Friday, December 08, 2017

Merry Christmas from (who else?) Line Material!!

                                 Scans by me, from my collection

(This repeat post appeared in nearly the same form in 2015.)

Ahhhh... Line Material Christmas singles--one of the best parts of any Christmas, anywhere. How to explain? How about with a capsule history of the company: Line Material.

Luckily for all of us, Line Material gave Christmas booklets and records to its employees during the holiday season.  A number of these have survived.  Here are eight of the LM singles, starting with 1956's The Magic of Christmas.  (I own a ninth--1949's Keeping Christmas--but it's not remotely as good as these, so you're not missing anything.)

Oh, yeah--and London-born John McCarthy (1919-2009) was the arranger on tracks 2-7.  That's why they sound so incredibly professional.  John is way better known for his Ambrosian Singers Christmas sides.  From 1961 to 1966, the Ambrosian Singers were known as the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  (Last bit of info swiped from Discogs.)

Here's John, from 1989:

Click here to hear: Merry Christmas from Line Material!


The Magic of Christmas--1956
Santa's North Pole Band--1957
The Kinds of Christmas--1958
The Sound of Christmas--1959
Santa's Factoree--1960
The Day That Santa Was Sick--1961
Let's Trim the Christmas Tree--1962
The Story of Santa Claus--1964

Ripped and de-clicked by Lee Hartsfeld, 2007.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Another Record Corporation of America holiday classic!

Sure, it's a cute cover (another 10-incher for Christmas 2017), but it doesn't exactly have "High Quality" printed all over it.  Well, actually, it did, and it took me hours to clone out the lettering.  What a task....

Varsity, of course, was one of Eli Oberstein's labels, so the no-budget nature of this collection should come as no surprise.  No artist credits, BUT (and I consider this a minor Christmas miracle), the tracks are listed in the correct order on the cover!!   A possible first.  Of course, the label screws them up in one spot, but you can't have everything.

I have at least two of these on singles, and there's something about one of the credits that's quite amusing.  Too bad I can't remember what it was....  (Too lazy to dig up the single and check?  Moi?)

The perfect background music for those cheap light-show thingies they're advertising on cable TV (including "Star Shower").

Click here to hear:  Merry Christmas Songs (Varsity 6905)

Consult track listing on cover scan.


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Merry Mervmas!!

A Merry Mervmas from the late, great Merv Griffin (1925-2007)!

Click here to hear: Merry Mervmas!


Merry Christmas Polka--Merv w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949
Sleigh Ride--Same, 1950
Christmas Time--Same, 1950
Christmas City--A WDSM Recording, 1962
Song of the Christmas City--Same, 1962

See: The Real Story Behind Merv Griffin's Iconic Song "Christmas City"
A Christmas City surprise discovered inside KBJR6


A "Season's Greetings" record card from our former Toledo, Ohio neighbors

Wow.  The "pre-owned" stuff you spot on eBay: in this case, a Christmas record card from Beringer's Gulf Service--1918 Wayne Street, Toledo 9 Ohio.  "Whoa," I said to myself mentally. "A Gulf gas station, 1918 Wayne Street.  We lived next door!!"  Indeed, we did.

Since there's no date on this disc, I dunno whether the Gulf station was still called Beringer's when we moved next door circa 1962.  It's possible.  After all, it was still Wayne St. and our pre-zip-code "zone" was 9, so those check out.  And it was a Gulf station.  But was it still Beringer's?  Dunno.

Oh, cool instructions on the back of the card--"Best way to play--tape corners to any standard record or to turntable."  And the irony is, this is so far the only cardboard-backed disc I haven't had to tape down.  It played just fine!

Merry Christmas from my Toledo neighbors:

Season's Greetings--Beringer's Gulf Service--1918 Wayne St., Toledo 9 Ohio.


Merry Christmas from the Garcia Corporation!

This may be the weirdest company-produced Christmas single of them all, but of course one can never be sure.  Two, perhaps, but not one.  It's Garcia's long-playing Merry Christmas EP from 1962--the Garcia Corp. of Teaneck, NJ, to be exact.  In 1980, Garcia became the Swedish ABU Garcia.  It's all explained here in a manner that's almost possible to completely follow.

If "Abu" doesn't sound particularly Swedish, it's because it's a shortening of "AB Uhrfabriken." So there.  ABU Garcia makes highly valued fishing reels.  And highly obscure Christmas EPs.

And I just accidentally deleted the URL, so let me re-find it.  The weather has my sinuses in turmoil, which puts me in space.

I regret to report that Garcia had no closing jingle.  That is, no chorus singing "Merry Christmas from Garcia Corporation fishing poles," possibly because that would be a bear to set to a tune.

Click here to hear: Garcia--Merry Christmas


Silent Night--Garcia Glee Club
Noel--French Mitchell Chorus
Forever Christmas---Composed and Sung by Tony Baly
The Star Over Eastern Land--Swedish Abu Chorus
Christmas Is Here Again---Swedish Abu Chorus
Silent Night--German by Plate Chorus

Produced and arranged by Sal Muley of the Garcia Corporation