Saturday, December 17, 2011
1977's finally it's Christmas is, in the opinion of this blogger, one of the very best collections of its type, Just delightful stuff, and what a group of talented kids. Read all about The Singing Angels here. A little too much Broadway in the mix, maybe, but it sure beats the mall-background-music horrors of today.
The LP jacket essay mentions TV appearances with Bob Hope and Wayne Newton, and on Today--that sounds about right.
The record was produced by founding director Bill Boehm, and the orchestral arrangements are by D. Wooley. I think I got a nice file out of my slightly worn copy.
Click here to hear: The Singing Angels--finally, it's Christmas
COVENTRY CAROL--Kathy Wolfe, soloist
WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS--Soloists: Mary Beth Marquard, Charles Brown, Jeanne Marquard, Bill Boehm
MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING--Bill Boehm, soloist
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH
CHRISTMAS WAS MEANT FOR CHILDREN--Kathy Wolfe, soloist
STILL, STILL, STILL--Robert Crawford, soloist
WE WISH YOU THE MERRIEST
The Florists Association of Greater Cleveland Presents... (SRS 1000)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Today's LP rip comes without a jacket (and, hence, no jacket scan), so I swiped this image from eBay--it's one of the Childcraft releases reissued for this various-artists collection. My copy of the LP has been played a lot, but I got a very clean rip, thanks to the de-clicking expertise of (This is not a plug) MAGIX's Audio Cleaning Lab 14.
At one point, I misplaced this rip and thought I'd accidentally deleted it. I was going crazy trying to figure out how I could have done so, but then I discovered that I hadn't. Which answered my question, I guess. Nothing solves a mystery like discovering it isn't one.
Too much time at the PC? You think? Anyway, to the extremely enjoyable sounds on today's zip. Oh, and, regarding the first four tracks, "Raines" is a typo. Only one e in his name ("Rains"): Christmas Songs and Stories
SLEIGHLIST FOR CHRISTMAS SONGS & STORIES (Childcraft/Wing CLP-1213)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, PART 1--Probably Claude Raines, w. Hugo Peretti O., Cho.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, PART 2--Same.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE, Part 1--Claude Raines, w. Hugo Peretti O. and Cho.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE, Part 2--Same
ADESTE FIDELIS--O, LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM--Hugo Peretti O., w. The Caroleers
HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING--SILENT NIGHT--Same.
JINGLE BELLS--WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS--Same.
CAROL OF THE BELLS--THE FIRST NOEL--Same.
GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN--GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO--Same.
JOLLY OLD ST. NICHOLAS--DECK THE HALLS--Same.
TWINKLETOES--The Crew-Cuts, 1954.
DANCE MR. SNOWMAN DANCE--The Crew-Cuts, 1954.
UNCLE MISTLETOE--Eddy Howard and His Orch., 1949
RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE (sic) REINDEER--Eddy Howard and His Orch., 1950.
Daughter: It sure looks fake out there. Mother: That's because we're in a photo shoot, honey.
A cooler-than-usual Colortone jacket--Colortone being an Enoch Light budget label ($1.57, says the sticker on the back) which made its debut in late 1957. This turns out to be a cheaper version of the Grand Award Christmas Chorale LP, featured at Ernie's last year. Which one was released first, I know not. Colortone promised to release "all new material," which would, at the very least, suggest material unique to the label. But that would have violated Enoch's marketing strategy of packaging the same stuff as often as he could get away with it.
The Grand Award is credited to one Edward Carrington; this cheaper Colortone edition is credited to one Adam Carey. Maybe they both worked on it and split the credit. Doubtful, but remotely possible, I reckon.
Good performances and arrangements, anyway, though nothing can compete with that fabulously "period" cover.
Don't miss today's holiday helping: Christmas Chorales--The Somebody or Another Chorale.
JOY TO THE WORLD
THE FIRST NOEL
DECK THE HALLS
AWAY IN A MANGER
GOD GIVE YE MERRY CHRISTMASTIDE
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!
