Monday, April 30, 2007

365 Days At The Yuleblog


If you're visiting us from
WFMU's 365 Days Project,
welcome to the yuleblog!

I've posted a special entry today
that goes hand in hand with my
contribution to the 365 Days Project.

Feel free to look around, read some
entries, click on some links,
and leave a comment or two.

Regular postings will begin again very soon.
For more info on this, click here.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope
you'll enjoy your time at the yuleblog!


Capt

Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - I Know What He Wants For Christmas... but I don't know how to wrap it!

If you're a serious Christmas music collector, then you're probably familiar with this 1962 chestnut (pun intended).

However, if you've never heard or seen this album before, pull your eyes away from the bodacious cover and let me explain to you several tidbits about this album.

I first became acquainted with this album around 2002 or 2003 when Basic Hip - the granddaddy of all vinyl sharity sites - first offered it around Christmas time - a simple clean rip of the album and an average scan of the front cover only.

BTW, that is NOT Ms. Martin on the cover. Like many adult party records of the day, an anonymous model would grace the cover with all the right body parts covered. More on Kay in a moment.

As the years went by and I started to seriously collect Christmas music, I began to learn how special this album was. This wasn't an album to the Christmas music community - it was a secret handshake that gained you entrance into the fraternity of die-hard holiday music lovers. Christmas music enthusiasts like Ton Rückert, Anna-Lena Lodenius, Martin Johns, and April Winchell have all used tracks from this album to amuse their circle of friends.

At least three times a year, copies of this album will appear on eBay and sell for $60 and up. In 2004, an auction ended with the winning bid around $135. Copies in good condition are quickly disappearing from the marketplace.

In late 2006, I began to actively search, watch for, and bid on any copy of this album on eBay before it was too late. It was also around this time that I began to discover other Kay Martin material sold just as well on eBay, GEMM, and Musicstack. Her various party albums are much sought after collectibles that fetch a mighty penny anywhere you look.

However... out in the west Texas town of El Paso (or El Chuco depending on what side of the border you're on), Mondo Loco runs the great little music blog "The Groove Grotto". Last Christmas, he posted this very album you're reading about at his place - along with good scans of the album artwork (thank you Mondo!). The album is still available at his site... so click on this link, zap it, but come right back!

The back cover of the album gave me the first inside glimpse of Kay Martin. It gave a brief history of the act, where they've played, her measurements (not important but...), and revealed that she was the proprietor of the Kay Martin Lodge, three miles south of downtown Reno. A quick Google search revealed that the lodge is still open for business but gave no clues on if Ms. Martin was alive or not.

I dashed off a introductory letter in hopes she would agree to an interview. While waiting for a response, I explored the Groove Grotto again and found yet ANOTHER Kay Martin album to download! In May of 2006, Mondo posted the first album from Kay Martin & Her Body Guards (Roulette Records, 1958) that features a very naked Martin (no anonymous model here) on the record cover.

The cover is the only thing risque on the album - this album features some extremely good covers of sultry standards like "Fever", "Blue Moon", "Sentimental Journey", and "Summertime". Kay Martin can belt out the notes and stop on a musical dime to get breathy or soft - quite the album!

The back cover liner notes filled in more holes in Kay's life. Written by Jess Hotchkiss (one of the Body Guards and creator of the act), I discovered that Kay was born in Bakersfield, CA, is part Cherokee Indian, and learned that Kay and the boys first began the act in 1953 and appeared at every lounge and casino in the state of Nevada by the time this album was recorded.

I hadn't heard back from the Kay Martin Lodge so I decided to write again, asking for any info and the chance for an interview.

Earlier this year, I discovered a website that was listing all the records issued on the Laff record label that included two Kay Martin albums (one of which was "At Las Vegas"). The "gentleman" who ran this website also posted a wish list of albums he was looking for and wanted to trade.

I contacted the "gentleman" and set up a trade; he wanted five items off my list for the two Kay Martin albums I wanted. I sent the albums, the "gentleman" claims they never showed up (even though a month later those very titles I sent him were conspicuously not on his trade list), and never returned any of my e-mails.

Some "gentleman" (I can think of several other words I can use).

Shortly after this episode, I travelled to Chicago for a long weekend and found the copy of "At Las Vegas" that was featured today at the 365 Days Project. Upon first listening, I recognized several things. The first was that none of the songs on "At Las Vegas" were live as I had thought. Bonus.

The second was that I recognized several of the non-Christmas songs on the album. These same songs were featured in their live act on side two of the Christmas album. Another bonus.

Finally, I was excited to see three Christmas songs on "At Las Vegas". However, each one is a different take on "The Night Before Christmas" - Jess sings it as a beatnik, Bill sings it drunk (see "The Night Before Christmas Binge" below), and Kay sings the exact same version as on side two of the Christmas album with very little break-ins from the Bodyguards or audience reaction. WOW!

It was around this time of purchase of "At Las Vegas" that I reviewed Otis Fodder's brilliant Christmas comps and he invited me to contribute to the 365 Days Project. Great timing, huh? (Thanks Otis for the opportunity!)

