Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Have a Hawthorne House and Everlast Products Christmas!

Last year, I shared these two Hawthorne House Record Cards--greeting cards with thin wafer-type records which, to be restored, have to be removed from their paper backing and affixed to a solid surface. As in, to another record.  Click links to hear:

 Jingle Bells--Hawthorne House, 1948
 Joy to the World--Hawthorne House

This year, I have two Christmas postcard records made by Everlast Products, Inc., of NewYork, NY, and the challenge here was flattening the cards so the grooves could be tracked.   To accomplish this, I taped the (rather large) postcards to a couple of unwanted 78s.  Click links to hear:

 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town--Everlast Products, Inc.

 Jingle Bells--Everlast Products, Inc.

Here's what the Everlast postcards looked like, front and back, prior to processing:

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town--Artists unidentifed

Jingle Bells--Artists unidentified



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas songs in Chinese!

Another ten-incher, here.  There are familiar Christmas numbers sung in Chinese--at least, I'm almost sure this is Chinese (so said the ad).  I bought this for the novelty value, but these turn out to be gorgeous renditions in an almost completely Western style (which is kind of a novelty, really--the "Western style" part).  Beautifully recorded, too, and with quite cool cover art.  A winner.

For some reason, Joy to the World is titled Glory For a Child Is Born, and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear goes under, of all names, Christmas Card.  Kind of adds to the charm of the whole thing.  I thoroughly love this album.

Click here to hear:  Christmas Songs

Jingle Bells
Holy Night (Silent Night)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!
Glory For a Child Is Born (Joy to the World)
The First Noel
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Christmas Card (It Came Upon the Midnight Clear)
Christmas Tree (O Christmas Tree)

Tower TWK-6 (10-in., 33 1/3)


Friday, November 24, 2017

Songs of Christmas by the Macy Singers!

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 last year.  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.


Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites (Yulesong SY-0222)

We kick off the 2017 Christmas posting with the ultra-cheap classic, Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites.

And what list of Christmas favorites would be complete without "Hickory Dickory Dock," "Farmer in the Dell," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "London Bridge," "Me and Teddy Bear," or "The Bible Tells Me So"?  Oh, and they also have filler like "White Christmas," "Silent Night," and "Toy Soldier," the latter sounding a lot like Leon Jessel's 1897 Die Parade der Zinnsoldaten (Parade of the Toy Soldiers).  Uncannily so, in fact.  Hm.  Maybe Yulesong was saving on ink when it typed out "Toy Soldier."

This disc was, quote-unquote,"Mfd. by Cadet Records, Inc.," but we cheap-label experts know that we're not talking the Chess/Argo family of labels, but rather the infamous Crown/Kent/United/Robin Hood/Custom, etc. brood.  What I can't believe is that Yulesong didn't have enough actual holiday cuts on hand to fulfill the LP's "20 Favorites" promise, given all the Crown Christmas material they had in the vaults, but then they didn't specify which kind of "favorites," now, did they?

The sound is acceptable, for the most part, and there's some real stereo to be heard on a few selections, making the label's "stereo" promise not a complete lie.

In the best cheap-label tradition, the title line-up on the jacket has zilch to do with the actual one.  I cloned out the masking tape on my jacket scan, but now I'm thinking I should've kept it there for maximum el-cheapo effect.

Click here to hear: Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites

White Christmas
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Toy Soldier
The Night Before Christmas
Happy Birthday to You
The Bible Tells Me So
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Alphabet Story & Song
Farmer in the Dell
Hickory Dickory Dock
Little Drummer Boy 
Down By the Station
Me and Teddy Bear
The First Noel
Three Blind Mice
Jack and Jill
Silent Night
London Bridge
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Jingle Bells


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day!

Thanks to all who served, including those who served with me!