.  Also starring The Chevy Chase Elementary School Chorus and Sondra Proctor at the organ. Just full of good noises!

1. Glory To God
2. On Christmas Night
3. Deck The Halls
4. Mary Had A Baby
5. Rise Up Early
6. The Virgin's Slumber Song
7. Silent Night
8. Merry Christmas
9. Mass In G Minor-Kyrie
10. Mass In G Minor-Gloria
11. Mass In G Minor-Credo
12. Mass In G Minor-Sanctus
13. Mass In G Minor-Agnus Dei


Another City

No share here, but you can find the related share here from a year ago. When I threw that share up last year, I mentioned that I thought there were identical albums stamped with newspapers in different cities, and here's a scan of a record to prove that. This version comes all the way from Hawaii, and has been stamped by The Honolulu Advertiser. That's a long trip for this album, but it proves my point that this record was pushed in many different cities across the US. Looks like this paper is still around, though it's now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser after a merger in 2010. Its history extends back to 1856, long before Hawaii was a US state or even a territory.  In fact, Hawaii was still a kingdom back then and was under the rule of King Kamehameha IV! How about that for a history!

They're Back Again!

One more is never enough when you can have two more, so here's yet another album from The Lundstroms! This time around it seems to be the soundtrack to a video special they made, and there are plenty of special moments you don't get on the other discs. Lots of chit chat, and an actual sermon from family patriarch Lowell! Don't tell me I didn't save the best for last. Same deal with this one, it got left in the car yet didn't melt. Hard to believe, but true. This is The Lundstroms' Wilderness Christmas-Special Partners' Edition (Message Records M-7904, Stereo, 1979). Special Edition!  See how great I am to you.  Having said that, I find no evidence there was ever a non-special edition.  Maybe you'd like a participation trophy, too, I've got a whole stack here...

1. Something Great Is Happening
2. Headin' Home For Christmas
3. On A Winter Day
4. Look Out Bear
5. The Joy He Brings To Me
6. The Joys Of Christmas Day
7. Jesus Is My Gift
8. Wilderness Day
9. Christmas Medley
10. We Sing Christmas Day
11. Welcome Back Jesus
12. Jingle Bells
13. Christmas Message
14. Hosanna


Thursday, December 19, 2019

They're Back!

It's been a long time since I've brought you any Christmas music from The Lundstroms family, but I'm back tonight with another cool album they put out back in the day. I first shared the music of this religious family back in 2010 (here and here, or if you want active download links, go here and here). I'm not sure what first drew me to their music other than I think I saw a track from them on an Andy Cirzan mix, and I'm not sure I've ever found that exact track, but you know what they say, the more the merrier. So when I found yet another album of Christmas music from the family, I just had to have it. However, I almost didn't have it.  I went looking for it a day or so after buying it, and I couldn't find it. I eventually found it under the front seat in the car, not where you want to find a record in the middle of the summer in Florida. I put it aside for a couple of years thinking that there was nothing of value there except the sleeve until one day I picked it up and took a good close look.  It looked OK, and when I played it, it seemed to be OK.  Maybe it was a cool day, or there was just enough shade or something.  Maybe it's a Christmas miracle!  Either way, you get some more Lundstroms music!  This is The Lundstroms' Old-Time Christmas Favorites (Message M-8003, Stereo). Mid 80's is the best I can do for a year on this one. Everybody on the cover looks a lot older than on the other albums, so some time has passed.

1. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
2. Joy To The World
3. The First Noel
4. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
5. Away In A Manger
6. O Come All Ye Faithful
7. Jingle Bells
8. Angels We Have Heard On High
9. We Three Kings
10. Silent Night
11. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear


Buon Natale!

