Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Another Christmas With the Blue Ridge Quartet

An excellent offering from the excellent Southern gospel singers, the Blue Ridge Quartet.  I'm sad to discover from the Wikipedia page that the group is no more.  This looks '70s--maybe 1977-ish.  Traditional hymns and carols mixed with four pop titles, one of which--All I Want for Christmas Is You--is obviously not the Mariah Carey song.  I can live without hearing Mariah's recording.  I don't mind looking at the gorgeous Mariah, but listening to her is another issue entirely.

Christmas Island was written by Lyle Moraine and was a 1946 hit for the Andrews Sisters, backed by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians.  Ernest Tubb recorded it in 1950.  Now you know.

Meanwhile, Little Toy Train is better known as Little Toy Trains, and it was written in 1967 by Roger Miller under the title Old Toy Trains.  Every time I hear a Miller song that's new to me, I'm reminded how brilliant that guy was.  Extraordinary wordsmith.

Sound is nice.  It was recorded at Jewel Recording Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactured by Queen City Album, Inc., also in Cincinnati.  I see tons of Queen City Album LPs in the local thrifts.  "This recording will never become obsolete," says the back jacket, a claim that showed up on many a vinyl album cover.  And it's true--so long as you have a turntable and the LP hasn't been tossed around or otherwise rendered unplayable.

My two-word review: great singing.

Click here to hear:  Another Christmas with the Blue Ridge Quartet

The Christmas Story (Recitation)
Oh Little Town of Bethelehem
The First Noel
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
We Three Kings
I'll Be Home for Christmas
All I Want for Christmas Is You
Christmas Island (Inst.)
Little Toy Train
Oh Come All Ye Faithful



Ernie said...

Another Christmas? That sorta implies they had another LP...

If you keep up this pace, I'm going to run out of bandwidth on my MEGA account!

Thanks, Lee!

DonHo57 said...

That looks like the always-entertaining Laverne Tripp in that group shot. And Little Toy Train is always great to hear no matter the artist. Thanks, Lee, for another Christmas music treasure.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


I have a second BRQ Christmas LP--it might be the previous one. I liked this cover better!


I'm pretty sure it is. I hadn't heard of Tripp before. I've listened to this group for years but never knew the personnel. Some southern gospel fan I am! But, seriously, I tend not to know the names of group members.

TONE-DEF said...

I just noticed that the Group is called The Blue Ridge Quartet Yet there are five singers on the cover. Shouldn't it be The Blue Ridge Quintet.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

As far as I know, five-member gospel quartets aren't unusual, though I suspect we're talking the traditional four close-harmony parts with the doubling of one of the voices. There's already a lot of doubling in traditional four-part harmony, whether SATB or all-male. The tonic would be the most commonly doubled note, probably.

Kwork said...

Thanks for this five part quartet who lost the count after four.