(Due to computer problems, this week's schedule has been pushed back one day. Sorry for the mess!)
At first glance, this looks like a bootleg copy of Jackie Gleason's "Merry Christmas" LP. However, it is, in fact, a Christmas comp from fellow FaLaLaLaLa-er Dave Wright of Green Brook, New Jersey.
DaveW (his FLLLL non de plume) sent this comp to our PO Box along with a festive note that featured a cover scan of a Guy Lombardo Christmas EP - bonus!
The note read:
"Howdy Captain! Request permission to come aboard! Love your blog + shares, Thank You! My comp is for friends and family - nothing too earth shattering content wise but I hope you'll enjoy!
"All the best - Dave (DaveW on FLLLL.com)"
I sent Dave a set of questions that I will be asking everyone whose comp will be reviewed here:
1.) When did you begin creating your Christmas compilations?
2.) Explain the process on creating your Christmas comp.
It's pretty basic. Xmas songs that move me or appeal to me. I just try to keep it fun and swinging. I do try for the most part to avoid the mainstream songs that someone getting the compilation may already have. Jeeeez.......I guess I should have left off Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song"......huh, :)
3.) Who do you share these compilations with? How many do you send out?
Mostly friends, family, and some coworkers. This year was about 25 copies.
4.) What is it about Christmas music that appeals to you?
I think I like the fact that as a whole the songs convey the warmth and spirit of the Christmas season.
5.) What kind of feedback do you get from the comp?
I just love to hear people tell me about discovering a song on my compilation that they really like and have never heard before - that's the best!. I know this year my comp made it into one of my nephews school Xmas parties and two parents asked for copies! I've gotten a lot of comments about Casey MacGill's song "Egg Nog".
6.) What other projects/websites do you work on other than Christmas?
I enjoy movies and volunteer at an old movie theater. I also love music the other eleven months of the year - everything from big band to punk.
7.) Anything you would like to share with people reading this review?
I'd like to thank everyone who was kind enough to share their out of print holiday music online this year in all the Christmas blogs and websites. Their hard work and dedication to the Christmas music sharing community is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the season.
1.) Arnold Schwarzenegger's Christmas greeting is slow - sounds like he has a cold!
2.) My favorite track from that man Welk! It's a great Christmas space age pop song!
3.) A lounge track homage to a seasonal drink favorite? This one might make my Christmas comp!
4.) Taken from a "Chesterfield Time with Glenn Miller" radio show - one of the best big band renditions out there!
5.) The artist on this is Barry Gordon - the same kid who brought you "Zoomah The Santa Claus From Mars" which I like too!
6.) From a Lawrence Welk Christmas flexi on behalf on your local Dodge dealer!
7.) A great song from a better album! Why can't I find this on vinyl anywhere?
8.) Snappy rendition from the man who sung the theme song to "The Love Boat". Just picked up his Christmas LP!
9.) Clipped from the original "Christmas Cocktails" CD. This was one of the first featured albums at FLLLL.com!
10.) This is the original version of "Rudolph" without the massive assault of reverb from Gene Autry.
11.) Snipped from the "Christmas Cocktails II" CD. I wish Shearing recorded a full Christmas album - or did I plain miss it?
12.) Hmmm... It's Bing... plenty of jingle bells in the background... lots of talk of inclement winter weather... think I like it?
13.) YESSSSS! I can listen to the Ventures' Christmas album 24/7! Often imitated, never duplicated!
14.) William's signature Christmas song that is played to death on Christmas radio every December.
15.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! Where on earth did this Sinatra snippet come from? Tell me, tell me, tell me!
16.) First recorded by Crosby, then appropriated by Dino to become his signature Christmas song, pallie!
17.) If Setzer had sung this, it would have been disastrous. Instead, he gives us a brilliant instrumental that's one part Les Paul and one part Nelson Riddle! WOW!
18.) Sung to the tune of "Mister Sandman" - both songs written by the same composer! Who knew Lenny could sing?
19.) From the "Christmas Cocktails" CD once again! Les and the boys make Tchaikovsky danceable!
20.) A spooky, contemporary recitation of the famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter. Where did this come from?
21.) Wait... sitting up in my chair... Peggy Lee is singing... Sighhhh....
22.) From the "Christmas Cocktails II" CD also... Give me this version and Petty Booka's version and I'm happy!
23.) Elvis himself admitted he was doing his best Dean Martin imitation when recorded this album. It comes across in this track!
24.) Here's one from the "Christmas Cocktails III" CD! I used this on my annual Christmas comp last year too!
25.) What harmonies! Smooth rendition of this one! From what CD did this one come from?
26.) You may have used Nat's "Christmas Song"... but you chose the right version: the original Nat King Cole Trio version with just a handful of strings = perfect!
27.) Ralph Kramden's Christmas soliloquy from "The Honeymooners" Christmas episode. Baby, you're the greatest!
28.) Stan Kenton's "What Is A Santa Claus?" - also a bonus track on "Christmas Cocktails II"!
Dave, you've compiled a very nice Christmas comp. All the standards are covered, many of the big names are here, and the "Christmas Cocktails" influence can be heard throughout.
One small piece of advice: never be afraid to enclose a Christmas song no one's ever heard before (the Sinatra snippet and the "Yes Virginia" track were the best things on the comp). Mix it up, keep experimenting, and your own style will come through.
I look forward to hearing your Christmas comp this upcoming December!
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