Some of you may remember from Christmas In July that I had to finish up the season pretty close to the end of the month because I was going overseas to visit Italy in August.  Well, I made that trip, and it was pretty great. Saw a bunch of mountains, stayed on a lake, ate gelato and a lot of pizza, all while trying not to think about work back at home.  Many thanks to my wonderful girlfriend and her very generous family for putting up with me for a whole week and running me around to the next picturesque tourist town each and every day. So this share of the Italy edition of Capitol's Christmas Around The World series is a very appropriate share for this year. I had to record this one twice, because the first time was from a pretty beat copy. Then I found a much nicer version so I went ahead and did it all again for you.  There's lots of great music on here, none of which I heard while I was there. It also didn't look anything like the cover of this record, if I'm honest with you.  However, I can tell you that there is religious iconography on nearly every corner, so if Christmas isn't constantly on their minds there, at least Christ is.  This is Christmas In Italy (Natale In Italia) (Capitol Of The World T10093, Mono, 1957).

1. Coro Di Alunne Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-È Nato Gesù (Jesus Was Born)
2. Coro Di Alunne Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-Buon Natale (Merry Christmas)
3. Orchestra Diretta Da Gian Mario Guarino-Pastorale
4. Orchestra Diretta Da Gian Mario Guarino-Presepe
5. Alvaro Cordova E Coro, Con Orchestra Diretta De G.M. Guarino-Notte Sacra (Silent Night)
6. Alvaro Cordova E Coro Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-Bianco Natale (White Christmas)
7. R. Lipparini, Tenor; Cleva, Soprano E Coro-La Ninna Nanna A Gesù (Lullaby To Jesus)
8. Coro Di Alunne Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-La Stella Di Betlemme (The Star Of Bethlehem)
9. Cappella Musicale Della Basilica Di San Francesco In Assisi-Alla Luce D'una Stella (At The Light Of A Star)
10. Cappella Musicale Della Basilica Di San Francesco In Assisi-Campane Di Natale (Christmas Bells)
11. Coro Di Alunne Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-Cantico D'Amore (Melody Of Love)
12. Coro Di Alunne Della Piccola Casa San Giuseppe Accompagnate Del Complesso Speciale Del Pistoia-Dolce Risveglio (Sweet Awakening)


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Big & Beegie

When I saw this record in the stack, I was pretty sure it was a Christmas record, even though the title is Organ & Chimes.  Imagine if you just had a list of records to order from, and that was the title.  You'd have no idea what you were going to get without seeing that great vintage wrapping paper and the festive bow. I know you don't care about the organ music or the chime music, but I'm giving it to you anyway, even though it's in mono and it's pretty short.  And you'll like it I tell you!  No, love it!  This is Beegie Long-Organ & Chimes (MGM E-4408, Mono, 1966).

1. Oh
2. Does
3. It
4. Really
5. Matter
6. What
7. Tracks
8. Are
9. On
10. Here
11. You
12. Are
13. Either
14. Going
15. To
16. Download
17. It
18. Or Not


Shifting Gears

Talk about a change of pace, I'm switching from Christmas stories and foreign songs to this, which is really hard to categorize, but it ain't any of those things.  This record is a little newer than my usual fare, but it's no less obscure. I thought I was the only one who had a copy, but I soon discovered that your friend and mine, Stubby, had shared it out over at The 'Fa many years ago.  I hope it's been long enough that he won't mind me sharing my copy with you. This record covers the bases from funk to disco to R&B with some rock and raw vocal finesse thrown in here and there for good measure. I don't know much about it, I don't know how it came to be, I don't know why it wasn't a huge hit, but it's not something you see every day, and it's good. So download this and tell me what you think.  This is Larry Farrow-It's The Happiest Time Of The Year (Capitol ST-12021, Stereo, 1979). Guest vocalists include Nancy Wilson, Elmo Washington, Gene Harbin, Jim Gilstrap, Elaine Norwood, Quinin Williams & The Shades of Love. And there are a lot of session players on here you'll recognize, too, but I'm too lazy to type it all in. If that lead-off track doesn't get your toes to tappin', you might want to check your blood pressure!

