Monday, August 06, 2007

The Cricketones - Christmas Is For Children

Today starts a look back at the 125+ Christmas albums (yes, 125 plus!) that I downloaded during the 2006 holiday downloading season. Some will get serious looks. Others will get thumbnail sketches. Will I get to them all? Only time will tell.

This was the first full album I clicked. Even wrote down the date, the place, the time, and from who - November 18, 2006 at 9:03 AM from FaLaLaLaLa community member Inkydog.

If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner of the album, you'll notice that this is from Design Records, a budget budget division of the budget label Pickwick International.

Design Records are the same folks who brought you wonderful Christmas albums like "Dennis Day Sings For The Family", "Christmas With The Happy Crickets", and probably the greatest budget Christmas release ever: "Tijuana Christmas" by The Border Brass.

Not much info is out there on the Cricketones. But the music is festive, fun, and very light - perfect fare for kiddies, Christmas, or both. I'm very much reminded by the Caroleers when listening to this for the first time. With such song titles like "The Little Christmas Stocking With The Hole In The Toe" and "I've Got 18 Cents To Spend On Christmas", it falls into that Caroleers category for the first five tracks.

The rest of the album is very different. The Cricketones sing some Christmas standards - their telling of "The Night Before Christmas" is quite nice, "Rudolph" has a radio orchestra feel to it (lovely), and a six minute condensation of Scrooge's "Christmas Carol" is quite strange.

This takes us up to the midway point of side two (or track 9 for those playing at home). Suddenly, and without warning, we get simple renditions of "Joy To The World", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", et al not sung by the Cricketones. This is a choir, orchestra, and they're playing it at full blast. As if they ran out of original material and stuck on whatever they wanted on the end of the album. Lame.

But that's the world of budget labels: get it out fast, cheap, make a buck. Inkydog slips in a bonus track by the Cricketones entitled "Mixie Pixie" that wasn't on this album and it's about 1 minute in length. There's more in this one minute that the last half of side two combined. Thanks Inky for sharing this "album" out with us!

UP NEXT: What I downloaded on November 20, 2006 at 8:46 AM



Inkydog said...


So glad that you enjoyed this and that you reposted it for others to find. For a few years I sent out about 20 copies per season to people who found out I had this record and wanted a copy. This is such an easier way to share it.

I also enjoyed your analysis of the record. It has been part of my Christmas since I was about the age of the lad on the cover, so I accept everything on it at face value.

The Mixie Pixie track was on a 45 that was backed with one of the other Cricketone tracks from the album, but I don't remember which one at the moment.

CaptainOT said...

Inky - I'm glad you shared it out and I'm very happy you enjoyed the review!


Nancy said...

Is this still available? I have been looking for this album for many years and would love to have it again.

CaptainOT said...

Nancy - Check out the "Repost Request" section in the FLLLL forums. There's a good chance that if you request it there, it will be filled.


Nancy said...

Thanks! Downloading now!

HGN said...

This is the definitive christmas album of my childhood. Christmas for Children by the Cricketones has been on my radar for 25 years. The best gift I could give my siblings would be this wonderful, quirky christmas album. How can I obtain copies? Your help is much appreciated!

dancer56 said...

Mixie Pixie was short and sweet about "Santa's helper from the milky way." The Sound Of Christmas was one of my other favorites with lone girl in mid song saying "please Mr. Santa won't you bring me a sleigh!"
The Christmas Carol narrative I liked because it had great voices and eerie music when the ghosts appeared. The story ended with the song God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, with Scrooge struggling to sing along in the background.
I still have the original vinyl album, but not with the original cover unfortunitely.

Anonymous said...

How can I get a copy of Christmas for Children? Had it as a kid and would love to get my hands on it again.

CaptainOT said...

HGN & Anon - Try the new & improved FLLLL forums. Someone might have reposted that last year!

Dancer - Thanks for the additional info!


dancer5612004 said...

Look for THE CRICKETONES on youtube that I'm posting. Feel free to leave comments on music post boards if you wish, thanks.

CaptainOT said...

Dancer - The Cricketones on YouTube? It was inevitable...

Long live Mixie the Pixie!


Never Ending Music said...

There are actually two records out there with some of these songs on it. One is the one you have listed Christmas is for Children.
The other one is called A Children's christmas - it does have Mixie Pixie on it. It is Bravo Players and Orchestra , has a pic of santa in his sleigh with reindeers on the front. Has some traditional songs along with Little Christmas Stocking with a Hole in the Toe , Mixie Pixie, I;ve got 18 cents for Christmas.

Difference between the two for the rare songs is Christmas is for Children does NOT have Mixie Pixie but does have Ding Aling Dong the Sleighbell Song, Tinker town Santa Claus. A Children's Christmas has Mixie Pixie but does not have the other two I just listed. Both have 18 cents for Christmas, Little Christmas Stocking with a hole in the toe.

We have an online music business and sell out of both of these records every year. Been that way since the first year we found them.

Ebay has them often as well.

CaptainOT said...

Never Ending Music - I would never have guessed the need for a definitive Crickettones discography!

Thanks for the additional info Never Ending!


CorCatt said...

Hey Capt'n -- can you help make my Season bright? Do you know where the whole fa-la-la'ing album is posted? Been looking for this one forever -- and my old one won't play anymore -- can you help? Thanks for the terrific work!

CaptainOT said...>The Cricketones

Anonymous said...

Thanks for allowing me to download this album. I actually still have the record & jacket; it's all scratched up but playable. The digital version is so handy on an I-pod. The download has 'mixie pixie' (not on my record album). On my record the very last song was a fast-paced version of 'jingle bells' (not on your download)). Anyway I gave a copy to my sister and she had tears of joy as it brought back childhood Christmas memories. Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas Everybody!!