Friday, February 24, 2006

Melton Mistletoe Mix 2005

This is the last 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.

In a previous review, I mentioned that I welcomed hearing other people's Christmas CD compilations - to hear the different styles of music, types of humor presented, and to make new friends in the process.

No other disc that I received this year illustrates this more clearly than this CD I'm about to review.

Jonathan Melton hails from the great state of Alabama. When he's not collecting Christmas music or taking care of his family (all of whom make appearances on the CD), he has been a Police Communications Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Safety for the past 26 years.

Late last year, Jonathan left two messages at 1.) he just finished producing his very own Christmas compilation for family and friends 2.) this message that really, REALLY caught my attention:

"Now I've got to get a turntable so that I can be a contributing editor here in the group! I found a US Air Force Transcription Christmas LP featuring Dorothy Coats & Boris Karloff and a US Treasury Dept Transcription Christmas LP featuring Jack Webb at flea market a couple of weeks ago. Each one was from 1967 and was from an old radio station collection. I'm sure y'all are familiar with government/military transcription recordings."

If it's Christmas related and it's Jack Webb... I tend to go nuts. I own several albums and MP3s that feature Webb doing PSAs for Toys For Tots and the US Navy - even featured a Jack Webb US Postal Service PSA on my annual Christmas compilation last year!

I wrote to Jonathan, introduced myself, offered to swap Christmas compilations, and inquire about the Jack Webb album. He wrote back, was very gracious, accepted the swap of the comps, and was taking the time to learn the fine art of transferring albums to digital files on his computer.


1.) Gene Autry - Round Round The Christmas Tree
A great tune to start the compilation off with!

2.) RadioJonD - Welcome
Jonathan welcomes you to this year's version of the 2005 Melton Mistletoe Mix.

3.) They Might Be Giants - Santa Claus
One of my favorite bands... at this point, I can tell this comp's going to be different!

4.) Michael Franks - I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree
HEY! Great title! A smoooth jazz tune as well... from They Might Be Giants to this... me likes!

5.) A Finishing School For Santa's - Part 1
Taken from a 1982 UK flexi that featured ABBA, The Police, Erasure, etc. Read more here.

6.) Emmylou Harris - Christmas Time's A-Comin'
One of the best covers of the late great bluegrass giant Bill Graham.

7.) RadioJonD - Set Break
Jonathan tells you what you heard, the source and year it's from, and what label it's on.... thorough!

8.) Darius Rucker - Sad At Christmas Time This Year
I never knew this song existed until I heard it here first! Nice song...

9.) Byron G. Harlan - Come And Spend Christmas With Me
A classic tearjerker song from the olden golden days of Edison cylinders and 78s.

10.) DJ Gary Owens reads a commercial
GREAT JUMPING ICEBERGS! This well-circulated Internet snippet had made the rounds... but Jonathan plays the ENTIRE commercial that goes on another 20 sec or so... Gary just dies... OUTSTANDING STUFF!

11.) Arlo Guthrie - The Pause Of Mr. Claus
I thought this song was an urban legend... but here it is! Seems Mr. Claus likes the OTHER pause that refreshes!

12.) Donnie Burns - Cool Yule
Any Christmas song that starts with the Peter Gunn riff is okay in my book! A killer tune!

13.) RadioJonD - Set Break
Scribbling down info as fast as I can...

14.) Etta James - Winter Wonderland
A fantastic version from a very underrated Christmas album.

15.) A Finishing School For Santa's - Part 2
See number five above. "Would you like a teddy bear, little girl? I'd prefer black Levi's"

16.) Little Isadore & The Inquisitors - Christmas Of Love
A fun little tune that really deserves more exposure than "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and more radio airplay at Christmas!

17.) Jimmy Buffett - Jingle Bells
Believe it or not, I'm not a big Buffett fan... so I really enjoyed Jonathan's son's intro to this song (and the Little Richard "tutti-frutti" Christmas greeting)!

18.) RadioJonD - Set Break
"Got your shopping done yet? Tree up? Halls decked?" Jonathan's just asking...

19.) The Kids Of Widney High - Santa's In A Wheelchair
This is not as obnoxious as "Ding - Fries Are Done!"... from the Kevin & Bean crew in Los Angeles!

20.) Lost Dogs - The Chipmunk Song
A bizarre cover of the famous song... by a Christian band nonetheless! Look for this song on my annual comp later this year!

21.) A Finishing School For Santa's - Part 3
Does anyone remember the furor over black Levi's back in the 1980s?

22.) Angela Strehli - Sweet Little Baby Boy
Here's another wonderful find that Jonathan brings to the table! A great jazz tune...

23.) RadioJonD & Shaunmeister - Set Break
Not your typical set break. Jonathan's son Shaun raids the studio to play the next two songs...

24.) The Blue Hawaiians - Mele Kalikimaka
I owe around 10 Hawaiian Christmas CDs (including this one). For me, this hits home! Great choice Shaun!

25.) Bing Crosby - White Christmas
My all-time favorite version of this song... and quite possibly, my favorite Christmas song period.

26.) The Flashcats - December 25
WOW! Another version of Perez Prado's "Mambo #5" - recorded before Lou Bega got ahold of it and went to town!

27.) RadioJonD - Set Break and Closeout
Jonathan says his goodbyes as "The Inexcelsis Polka" by the Continentals plays underneath!

28.) Allen Toussaint - Silent Night
Like me, Jonathan closes his CD out with "Silent Night"... and a nice version at that!

29.) Hidden bonus track
"Shaunmeister? I gotta do Shaunmeister?" laments Shaun... R.E.M.'s "Christmas Griping" puts the exclamation point on this CD!

I'm not sure how many years Jonathan's been doing the Mistletoe Mix... but he has the polish of a seasoned veteran, a great Southern accent (y'all), and a great ear for unbelievably good Christmas music. I know there's about six or seven tracks of of this CD alone that I will probably pluck at some point for my own Christmas compilation...

That sounds like stealing... maybe it is... but that's the beauty of trading Christmas compilations. You hear other's tastes in music, you get songs that you may or may not already own. But what better way to share the Christmas spirit? If one of Jonathan's songs made me sit up and say "That's a great song" or made me laugh (as you can tell from this review), why not spread that feeling with others at Christmas?

If you'd like to share your opinion on this or add a comment, please feel free to do so.

Jonathan, thanks for the fantastic Christmas compilation and I really can't wait to see what other surprises your wonderful family and yourself wi'll have this Christmas. Now about that Jack Webb...

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


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