1. It's A Sho-Nuff-Boogie Down-Sock It To Me Sleigh Ride
2. You Know It's Christmas
3. It's The Happiest Time Of The Year
4. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
5. Let This Be A Merry Christmas
6. Little Altar Boy
7. The Christmas Medley (The Sound Of Christmas; Let It Snow!; Winter Wonderland; The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You); Merry Christmas Baby; The Best Thing About Winter Is Christmas Time; Christmas Time Is Here; Christmas Funk; Sleigh Ride)


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Speaking Of Winter

I always like to share some stories with you every year, and I didn't want to miss doing so this year. There are four good stories on this one, three of them are winter related and the other is Christmas, but they are all good and worth a listen or two. One of them I think I'd heard before in a different version, but I'm not sure if I'd ever shared it or not.  The package seems a little cheap, and that back cover is just about blank.  I didn't put a whole lot of work into cleaning it up as I didn't see much point, but your mileage may vary.  This is Owen Jordan, Storyteller-Winter Stories (Story-Hour Recordings) (A Weston Woods Recording, Prepared By Book-Of-The-Month Club LBM-54-5272, Mono). Anyone have this record when they were younger?

1. The Tomten
2. Christmas In The Stable
3. White Snow, Bright Snow
4. The Big Snow


Glade Jul!

I haven't been able to share as much international Christmas music this year as I would like, though I do still have a few things to share before time runs out. This one was an automatic purchase based on the cover alone, I mean, how could you resist puppies! This record comes to us all the way from Norway, and is on the label that brought The Beatles to the world, though I'm sure it's a slightly different arm of the company. There's nothing else about this album that's going to bring The Beatles to mind, but it will give you a good idea of the sound of Christmas in Norway in the early Seventies. I'm not certain about the date, but I think that's what I got from Discogs. Could be this is a little earlier, but you never can tell. The LP is split among two different artists, Sølvguttene and Olav Werner, and the title is Glade Jul (Odeon/Parlophone (Norway) SMOCN 1001, Stereo, 1974).

1. Jeg Er Så Glad Hver Julekveld
2. Kimer, I Klokker
3. Et Barn Er Født I Betlehem
4. Jeg Synger Julekvad
5. Her Kommer Dine Arme Små
6. Du Grønne Glitrende Tre Goddag
7. Glade Jul
8. Deilig Er Den Himmel Blå
9. O Jul Med Din Glede
10. Deilig Er Jorden
11. Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest
12. O, Du Herlige


Monday, December 16, 2019

A Christmas Journey

This is the sort of thing I like to find and post, though they're becoming somewhat rarer as the years go by. A custom production complete with unique songs for a bank in New Jersey, featuring a few kids and a guy on an accordion, how can you go wrong with that? Beautiful cover, too! They just don't make 'em like this anymore. The record is split into two side-long pieces, and you have your choice. You can download it as a pair of side-long tracks, or a version where I've cut each side up into it's individual tracks.  Both versions are nice, I'm sure you'll get a big kick out of it.  This is Cathy, Peter, Paul And Carol-Anne Accompanied By Dellaira-Journey Into Christmas (Delham Productions For Trenton Trust Company (Trenton, New Jersey), Delham 68119, Mono, 1965). I forgot to mention the great sound effects! And the acting! It's a complete package of family entertainment!

1. A Christmas Journey
2. Christmas Day



1. Deck The Halls
2. At The Station
3. Over The River And Through The Woods
4. Jingle Bells
5. Ring Christmas Bells
6. Oh Christmas Tree
7. Decorating The Tree
8. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
9. We Three Kings
10. Silent Night
11. Up On A Housetop
12. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
13. The Friendly Beasts
14. Snow Flakes
15. Open The Presents
16. The Orchestra
17. Going Home Again
18. We Wish You A Merry Christmas


Put The Blame On Ukraine

What with all the political turmoil in the USA today, how could I resist the temptation of this LP featuring Christmas music from Ukraine? I mean, it's not their fault that they got pulled into the middle of the US impeachment inquiry. But I'm not going to make this a political post, it's just some music sung by immigrants to the US from a country that happens to find itself in the middle of a mess that's not of their doing. The songs on here are probably not the carols you sing in the church musical every year, but they're things that you can still enjoy and appreciate for the meaning behind them. Be my guest and download Ukrainian Bandurists Chorus-Volodymyr Bozyk And Peter Potapenko, Conductors-Ukrainian Carols (Ukrainian Bandurists Chorus #5 (Manufactured By RCA Custom Records, Chicago, Illinois), Mono, 1960).

