Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Christmas 2009, Part 4--Merry Christmas from Line Material!
Line Material Christmas--an M(Y)PWHAE holiday tradition. This blog is your source for Line Material Christmas recordings. Accept no imitations. Get your LM groove on here.
We'll start with an explanation of Line Material. Here are two great links for that purpose: Cooper Power Systems and The Line Material Co.
Seems that Line Material annually produced cool Christmas give-away records from (at least as early as) 1949 to (at least as late as) 1964. If you find yourself wondering why the 1957-1962 sides sound so spectacular, consider the talent involved during that particular period: choral arranging by John McCarthy (of Ambrosia/John McCarthy Singers fame) and instrumental arranging by David Carroll (of Mercury). I know for sure they were behind Santa's Factoree, and I'm guessing they're the architects of/on the others from 1957-1962. Line Material was apparently able to hire the best, though I'm guessing that John McCarthy's services were cheaper prior to his 1961-66 stint as choral director for the London Symphony Orchestra.
The LM (and CLM of Canada) sides which date from before and after the 1957-62 period have proven--so far, at least--to be considerably less spectacular, especially 1964's The Story of Santa Claus and Turkey, the Bible Land, which pulled double duty as a Turkish Information Office issue! All the sides are entertaining, but the McCarthy/Carroll efforts raised the company-holiday-record bar to the stratosphere. To the thermosphere, even. Well, maybe not the thermosphere--too hot.
The Magic of Christmas is courtesy of Ernie (who snail-mailed me the small, vinyl 78-rpm disc year before last), and the 1964 files were kindly provided by Stubbysfears. For this post, I've replaced the latter with cleaner copies and rips. (I recently chanced on a mint edition.)
You'll love these, even if you've heard them before. If you haven't, prepare to be spending the next several weeks singing "Merry Christmas, from Line Material. (Repeat X3, fade)." We start with the 1957-1962 McCarthy/Carroll classics, including two Canadian (CLM) editions featuring different closing ditties. Both of which are courtesy of Captain OT of A Christmas Yuleblog:
To the zip: To the zip: Merry Christmas from Line Material, 1949-1964 Merry Christmas from Line Material, 1949-1964
SLEIGHLIST--LINE MATERIAL CHRISTMAS RECORDS
SANTA'S NORTH POLE BAND--1957
THE KINDS OF CHRISTMAS--1958
THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS--1959
THE DAY THAT SANTA WAS SICK--1961
LET'S TRIM THE CHRISTMAS TREE--1962
THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS (CLM edition)--1959
SANTA'S FACTOREE (CLM edition)--1960
THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS--Created and Rel. By Line Material--Year Unknown
KEEPING CHRISTMAS, PTS. 1 and 2--Jim Ameche, Narr., 1949.
TURKEY, THE BIBLE LAND--CLM Industries, 1964.
THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS--CLM Industries, 1964.
Here are some more label shots: More LM labels