OH HOLY NIGHT
O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
(The Adam Carey Chorale, Colortone 4942)
Monday, December 12, 2011
Written by Bill Indelli and sung by Bob Stamper, Christmas Will Be a Little Late This Year is a single I've been seeking for several years--finally, it's part of my over-flowering collection. Er, I mean, overflowing. Just in time to share with you. Lots of fun sides in this playlist, including the entire 45 rpm side from which the Singing Dogs' Jingle Bells was extracted, and a holiday side by the Four Voices (Stay With Me, fitted with Christmas lyrics). The Voices, of course, gave us the rock'n'roll classics Honest Darling and Lovely One during Mitch Miller's allegedly no-rock-allowed tenure as A&R man at Columbia. Also, a pre-Grand Award Enoch Light accompanying Davey Piper on the Prom label (where Light was A&R man), on a cut-rate cover of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. And how often do I get to type that? Great picture sleeve for that one.
What can I say? It's a MY(P)WHAE playlist (er, sleighlist). To the sounds: Christmas Will Be a Little Late This Year
CHRISTMAS WILL BE A LITTLE LATE THIS YEAR (W. Indelli-Sal Rainone)--Bob Stamper, 1992.
IT'S GONNA BE A MIXED UP CHRISTMAS--Dallas Corey, Nashville Hillview Baptist Children's Choir (Corey 001; 1972)
PAT-A-CAKE; THREE BLIND MICE; JINGLE BELLS--The Singing Dogs, 1955.
ONE SOLITARY LIFE--Frank La Spina , 1983.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS--The Four Voices (Columbia 4-41524; 1959)
I JUST WROTE TO SANTA--Martin Walker w. Sammy Spear Orch. (Camm 132; 1953)
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN--Eddie Williams (Big 4 Hits 110; 1954)
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS--Billy Williams, same.
I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS--Davey Piper, Enoch Light O. (Prom 1060)
WINTER WONDERLAND--Frank Roberts (Big 4 Hits 110; 1954)
BLUE CHRISTMAS--Preston Ward (Big 4 Hits 110; 1954)
Sunday, December 11, 2011
A fun album, even if it was produced by an outfit given to penning utter gibberish to market its over-equalized mood music. For instance, "Specifically designed to enhance the Christmas mood and spirit, each carol also serves a functional purpose within the MUZAK programming concept." The latter having something to do with an "exclusive ascending sequence." It's fun to compare the verbose advertising scams of yesteryear with the one-word-or-less approach of today. A modern MUZAK promo would likely go something like this: (Plain white background; announcer: "MUZAK!;" drums thudding; URL; fade out.)
See? What did I tell you? Muzak.com. Short slogans, big images, lots of white backgrounds. My guess wasn't that far off. So, how come I'm not in advertising?
Anyway, download without delay, and listen for the exclusive ascending sequence, which I believe occurs near the label on Side 2, played by a xylophone in half-steps reaching 25,000 Hz. I forgot in which track.
Stimulus Progression Number Three: Christmas
O, Holy Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O Come, O Come, Emanuel
As with Gladness, Men of Old--It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Hark--The Herald Angels Sing
Joy to the World
O, Come, All Ye Faithful
We Three Kings of Orient
Once in Royal David's City--Watchman, Tell Us of the Night
The First Noel
Angels We Have Heard on High--Good Christian Men, Rejoice!
(Stimulus Progression Number Three: Christmas. Muzak S-2563)
This Audition label LP features eleven of the twelve tracks to be found on this Grand Award label LP, featured at Ernie's: Songs to Sing at Christmas Time. That LP, in turn, was an expansion on a Waldorf Music Hall LP called When Christmas Comes to Our House, also featured at Ernie's. All three labels were owned by Enoch Light, who played the standard cheap-label trick of re-re-repackaging the same material for maximum profits. This is a marketing tactic known as deception.
For this tip, I made more use of the auto-declicking function of my MAGIX program than I usually do, and the results are acceptable. Saved me a lot of time. Which seems fitting, since these are re-runs.
To the Audition Studio Orch. and Chorus: Merry Christmas to All
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
JOLLY OLD ST. NICHOLAS
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!
WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO OUR HOUSE
CHRISTMAS HAS COME AGAIN
Merry Christmas to All--Audition Studio Orch. and Chorus (Audition 5945)