Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Regis Philbin - Christmas Album

Some of you are looking at this CD and asking yourself "Why?" Some of you are looking at this CD and thinking "Ooooo, not for a million bucks, final answer!". Some of you are looking at this CD and wondering "Why don't I have that in my collection?"

Whatever you may be thinking or feeling right now (nausea most likely), you have to applaud the one and only Regis Philbin. He is a unique personality who has held down more jobs than Dick Clark can even dream about and holds the Guinness Book World Record for "Most Hours On Camera" - approximately 15,600+ hours and still going!

This isn't Reege's first attempt at an album. Back in 1968, when Regis was the sidekick on "The Joey Bishop Snow", he recorded the immortal "It's Time For Regis!", an album that contains more Vegas cheesiness than allowed by law. I sadly don't own this CD or even the LP - although I do want to get the LP for one reason only. The back cover has a picture of Regis, Joey, and Sammy Davis Jr. all wearing Nehru jackets. Regis and Joey opted for the usual grey while Sammy went for the HOT PINK Nehru jacket. WOW!

Believe it or not, this isn't Regis' first Christmas album either! Back in 1988 (around the time he and Kathie Lee went syndicated), he self released an album entitled "Christmas Time" that was sold only through this special made for TV offer. If anyone has a copy of that, please let me know!

Other albums recorded and released include "Sentimental Journey" (Heartland Records, 1992), a CD called "Dreamship" (Warner Kids, 1996) which is full of lullabies sung by Regis designed to put your kids to sleep (call DCFS!), and "When You're Smiling" (Hollywood Records, 2004) - the CD that has Regis singing the classics!

As for this album, Regis sings his very heart out on every track. On several tracks, he's accompanied by his wife of 36 years and occasional fill-in sidekick Joy, whose voice matches up with Regis' very well. She also makes an appearance inside the album in a snapshot of the Philbin home at Christmas, 1973. To see Regis in a red turtleneck shirt with a full pompadour of his own hair in front of a fully decked Christmas tree is indeed a sight to behold.

However, it's Regis' other guest that's been getting all the attention. Close your eyes and imagine this. Regis is crooning "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", everything sounds fine (no icebergs spotted), and then Regis sings "Then one foggy Christmas eve, the Trumpster came to say..." (ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!)

We then hear a rather dreary Donald Trump (taking on water) recite a litany of bilge that he's famous for. Not to be outdone, Regis then shouts out "supporters" who'll cheer Rudolph on (women and children first). "There's Kelly! there's Gelman! There's the New York Yankees! There's A-Rod! There's Jeter! (S.O.S). It finally end with the Donald getting in the final word: "Rudolph, you're hired. Blitzen, you're fired." (Glug, glug, glug).

It's a truly horrible track. But the infectious Regis' spirit will either captivate you or decapitate you on this CD. I personally enjoyed the album - at least it's better than Kathie Lee's Christmas CD.

And how many versions of the Regis Philbin Christmas Album are out there? At least three that I know of. There's the one pictured above which includes twelve tracks. Then there's this version pictured below, only available at Wal-Mart stores:

This CD contains an exclusive bonus track entitled "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Forever" that can be heard if you visit Hollywood Records' site hawking Regis' albums. Thirteen tracks!

The third version of this album - let that sink in for a moment - is available through Philbin's beloved alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. The exclusive bonus track is "O LIttle Town Of Bethlehem / Silent Night" backed by the Notre Dame Glee Club. I can't bring myself to purchase the third version (two is enough!) although I'd really like to hear the track!

If there are other versions out there (for mercy's sake, make it STOP!), please let me know... I'm going to lie down now.

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...


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