No Christmas is complete without a Palace label offering--and we've got two this year. One is a re-up, and the other is new to the blog. This is the new-to-the-blog one--Merry Christmas (jolly original title, no?) on Palace XM-902. Three of these tracks were carried over onto Palace XM-903 (Christmas at Home) and then at least six or seven were carted onto Palace XM-911 (Christmas Surprise Package), with Fontanna somehow becoming "John Rawles." Ah, the world of budget labels.
Also, the final selection, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (plus, I believe, I'm Getting Nottin' ((!)) for Christmas), comes from Robin Hood, a subsidiary of Hollywood Records, and, after studying the Robin Hood releases at Discogs, I find it highly possible that many of the other tracks are Robin Hood reissues, too. Most of these have a culled-from-singles sound to them.
For such a desperately cheap label, Palace (which partnered with the equally desperately cheap Masterseal) did have some cool jackets at times, and this is one of them. It's very charming, very period--and, in fact, very well designed. Someone might even be fooled by it ("This looks legit!"). But one glance at the labels, with their thick and chalky white ink, and we know we're in the budget zone.
Some interesting liner-note content: "For those who do not practice the Christian faiths, Christmas also has a meaning of more than passing significance." Which would be...? The notes continue: "Wherever Christmas carols are sung, the differences and barriers which separate us during every day (sic) life suddenly disappear and we are united by a common spirit of rejoicing." Yes, I can see that. Especially such deep and reflective carols as I'm Getting Nottin' (sic) for Christmas.
Anyway, for a budgetphile like me, Merry Christmas is cheap-Xmas gold. I love to find these things.
DOWNLOAD: Merry Christmas (Palace XM 902)
Home for the Holidays
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
I'm Getting Nottin' (sic) for Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
One Little Candle
Deck the Hall
Sleigh Ride (Anderson)
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Satna Claus Is Coming to Town--The Robinettes
Merry Christmas--Fontanna, His Orchestra and Chorus (Palace XM-902)