Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Merry Christmas from Line Material, 1956-1962
Here's info on Line Material, if you want to read about the company. I'm sure there's more material (no pun intended) out there regarding LM, but for our purposes, what matters are the marvelous Christmas sides they produced as giveaways for their employees, starting in 1957 and ending in 1962. I have a LM 78 rpm giveway from 1949, but it's not especially good, and my copy sounds terrible--so it's not included here. As far as I know, their next holiday freebie disc (included with their yearly booklet) was 1956's The Magic of Christmas, which isn't all that bad, and which ends this playlist. I didn't want to place it first, since it hardly compares to the 1957-1962 efforts, which were arranged by London-born John McCarthy (1919-2009), best known for his Ambrosian Singers Christmas sides. I wonder if the superbly professional singers on these 45s are those same folks. From 1961 to 1966, the Ambrosian Singers were known as the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and it's possible their services exceeded the holiday give-away record budget of LM at this point, since the last McCarthy LM side is the 1962 Let's Trim the Christmas Tree. It could have been recorded the year before. It's interesting that the Singers' increased status corresponds with the end of McCarthy's services to LM. I feel bad for all the kids who, after six years of enjoying Christmas giveaway sides of a major-label quality, had to go without. That must have been a bummer.
These are new rips. I had been reposting my c. 2007 rips, but these should be an improvement, as I used my 1.0 mil mono stylus and VinylStudio declicking. I've also acquired clean copies of every side but the 1962 title, which isn't all that nicked up--just moderately. Nearly all its surface noise is no more.
If you haven't heard these before, you'll very possibly be surprised by the stunningly good quality of performance and production. I consider it highly improbable that any other company's holiday sides came anyplace near these. Oh, and, "Merry Christmas... from Line Material. Merry Christmas... from Line Material. (Repeat till fade)."
Click here to hear: Line Material Christmas Singles, 1956-1962
Santa's North Pole Band, 1957
The Sounds of Christmas, 1958
The Kinds of Christmas, 1959
Santa's Factoree, 1960
The Day That Santa Was Sick, 1961
Let's Trim the Christmas Tree, 1962
The Magic of Christmas, 1956