Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Songs of Christmas by the Macy Singers (Benida A-1021; 1955)

Click here to hear: Songs of Christmas--Macy Singers

The First Noel
Silent Night
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Adeste Fideles
Rudolph, the Red-Nose (sic) Reindeer
White Christmas
Jingle Bells
Reprise--White Christmas

The Macy Singers
Directed by Dick Rogers, Conducted and Arranged by Jimmy Leyden
(Benida A-1021; 1955)

You'll be a regular Macy's customer after hearing these singers.  I got this 10" LP for a buck (!) on eBay.  It was "Buy It Now," and I bought it now.  Got here very quickly, and for G/VG condition vinyl, it yielded a very good file.  After I removed most of the clicks, anyway.

The mono sound is tremendous, though I decided to tweak the upper end a bit on VinylStudio.  One look at the track titles, and I figured this would be a fairly dull listen, but it's mostly delightful.  Dick (Harlem Nocturne, et al.) Rodgers is the director, and I was surprised by his considerable arranging skills--and then I noticed the Jimmy Leyden (Bell, Decca, RCA) credit on the back jacket.  It was Jimmy, all along.  That explained it.

"This is the first industrial choral group to be signed to a major company for international distribution," note the  notes.  (Not sure about the "major company" part.)  Interesting.  And the group itself?  A spirited, beautifully rehearsed semi-professional outfit which produces some fine sounds, along with some painful ones (esp. on Silent Night).  They won't make you forget Robert Shaw on the arty numbers or Lawrence Welk on the poppy tracks, but they're several cuts above the norm for this kind of group.

The notes call The Macy Singers the "new Miracle on 34th Street"--very clever.



Ernie said...

That is a beautiful cover! I would buy this in a heartbeat if I happened across it. And it really is Macy as in Macy's department store? Even better. Wish I could hear it, Box has been fighting me for two days now, not letting me DL anything. I'm sure it will be fixed eventually... Thanks for putting this out there, you've found so much stuff this year that I've never seen or heard before!

Ernie said...

Benida evolved into Roulette? Huh!

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Hi, Ernie. Sorry to hear you're having Box issues--I checked, and downloads are happening, so it doesn't seem to be a site glitch. Then again, why is it fighting you? Cyberspace is a weird place....

Let me know if the Box problems continue.

Yeah, the cover is classic. I couldn't believe this was siting at a buck. The disc had issues, but nothing major. I just added a sentence at the start to confirm this is Macy as in Macy's, which I should've done to start with!

Re Roulette--I did some Googling, and it seems it was another Roulette, not the major one. http://www.uncamarvy.com/SugarTones/sugartones.html None of the Roulette write-ups mention Benida, including Wikipedia's.

Someone could do a history on "false" record labels. Same name, different people. Seems to have happened fairly often.

Ernie said...

Hmmm, I guess it is a different Roulette. I read an article in Billboard that mentioned your record and the new label, didn't research it deeply enough, I suppose. Pegged this one as 1954, though, but maybe that's wrong, too. Neat story about the operators at Macy's answering the phone asking if the caller had the LP yet. I guess it didn't work because no one has heard of this record. :)

I figured maybe your Box DL's were all used up. I haven't been able to download the last two shares, I click on the links at box.net and nothing happens. Maybe it'll clear up, I can wait.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Lee, and Happy New Year.

Thanks for all your postings through the year.

I'm looking at the picture of the Macy's staff to see if I recognize any of them. I was in 8th grade in New York when this record came out and my family shopped there a lot, so I may have known some of them, especially if any of them worked in the music department. (Other oldsters like me may recall that Macy's had a large department with a wide variety of sheet music and books of sheet music. There was also a baby grand piano with a live player who would run through sheet music you were interested in. Great memories.

Incidentally, Box seems to be playing Scrooge and refusing to le me download anything, even files I had already downloaded. Ah, well.

Again, best wishes.
Philip in Canada

Signore Glorioso said...

Box isn't working for me either. just an fyi.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Curses. My "Account Information" shows that all 75 GB of my bandwidth is used up. That explains it.

I'm contemplating my next move. (Florida, maybe--it's much warmer.) But, seriously, any suggestions?

Ernie said...

Come on down to Florida, you'll fit right in. I can show you all the best junque shops.

I like Zippyshare, but stuff expires after 30 days of no activity, which is not ideal. But I've served out over a terabyte of downloads so far this season and no worries or cost. Your mileage may vary...

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Zippyshare it is! Thanks, Ernie. I'll migrate stuff then put up a post about it.

Thanks, everyone, for alerting me to the Box-out. I must note that I've gotten great, reliable service from Box, and for free. Some time ago, the owner gave me a paid account for nothing, and I can hardly complain.


Awesome memories! Did you spot anyone you remember?

And now to migrate the files....

Ernie said...

Thanks, Lee! Sorry about all the trouble. It's always something...