This is the third of six different Christmas comps that I'm reviewing this week. These comps were either sent to me by other Christmas collectors / enthusiasts or download available comps that were created by Christmas collectors / enthusiasts.
Two year ago, Brad Ross-MacLeod began a website entitled FaLaLaLaLa.com whose mission statement was "Preserving Memories Of Christmas Past".
He opened forums where other Christmas music collectors could share their knowledge and MP3s to others, to post links to other Christmas download sites, and answering questions about long lost Christmas music.
Brad also dipped into his own vinyl library and offered several classic Christmas albums to download on a weekly basis. He also offered a MP3 a day leading up to Christmas Eve, giving you a custom Christmas CD from the website.
The sense of community that was generated from that first year was quite unprecedented. Hundreds of Christmas music collectors, bloggers, internet radio show hosts, and people who wanted to find long lost Christmas music (and usually found it at the site), all gathered at the site. People who listened to, collected, or appreciated Christmas music year round had found their Valhalla.
More and more people began discovering the site after the site was revamped and reintroduced in July, 2005 - Christmas in July! New people began adding to the forums, offering more album downloads, Christmas music and links, and the sense of community not only survived but continued to flourish right through the Christmas season!
Leading the way was Brad who continued to offer the weekly album downloads and the daily MP3 - his ADVENTure in Carols.
1.) The Glad Singers - Deck The Halls
A snappy way to begin this year's CD... Look for a FULL review of this album here soon.
2.) Pete Fountain - Christmas Is A-Comin'
A bubbly, jazzy classic track from the King of Clarinet!
3.) Herman Apple - La Bonhomme De Neige
One of the most hip versions of "Frosty The Snowman" on the planet.
4.) Billy Beau - Santa's Coffee
A cutesy-wutesy kid song... The tyke wants to leave Santa some Sanka... that's a bad thing?
5.) The Gunter Kallmann Choir - We Wish You A Merry Christmas / Jingle Bells / Where Did My Snowman Go?
The choir's pretty straightforward... the music rises above it and stands out!
6.) The Living Trio (with chimes & bells) - O Christmas Tree / Deck The Halls / We Wish You A Merry Christmas / We Need A Little Christmas
Some people may say this is Muzak... for me, this is Sears at Christmas time circa 1974!
7.) Hal Bradley Orchestra (with Patty Marie Jay) - Space Age Santa Claus
What if Santa joined NASA? A fun, frollicking song that doesn't sound dated at all.
8.) The Mike Sammes Singers - The Twelve Days Of Christmas
The singers sing the gifts: "Eight maids a-milkin'..." The organ does the rest... a great tune!
9.) The Singer Orchestra - Good King Wenceslas
Bet you didn't know the sewing machine had its own orchestra! Not a bad one at that!
10.) The Peter Wood Singers & Orchestra - A Ride On Santa's Sleigh
Not the best song off the album... Look for a FULL review of this album here soon.
11.) "Scrooge" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Christmas Children
I DEMAND this soundtrack be released on CD! One of the best unreleased Christmas scores ever.
12.) Mindy Carson (with Charles Hale & His Orchestra) - I Want A Television Christmas
The title says it all... bet this song didn't get a lot of radio airplay for obvious reasons.
13.) The NORAD Commanders - Here Comes Santa Claus
They play hip Christmas music and can scramble jet fighters... that's NORAD! Brad - Do you own a copy of the classic 1964 NORAD Tracks Santa album? If so, can we talk?
14.) Lawrence Welk & His Champagne Music Makers - Ho Ho Ho
The deep voice of Larry Hooper... the great Welk arrangement... this must be heaven, man!
15.) The Big Ben Banjo Band - Medley: The Twelve Days Of Christmas / Once In Royal David's City / The Holly & The Ivy / O Come All Ye Faithful
It's got a "Beverly Hillbillies" feel to it at first... but they keep their foot on the gas and go, go, go!
16.) George Melachrino & His Orchestra - Fairy On The Christmas Tree
You've heard this one before... you just never knew the title... This is a great tune!
17.) The Fireside Singers - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
By the end of this song, you're shaking your head in disbelief... and you want to hear it again! Bad = Good!
18.) The Caroleers - Who's That Up On The Roof?
A trip down memory lane for many people... I don't get it... Next!
19.) Sy Mann - Tijuana Christmas
Taken from the classic "Hooked On Santa" Moog album of the 1960s. As fresh as the day it was recorded!
20.) The Rhodes Kids - Santa Loves Rock 'N' Roll Music
That was until he heard THIS! Look for a FULL review of this album here soon.
21.) The Golden Orchestra - Little Stowaway On Santa's Sleigh
Here's a cutesy-wutesy kid song that I LOVE! And could that be Thurl Ravenscroft as Santa?
22.) The Peppermint Kandy Kids - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Here's a cutesy-wutesy kid song that I HATE! I just can't get into kiddie Christmas...
23.) Frank De Vol & The Rainbow Strings - Ring Christmas Bells / The First Noel / Jolly St. Nicholas
What Muzak sounded like before Muzak existed.
24.) The Ambassador Chorale & Players - Christmas Rush
This is how everyone feels with about three days until Christmas. A clever song...
25.) Captain Kangaroo (with Mr. Green Jeans) - Crackerjack Christmas
Okay... I can get into this kiddie Christmas! This is an infectious tune with the good ol' Capt along for the ride!
This CD is uniquely special. As you listen to it, you remember the daily (sometimes hourly) visits to the magical website known as FaLaLaLaLa.com to see what new surprises awaited you. It's also special because of the unbelievably fantastic music compiled from over 25 different sources that's contained here in one neat, clean package.
The best special part of this CD is that one person took the time and energy to compile this music in addition to presiding over a kingdom where Christmas music reigns supreme. His vision many years ago manifested itself into something that probably went beyond his wildest dreams and will continue to do so.
All hail the King of Jingaling - Brad Ross-MacLeod!
On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...