1. A Precious Gift (Dar Nyni Prebahatyj)
2. A New Joy Descended (Nova Radist Stala)
3. Happiness Came (Radist Z Neba Wsim Pryjshla)
4. God Eternal (Boh Predvichnyj)
5. Christmas Greetings (Dobryj Vechir Tobi)
6. What Wonder Is This (Shcho To Za Predyvo)
7. In The River Jordan (Na Jordanskij Richi)
8. The Saints Sat (Sviati Sydily. Shchedrivka)
9. All Rejoice (Rozveselimsia Wsi)
10. O God Sees (Oj Vydytj Boh)
11. This Day Singing (Dnes Pojusche)
12. Joyful Tidings (Po Vsiomu Svitu)
13. Christmas Bells (Dzony)


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas On The Ocean

Here is a slight rarity for me.  This record came in a plain jacket with no sticker, no artwork, no nothing. I don't often pick those up to see what's inside, but for some reason, I checked this one, and I found a Christmas record that I'm betting you've never heard.  Well, I'd bet not many people have ever heard it, period. This seems to be a vanity pressing of a group of singers associated with the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office in Washington DC.  There are several mentions of this group in the newsletter of the office, called simply The Bulletin, but I can find only one mention of a record. I see where Margaret Rogers is mentioned in the same 1970 edition, so that's probably the date on this record. Not sure if it ever had a cover, since nothing is mentioned in The Bulletin about that.  Some reader someday will come across this site and clue us in about this record, I hope.  In the meantime, this is Navoceano Choral Group-Margaret Rogers, Director-Melvin Coles, Piano-Navoceano Choral Group-U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office (No Label, No Sleeve CSM-264, Stereo, c.1970). Not sure if this one counts towards one of my military shares, since this was probably more clerical employees than enlisted personnel, but maybe...

1. Joy To The World
2. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
3. The Little Drummer Boy
4. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
5. O Come, All Ye Faithful
6. The Glory And The Lord
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
8. Do You Hear What I Hear
9. Hallelujah
10. Angels We Have Heard On High
11. Silent Night


My Favorite

I've shared a lot of stuff with you this season, and I hope to share much more before the season heads back to the North Pole for the summer, but the thing I am most excited to have found this season is right here. It's not the rarest thing, and it's certainly been shared out all over the internet in versions better than what I was able to get from my copy, but I was just so excited to find it after all these years.  I was digging through the budget Christmas records at Clearwater Record Show, and I happened to see a pile of framed album covers.  This one was on the top and I figured it was just the cover. I took it up to the counter and asked if I could open it up.  They opened it up and there was a record still in the sleeve.  They put a price on it, then set it down in a spot far away from all the other records I wanted to buy.  I was halfway out the door before I realized it wasn't with my other goodies, so I had to go back and pay for it. I rushed home and recorded it that night. When this came out, it was cutting edge music, even though it wasn't all new. I think eight of the tracks were on a 10" record that came out two years before, and Greensleeves was on a record they released the previous year. So that means there were only three new tracks recorded for this, but it's still great. If you've never heard, it, don't hesitate, just download it.  This is the great Ferrante & Teicher-Adventure In Carols (Westminster WP 6021, Mono, 1956)! And talk about a classic cover? No wonder they had it framed!

1. Sleigh Ride
2. Good King Wenceslas
3. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
4. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. White Christmas
6. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
7. Christmas Song
8. The First Nowell
9. Silent Night
10. Jingle Bells
11. Adeste Fideles
12. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen