Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Murk Family - Christmas With

This is the first of two posts on this Saturday before Christmas that will contain TWO links!

During one of my vinyl raids of a local thrift shop here in Fort Wayne, I came across this album whose cover definitely caught my eye.

Then I found a different version of the album in another bin!

The Murk Family are Jim & Donna (the parents) and Bill, Becky, Brenda, and Barbara (the alliterated offspring ). The name sounded familiar. Then I remembered this.

Their family caught a big break in 1963 when Jim won the "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour" - the "American Idol" of its time. This led to hundreds of appearance all over the world.

If you ever saw them perform, you probably wouldn't have forgotten them. Each one of the kids plays a stringed instrument while mom plays the vibraharp (see the back album cover below).

This only sounds bad but it's not. There's a lot going on in this album (or albums).

The first album (ornament cover) was issued on MFM Records (their own label) in 1970. The second (picture wreath) was released a year later on the Toya Records label of Chicago.

So what's the difference in the two? Nothing. They are the same album. The Toya album cleaned up a little better (both on the album & artwork) and that's all.

I think you might find these a change in pace. There are unique versions of Christmas songs and well performed too! My personal favorite is "The Only Thing I Want For Christmas" - a damn good song!

I think you might find these a change in pace. There are unique versions of Christmas songs and well performed too! My personal favorite is "The Only Thing I Want For Christmas" - a damn good song!

Be on the lookout for Jim Murk. He recites several of his poems on the album with a lonely organ accompanying him.

Two choices for your shopping pleasure:


The Murk Family - Christmas With
(MFM - Ornament cover)

The Murk Family - Christmas With
(Toya - Picture wreath)


Happy listening x 2...


Capt

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info. I also originally learned about them from the wacky StrangeCosmos album cover and found myself wondering one night what had become of them. According to their website, they are still going strong - they've turned quite conservative, however (or maybe they always were).

Mary Lou said...

In response to the comment "they've turned quite conservative, however (or maybe they always were) --- we knew the Murks back in the late 1950s (only two young children then) and they were (and had always been) conservative. A fascinating family.

CaptainOT said...

Anon & Mary Lou - Thanks for the additional info on the family Murk!


Capt

Anonymous said...

I found 3 of their albums on vinyl at Headstone Records in Terre Haute, Indiana and I'm still laughing about the album covers. I found the Murk Family website and just as I thought--they're crazy conservatives....

Anonymous said...

You can find a bunch of "The Murk Family's" videos on You Tube on the "Franklinstube" channel. There are about 10 different videos listed under the title "Dad & Mom Murk's 40th Anniversary". This "conservative" family has lots of love in their home, and their music (played during each video) is quite well done for their time.