Then, out of the blue, eBay had three copies of "I Know What He Wants For Christmas" for auction. I passed on the first copy (sold around $75), then the second ($65). I bid on the third, held my breath, and $35 later, I finally, at long last, had a copy of this album for my own!

When the album arrived, I quickly took it to my local Kinko's to make color copies of the covers so I can patch them together on my computer. So I'm very proud to offer what might be the first high-resolution scans of this Christmas album anywhere on the web (click on the album covers, above and below, for larger images):





TRACK REVIEWS:

1.) Hang Your Balls On The Xmas Tree
Grandma brings some popcorn balls for Kay and the boys to hang... double entendres ensue, all accompanied by an enthusiastic Salvation Army reject.

2.) I Want A Casting Couch For Christmas
This is a clever Christmas song, sung to perfection by Kay. You can hear the wisdom in her voice when she sings "I don't wanna be a slouch on anybody's casting couch"!

3.) Come On Santa, Let's Have A Ball
This song only last one minute and nine seconds. After hearing it, I bet you'll never forget it for as long as you live!

4.) The Night Before Christmas Binge
Bill Elliott (the wacky second banana to Jess Hotchkiss who also plays the accordion) sings this as an inebriated drunk. Ha ha.

5.) Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist
Okay... Kay sings that a "fat man" came a calling on Christmas Eve and they... ahem... wanted to try the latest "dance"... wink wink. The writers from "Three's Company" could only dream these double entendres!

6.) Santa's Going To Be Late Tonight
Kay does her best "Continental" impersonation - or a possible nod to word jazz poetry - trying to explain why Santa's missing some stops on Christmas Eve - the lucky son of a gun!

7.) The Girls Were All Happy
Yet another take on "The Night Before Christmas". This one explains how Santa visited several women at once on Christmas... after all, Santa does get around on Christmas Eve!

8.) I Know What You Want For Christmas
The naughty clever title track - possibly the best song on the album. Kay sings it sly, sets it up beautifully, and the punch line that's delivered at the end of the song caps it all off perfectly (nice choice of breed too!).

9.) A Funtastic Panorama Of On-Stage Humor
This track is the entire side two, taped live on stage (around 16 minutes long). It features a bevy of dittys, dirty jokes, double entendres, some homophobic jokes, and plenty of Kay's naughty songs.


Granted, this album isn't for the faint of heart, or for the kiddies or more sensitive or religious folks. These aren't probably the first songs you'll reach for if you're putting together a Christmas comp for your friends and family. But the remarkable thing about this album is 45 years on, it still contains enough titillation to amuse.

I dare you to listen to this whole album and not let out one smile or chuckle. You won't be able to do it now, or ten years from now, or 50 years from now.


Last week, as I was readying the "As Las Vegas" album for the 365 Days Project, I still hadn't heard back from Ms. Martin. I decided to call the Lodge directly in hopes I would be able to speak to her. The desk clerk on duty told me that I would have to speak to her husband because Ms. Martin "was under the weather" (she's alive!).

As soon as her husband came onto the line, I identified myself as the owner / editor of a Internet site and that I had sent several letters about possibly speaking to Ms. Martin. The immediate phone click hanging up on me came around the moment when I gave my name.

I tried calling back twice but thanks to their caller ID (presumably), they never lifted the phone off the hook and let it ring. And ring. And ring. Point taken.


Kay, if you're out there and you're reading this, your albums consistently sell on eBay for a reason - they're entertaining and your sex appeal hasn't diminished one iota since their first release. Thanks for all the songs and laughs you've provided over these many years and for one truly remarkable Christmas album that will live on into eternity.

Thanks for reading everyone!


Capt

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 2007

Dear readers of the yuleblog,

Sunday ended a very productive three month stretch
of reviewing all the new additions to my personal
Christmas music collection.


In total, around 85 to 87 CDs
were reviewed in a span of 90 days.
I'm very proud of this accomplishment.


As Ringo Starr screamed at the end of the Beatles'
"Helter Skelter" - "I've got blisters on my fingers!"
Not from drumming. From typing.

I'm also extremely behind in my schedule of other
projects and I am exhausted... worn out...
bushed... tired... flat out done.



I'm taking a month off. Maybe six weeks.
Why so long?


I need to recharge the batteries and get some
of those other projects out of the way.
I'll also be watching a few baseball games here:


Not a bad view, huh?

THIS JUST IN: I was slated as the stage manager of an
upcoming local theater production but unfortunately
no one auditioned for a part in an upcoming two man
play about baseball.

I was picked by the director of the show as a
pinch actor, coming off the bench in hopes I'll hit
a home run.
I will be trying to memorize 40 pages
of dialogue over the next month or two.


Put those rally caps on for me.


When I return, I'll be tackling the approximately
125 Christmas albums that I downloaded between
November and December, 2006.


Have a great start to Spring!


Capt

Sunday, April 01, 2007

JohnsCDs 2006-1172-001 - A Sleigh Full Of Joy: Sharity Rarities 2006

This odd number comp (21 to be exact) is the FINAL disc that Martin Johns created for the 2006 Christmas season and the last themed CD from his laboratory in Greenville, South Carolina.

