Monday, December 24, 2018
Christmas Music for the Winter Season, or An Hour of Christmas Orchestral Music (Halo 51500, 1956)
Half an LP for this rip--I stuck with the B side only on this disc, because that's where all the good tracks are. You're not missing much. Side 2 is where all the action is.
The last time I put this up was six or seven years ago, and I used my other, lesser-condition copy. This one is a solid VG+. Notice the arrow drawn on the B-side label by whoever owned this back in the day. It indicates that Jingle Bells is both the first and last track, and that is indeed the case. Luckily, they're different versions. And March of the Toys occurs twice in different versions, too. Halo thought they could fool us with March of Toys--leaving out the "the." Quite ingenious, but I'm afraid it didn't work. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me. 8:30 am at the latest.
This copy has the Record Corporation of America (Eil Oberstein) name and partial address on the back--and, oddly enough, it shows a year of 1957, whereas discogs says 1956. Not a big deal. I already put 1956 on the files, and I trust that discog knows what it's doing. Or the member who posted the info. This LP either preceded my appearance on the planet by one year, or it saw life the same year I did. (Sputnik, Jailhouse Rock, Leave It to Beaver!)
This copy says "Halo" on both the cover and label, and while that doesn't make up for the botched track listing or the conflict between jacket title and label title (Christmas Music for the Winter Season vs. An Hour of Christmas Orchestral Music), it shows that Olbertsein's labels could get something right. My other copy is a mess, attribution-wise, its cover showing "Ultraphonic" in the upper left-hand corner, but "Golden Tone" at the bottom and on the back. What does the label say? "Rondo-lette," what else?. I don't have time check to bsnpubs.com, so I'll just assume Tops owned this material by time it came out on Golden Tone (Golden Tone and Tops being related). And I lied--I did have time to check. Took me a couple minutes. Tops was owned by Precision Radiation Instruments (PRI), Incorporated, and Golden Tone was one of PRI's sublabels. In the early 1960s, Golden Tone acquired some Record Corp. of America material, apparently including this LP. Isn't it all clear as crystal now?
The "Royale Concert Orch." credit suggests there was a Royale label version of this at some time, and in fact at least four of these tracks came out on Royale under the title Christmas Orchestral Music. There's obviously one long confused and confusing history behind this. Oh, and there's nothing close to one hour of music here. And think of the time I could have saved by not worrying about any of this.
I could have shortened this essay to "Side B has cool stuff." But, nooooo.
Ultraphonic, Halo, Royale, Rondo-lette, and Golden Tone tracks are waiting for your ears:
CLICK HERE TO HEAR: A (Not) Hour of Christmas Orchestral Music ( Halo 51500, in this case)
March of the Toys
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
March of Toys
An Hour of Christmas Orchestral Music--Royale Concert Orch., or whatever this really is (Halo 51500; 1956 or 1957), Side B only