Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tom & Ann and the Family--A Discount Disc Christmas!

Click here to experience: Christmas Family Album

No, I don't want to create a Christmas "blook"!  Oh, sorry--just talking back to my email.

So, let's face it--Christmas without Tom & Ann and the Family just isn't Christmas.  This should go without saying.  Nor do we need to note that Discount Disc was a Pickwick label, because they put "Pickwick International, Inc." right under "Discount Disc" up topside, just so we'd know that.

Naturally, we expect chintziness in the extreme from a Pickwick Christmas EP, and that's exactly what we get here.  Pickwick always came through.  Pickwick was... Pickwick.

By the way, on some LPs (I'm thinking International Award) Pickwick gave its company name as K and M, or something like that (KM, maybe).  I'll have to look at some labels to verify.  The internet isn't helping.

Pickwick put out a lot of kiddie stuff, so I'm guessing this EP consists of tracks they had lying around.  Unless, that is, there really was a Tom & Ann And The Family, hired specially for this gig.  In all probability, though, these tracks are from two different sources.  Who knows?  (What do you mean, who cares?)

White Christmas is rendered here as Painfully Flat Christmas, and the Family(?)'s version of The (Little) Drummer Boy has me wondering if the leads were instructed to sing as off-key as possible, since the kids sound just fine on the two following tracks.   Love the organ.

And Ann, while she has a nice voice, gives us a pretty drab Away in a Manger, with the bland accompaniment maybe to blame.

This six-track EP format can be found on other cheapie labels of the time, including Tops, Song Hits/Hit Parader, and Gilmar, and I've often wondered if Pickwick was the main force behind many of the sound-alikes of the 1960s--even the ones put out by Synthetic Plastics Co.  Were they providing masters for their own, and other, labels?  Were they pressing stuff for other outfits?  These questions cry out to be answered.

I don't know what "Set K" is all about, unless there were more Christmas Family Album EPs.  Good grief--an A-K of these?



Kwork said...

I love your commentary. It made me smile. Thanks for the music, good and bad.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Sure! And I'm actually starting to like the first side--off-key "Drummer Boy" and all. Maybe "excessively tacky" should replace "awful" in my review....