The First Noel
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Rudolph, the Red-Nose (sic) Reindeer
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.