Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Singing Strings Herald Christmas--The Stradivarius String Society and the Cologne Symphony Orch. c. by Fritz Munch

This was only a buck from the Discogs Marketplace.  And I'm now seeing one possible reason I got it so cheap--it has the kind of jacket you can't get the record back into.  I hate that.  Anyway, I learned of this LP from Ronald Sauer when he left a note at my Jeri Mann Singers post.  The "Jeri Mann Singers" were totally made up, as I had suspected.  Here's Ron's wonderful comment:

These songs were on albums issued by Parade, Spin-o-rama, Custom, Yuletide, and other budget labels. I first heard them in the late fifties or early sixties on "Al Goodman and his Orchestra play a Christmas Symphony" on Parade Records.  In addition, those same songs were credited on other records to George Jenkins, the Sound of 1000 Strings, and others.  I finally tracked them back to what I believe is the original source: The Stradivarius String Society and the Cologne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fritz Munch "Singing Strings Herald Christmas" on Lester Records L1002. It was one of my favorites as a youth. It only took me about 50 years of searching for the source.


So, I rushed to Discogs, where this LP is listed, but with exactly no information on the Lester label.  Could Lester have been a one-off sublabel?  No year is kown, either.  The categories picked by somebody for Singing Strings Herald Christmas are Classical, Folk, World, and... Country??  "World" is an inane category whenever and wherever it's used, and "Folk" is halfway justified, since there are carols in this set, though most of these are hymns with known authorship.  But Country??  Fritz Much and the Cologne Symphony Orch. conducting country songs?

Anyway, a buck from the Discogs Marketplace (I mean, to them).  Given that the six Sutton label "Jeri Mann" tracks from this LP are in true stereo, I wonder if the Lester label also issued a stereo version of Singing Strings Herald Christmas?  Nice cover, though the shortened song titles on back leave no doubt this is a budget affair, despite the lovely music and nice sound.  "We 3 Kings"?  Please.

Great detective work by Ron.  I greatly appreciate his sharing his findings, and for turning me on to this LP.

TO THE SOUNDSSinging Strings Herald Christmas (Lester L1002)

Silent Night
Come All Ye Faithful
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
White Christmas
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Little Town of Bethlehem
Deck the Halls
Joy to the World
First Noel
Good King Wenceslaus
O Holy Night
We 3 Kings

Singing Strings Herald Christmas, feat. the Stradivarius String Society and the Cologne Symphony Orchestra c. by Fritz Munch (Lester L1002)



Ernie said...

Why do we think this is the source of the other releases? Without dates, it's hard to say what came first. They could have all come out at the same time, targeted at different markets. I'd just like to see a little documentation, that's all. :)

Buster said...

Are we sure this is the original? Fritz Munch was a real person, but so was Al Goodman. And the Cologne Symphony and Stradivarius Strings sound like they might be made-up names. There was/is a Gurzenich Orchestra of Cologne, but not so sure about a Cologne Symphony.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I'm wondering the same things, especially with no year on the LP. And with Al Goodman being a real person. I guess I'm trusting in Ron's detective work.

It would help if we knew the year that he owned this LP. I'm taking his word on things.

Ernie said...

Ha! Great minds and all. :)

Kwork said...

Thank you.