The album you see before you is the second sampler that Ernie offered at his blog Ernie (Not Bert) during the 2005 Christmas download season.
Coral Records was a subsidary of the mighty Decca Records. Back in their heyday, Coral released many jazz and swing band singles, then R&B singles, and made the transition to rock-n-roll by signing a young kid out of Lubbock, TX by the name of Buddy Holly.
According to the liner notes of this extended play 45:
"Here is a genuine novelty - a novelty which will be a standard for many years to come. Here are eight new Christmas songs sung by new (or comparatively new) artists who, like the songs, are definitely here to stay. All of the songs have a unifying theme - the perennial spirit of Yuletide - and all of them are new this year. They are true "firsts" in every sense: new titles, new words, new music, and interpretations which, while new, will never grow old."
Using this info, I've estimated that this sampler was released at Christmas time, 1952.
Here's a track-by-track review:
1.) The Ames Brothers - Sing A Song Of Santa Claus
A fun, rollicking song sung perfectly by the Ames boys... This song doesn't sound old to me...
2.) The Ames Brothers - Winter's Here Again
Another jingley, jangley song that's sometimes reminiscent of the Mills Brothers... Great stuff!
3.) Don Cornell - Let's Have An Old Fashioned Christmas
This guy's belting it out even in the soft tender moments... a little scary!
4.) Don Cornell - I've Got The Christmas Spirit
He sure does! This one's bold, brassy, and loud... Cornell's singing is perfectly matched here!
5.) Eileen Barton - The Little Match Girl
The classic tearjerker based on Hans Christian Anderson's famous tale... yawnnnnn.
6.) Eileen Barton - The Night Before Christmas Song
A very nice version of this song... whatever happened to Eileen Barton?
7.) Johnny Desmond - (You Can Just Feel) Christmas In The Air
Ooohh sooo smoooooth! Everything is perfect in this song: the vocals, the strings, the arrangement!
8.) Johnny Desmond - Christmas Is A Time (That Will Never Change)
I deem this the perfect slow dancing Christmas song - use in your house when the snow is falling and all the lights are off with the exception of the Christmas tree lights and a warm fire.
If I had purchased this sampler back in 1952, I would have sought out anything by the Ames Brothers and Johnny Desmond. Upon listening to it in 2006, I will be seeking out Barton, Cornell, and especially Desmond. Anyone out there know if any of these artists ever released full length Christmas LPs or CDs?
The Ames Brothers released Christmas music that's easily available and Ed Ames released several solo Christmas records when he wasn't throwing tomahawks on the Johnny Carson show. Give the Ames a listen... fun stuff!
On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...