Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Welcome!

Hello everyone! If you're reading this, you either share my interest, my passion, or my obsession with Christmas music... maybe all three!

I've been an avid Christmas music collector since 1985. I began creating Christmas tapes using Christmas music taped off the radio and my family's Christmas LP collections. Having grown up in a house where any music released after the breakup of the Beatles was forbidden, my musical selections were limited. As time progressed, I began collecting more music off the radio from NPR, old time radio shows (lots of great samples from those), and other Christmas LPs.

My family (being five steps behind in every technological aspect of everyday life) purchased its first CD player in 1989 and everything changed. My first Christmas CD was "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio; a CD that has been played in my boombox once every Christmas since.

My CD collecting took off slowly since I was attending Columbia College in Chicago; a film school where I kept busy balancing a college workload and working on / acting in / directing dozens of student films. My main focus wasn't Christmas around this time but I still created Christmas tapes and even shared a few with my college classmates. As my college career came to an abrupt end in 1992 (no money or student loans left), I turned to Christmas music again and wondered what the future would bring.

CD Exchange, a used CD store chain, decided to move into the Chicago market and open stores. I obtained a job as a store manager, was promoted to district manager shortly after, and oversaw three stores in the Chicago area. My collection of Christmas music went from around six to nearly 150 in two years. Being exposed to such diverse titles caused in time a shift in my Christmas musical tastes. I was happy to get a Peggy Lee or Frank Sinatra Christmas CD... but when Ren & Stimpy's Christmas CD came in or when I found a Shonen Knife import Christmas single, I was beside myself!

All these musical changes were reflected on my annual Christmas tapes. Around 1992, I began to plan out the playlist more carefully, adding new songs from newly acquired CDs, finding sound bytes from Christmas movies and TV shows as breaks, mixing them into one compilation cassette, and shared with family and friends. The responses ranged from "GREAT STUFF" to "I don't get it...". I had found my calling! Since then, I've sent out around 1500 Christmas tapes / now CDs total to family and friends. The responses still range the same!

In 1997, I began utilizing the Internet to find new sources to add to my Christmas CD collection: eBay, Napster (I legally download now), Amazon.com, Mistletunes, Christmas Reviews, Randy's Rodeo, Jeffco Productions, the Yahoo group Christmas Movies & Music, BasicHip, April Winchell, FaLaLaLaLa.com, and other online Christmas music collectors & traders.

As of this post, I own over 600 Christmas CDs with about 60 albums to add to my collection. With this first post, I hope to chronicle my additions to my collection, share my opinions on the music, and point the way to where I got my Christmas CDs.

I welcome your feedback and contributions.
Thanks for reading this far...


Capt

11 comments:

jeffco said...

Woo hoo! It's about time you shared your vast knowledge of Christmas music with the world. You are an encyclopedia of good and bad Christmas music, far greater than anyone I know or even know of. I look forward to reading about your finds and the finer gems from your collection!

Ernie said...

Good luck, Cap'n! (I'm still trying to get out your Christmas CD from last year...)

mortickles said...

Dear Capt,

I am trying to track down a specific song you mentioned in your post regarding the Sleigh Full of Joy: Sharity Rarities 2006 post last April. You mentioned that Lee at MY(P)WHAE offered the song "Nuttin' for Christmas" by Bobby Stewart (This is the flip side of the song Sing a Kris Kringle Jingle offered on that CD). I checked his site, but sadly the file is long gone (he posted it last Dec.) Do you by any chance have this file, or do you know where I might find it? My sisters and I had this old record, and this song was our absolute holiday favorite. Unfortunately, our vinyl is warped beyond all hope. I would appreciate your help.

The Tone King said...

Hey, Captain! I just stumbled on your blog today and I can't believe this is the first time I've seen it! Good work!

I host my own Christmas music blog if you haven't seen it...please check it out.

http://christmasyuleblog.blogspot.com/

I read your news paper article and it was interesting. I've been collecting Christmas music for only about 4 or 5 years now...so I have some catching up to do!

Hopefully you will find new stuff on my blog you didn't have before! I am finding that there is A LOT of cool Christmas music online only, and I have been working hard to compile as much as I can. Please check out my first annual My Space Holiday Collection!

If you'd like to contact me, my email address can be found on my blog in my profile...that's probably the best way to contact me. I am really awful about snail mail. Let me know what you think!

And I added your blog to my links!

CaptainOT said...

Mortickles - Ask Lee at MY(P)WHAE if you haven't already. He's a good guy and if you ask nicely, who knows?

Tone King - Welcome to the neighborhood and I wish you success on your Christmas blog (never can have too many of them)!


Capt

Teapot said...

Ahoy, Cap'n! Permission to come aboard? I have my own, much smaller Christmas music collection, focused mostly around blues, rock, country, traditional, and some that just sounded interesting. I started about six years ago, just to try to get away from "the same old stuff." I was wondering if you had ever heard of Mitch Mirthman - I have trusted his reviews on Amazon many times, and not been disappointed yet. I have a link to his profile on my newly-created blog. Now that I have found your page, I promise to come back often for inspiration!

DJ said...

Hey Captain. I found you searching for Christmas clips to share with friends and family. I must say I never previously realized what history and kitsch there is behind the only style of music I am aware of that comes out to extreme popularity once a year, and disappears throughout the rest. Very interesting, and thanks for sharing your hobby with the rest of us. In that spirit, I think you may enjoy my collection of videos that show an impressive collaboration between music and lights.

http://www.redux.com/playlist/the_best_christmas_lights_ever

I'm sure you've seen a few of these already, though probably not all. Hope you like it, and feel free to share it if you do.

Happy (Approaching) Holidays...DJ

Randy said...

Captain - hope your holiday is developing well! Your blog is linked to my website, www.randysrodeo.com, which has a large Christmas section. Well, it got too big, and I opened a branch office at www.hipchristmas.com.

As part of my links page, I've reviewed and linked to your blog.

Would you mind updating your link to the new website? I think your visitors will enjoy my new site almost as much as they enjoy your blog... Thanks ever so much, and have a happy Christmas, Hanukkah, and/or Kwanzaa!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to track down a specific album (vinyl days)!! The album which was christmas carols sung by cantonese/chinese orphans children's choir. I think the title was "We wish you a Merry Christmas!" on the cover were face shots of happy smiling chinese childrens faces on the album. They sang the carols in English and it was so sweet. I so long to hear this again.
I will keep checking this blog/forum again. Happy Christmas to you all!

Edgar Perca Gonzales said...

That is hard to find a place like this in Spanish, good to meet my dear friend I'm a fan of Christmas music, I thank you and I encourage you to continue this work which will make happy my whole family.
I send you fraternal greetings too all my family.

Well Looks Like I Won't Be Wearing Any Pants Today said...

Greetings fellow Christmas and Holiday Audiophile! I finally found someone that LOVES this genre of music as much as I do! LOL I have also scoured everywhere I can find to locate and procure Christmas music on vinyl and cassette and later CD's. Sadly, I had to sell all but a few of my treasured CD's and Vinyls (the cassettes were destroyed in fire about 10 years ago unfortunately but on the bright side I was able to keep a catalog of almost all of those!) to my own local CD Warehouse and CD Outpost who were glad to procure my collection! And being the Audiophile that I am I decided to start looking for and downloading (legally and ummm yeah) all but a few that I had before the fire and the economy killed my music collection. If you need a have a VAST collection of Christmas music (upwards of 60 gigs) on my computer so please feel free to ask and I shall try to oblige! my email is jgkidder74@aol.com so if you'd like a list I can send what I currently have!