Sunday, November 28, 2021

White Christmas: An Easy Listening Collection of 14 Christmas Favorites (Silver Bell Music; 1985)


This is an atypical budget Xmas effort, in that the audio quality is excellent.  Meanwhile, it's a typical budget Xmas effort in that the artist credits are nearly nonexistent, plus the label and jacket titles don't gel.  But details, schmetails.  We're in budget country.

Who are "The Holiday Singers"?  Dunno, but some of the tracks are instrumentals, so this credit is slightly misleading.  All I can say for sure about the Singers is that they are home to one of the worst Elvis imitators in the biz--I refer to the second track, Side One (I'll Be Home for Christmas).  But for connoisseurs of bad Elvis impressions, this selection is a must-hear and must-have.  And I know there must be some of you out there.  Admit it--you've been waiting with hungry impatience for such a track.

Nothing on this LP places it in the realm of weirdness (bad Elvis impressions aside), except for the fractured polyphony on Deck the Halls, a track which starts out with beautiful counterpoint but which ends up in a hiccup-style tangle of voices.  (Hiccup-style tangle of voices?)  This will hopefully make sense when you hear it.  I don't know what happened with, to, or in that arrangement, or if alcohol played a part, or what.  Most of the numbers are of a pristine type, though, and while there are no surprises in the playlist, these recordings have a fresh, new sound--even if they're from 1985.  I guess it's all relative.  That is to say, these sound fresh and new compared to my usual Xmas fare.

Oh, and courtesy of Discogs, here's the label for the cassette edition of Winter Wonderland.  Of interest, besides the altered color scheme, is the absence of Santa.  Maybe his contract only allowed for an appearance on the LP edition.


DOWNLOAD: White Christmas--The Holiday Singers (Silver Bell Music SB-3; 1985)

White Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas
We Three Kings
O Come All Ye Faithful
Away in a Manger
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
What Child Is This
O Holy Night
Deck the Halls
Angels We Have Heard on High
Twelve Days of Christmas
Silent Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Winter Wonderland

White Christmas--An Easy Listening Collection of 14 Christmas Favorites (Silver Bell Music SB-3; 1985)



Bryan said...

Hey Lee,
I am not sure about cassettes, but were they cheaper than buying an album? If so, then Santa does appear for you cheap buyers. On the other hand, if a cassette was more expensive, then we give you the extra bonus of Santa. We need to sell these albums, NOW.

Bryan said...

Hey Lee,
Very interesting album. Was it sold in some kind of department store or just your local chain store, gas station, or a type similar store?
Overall it really is nice to have in your collection for repeated listening. I noticed the last track "Winter Wonderland" has a different feel to it. For those who were falling asleep, it is a wake-up song.
Plus the album clocks in at 41:23 minutes and seconds. I love when you can make numbers into some kind of grouping.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


I seem to recall that cassettes were cheaper, but I'm not sure. It's been so long since prerecorded cassettes were a thing. I'm guessing Santa had been added to a stock image and that maybe they just forgot to include him for the cassette art. Cassette art was much smaller and hence less noticeable, of course. And I'm guessing this would have been sold in so-called discount houses like W.T. Grant. In fact, on the (opened) shrink wrap there was a Meijer price sticker, so that would confirm the discount house theory. (Meijer's quality has slipped tragically from what it used to be.)

Bryan said...

Hey Lee,
Honestly, where is the quality control in anything? That is why you need more than one set of eyes looking over your work. I learned this in art school.
It seems the LP jacket was put together by Silver Bell Music. The album itself was put out by Silver Bells Music. The Cassette package was put out by Silver Bells Music. I can only imagine how the Cassette was labeled? Maybe, just maybe, the bell on the packaging could be Silver? However, the bells are Red on the album label. I guess Red is the new Silver? I would also think that Silver Bell/Bells Music is a name of a company/product. Interesting indeed.

Diane said...

I have NEVER seen this one before. And you know what a Christmas music maven I am. Also, sad to say, I agree with you on Meijer's. However, if you suddenly find yourself needing to buy a flat-screen TV, plus 4 car tires, plus a case of Diet Coke and Velveeta, plus tacky holiday sweatshirts for the entire family -- all at 3 in the morning -- they are still THE go-to store.

Ernie said...

To paraphrase Ray Stevens... "Where's Santa? He's on a stakeout at your house!"

George Glass said...

I don't mind being singled out but I actually enjoyed "Deck the Halls," hiccups and all. It was veritable unique, that's for sure. Thank you!

Unknown said...

RobGems68 Wrote:
Bad imitation of Elvis is spot on with this impersonator. Even Jimmy Ellis (AKA Orion) did a better impersonation of Elvis than this unidentified singer.