When Martin sent his shoebox full of CDs to our P.O. Box, this comp wasn't inside. At the time, it didn't even exist.

Burning the midnight oil, he quickly assembled some of the best finds via the Christmas sharity community and assembled a brand new comp.

Martin first posted the covers of this comp at the wonderful world known as FaLaLaLaLa.com on December 20, 2006 and sent me a link that I could download for it.

I was flattered to see several of my contributions to the 2006 Christmas downloading season on the disc. Other contributors included many longtime contributors and members of FaLaLaLaLa.com (PDMan, Esstee, Trendbend, Mister Miller), The King Of Jingaling himself, Lee Hartsfield of Music You (Possibly)Won't Hear Anywhere Else, and the tireless Ernie (not Bert).

To date, I haven't posted one comp from any submission received here at the yuleblog. Considering this is the final day of the whole two month look at comps... and Martin properly gave credit where credit is due on this comp... and I'm thoroughly exhausted and not thinking straight...


JohnsCDs 2006-1172-001 - A Sleigh Full Of Joy: Sharity Rarities 2006


Click on the link to get your download. While you're waiting in line, here is more background info about this disc from Mr. Johns himself. This is the final time you'll be able to read...

STUBBY SPEAKS:

2006 was my first year exploring and participating in the Sharity community. By comparison, downloading 30+ CDs of Indie music ("Santa's On The Download") now seems quaint. There was so much unbelievable Christmas music shared out at sites like FaLaLaLaLa, I don’t know how I'll ever get it all together in any sensible kind of order (CAPT'S NOTE: Join the club!).

And that, as much as anything, was the point of this one. It was a way of bookmarking some of my particular favorites from the avalanche.

Ultimately, I think it was the Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else tracks that necessitated this one. The Baby Dolls' version of "The Bell That Couldn't Jingle" and Bobby Stewart's "Sing A Kris Kringle Jingle" are just such wonderful songs.

They are also songs that don't quite fit what I usually do. So the only reasonable thing to do was a comp built around them. Also, The Mike Sammes Singers just blew my mind (thank you King)! Where was that when I was growing up?

I knew that was my perfect "encore" number. On a lot of my mixes, the last track serves as either a "bonus" or an "encore"; the journey is complete... here's one for the road - kinda like this comp, itself, really.

Your own contributions, Captain, are extra special delights (though I clearly overdid the noise reduction on the Capitol Records piece - I'll work on that at some point).

Between "Christmas In July" and "The 25 Days Of Christmas", Ernie shared up some truly amazing stuff. And I threw "Dasher" in there just to show that I had contributed, too. Really, though, everyone in the Sharity community was outstanding in every way possible. I don't see how it could ever get any better than it was in 2006.

As it was a comp of "sharities", I distributed it in that form. Which is to say I uploaded it and sent the link to a select few subscribers - no rhyme or reason for which ones - just one final piece of holiday fruitcake a few days before Christmas. If I decide to make hard copies, I'll send them out next year, but, officially, I'm reserving the right to use these tracks, individually, on future comps.

TRACK REVIEW:

(Click on image to enlarge)


1.) A 30 second reminder (to the tune of "Jingle Bells" by The Singing Mailmen of Miami) to "use zone numbers on your mail".
2.) Sounds like a forgotten Rankin-Bass tune from one of their countless Christmas specials. Lee at MY(P)WHAE also offered Bobby Stewart's version of "Nuttin For Christmas".
3.) Al Aitchson has this song on his "Al's Christmas Ale 2005" that I reviewed during last year's look at Christmas comps - Red Ryder BB Gun offered this at his blog back in January, 2006 (no longer available).
4.) During the pre-legal Napster days (2001), I downloaded this 78 promo - scratchy, burnt, and hard to listen to. For the next five years, I've searched for a clean copy of Bugs Bunny (Mel Blanc) taking a tour of Capitol Records, giving each musical department a chance to say "Merry Christmas". I found a clean copy last year, signed away my kidneys, and shared it out at FLLLL.com. Hope you like it.
5.) Is this Tomorrow's World or Claudine Longet? It's from "él Christmas - The World in Winter"... I think the sleep deprivation is catching up to me. It's very good either way.
6.) It's amazing that this great song isn't included on ANY of Johnny Mathis' Christmas collections. Ernie picked up on that and offered this during his 25 Days Of Christmas (see above).
7.) When Ernie offered this and stated it was off the "Charade" soundtrack, I made a note to pull the DVD and locate where it was used in the movie... I've yet to do it! Typical brilliance from Mancini!
8.) Esstee offered these exactly one month before James Brown died at FLLLL.com. Did you know something then that we didn't Ess? This is a great Christmas song period.
9.) Line Material was (is?) an electrical manufacturing company that used to issue fantastic Christmas records like this for a time for employees and their kids. Lee at MY(P)WHAE offered several of these mini epic 45s last year. Someone should gather these singles up for an anthology!
10.) Reggaexx at Distinctly Jamaican Sounds was searching for a long lost reggae Christmas song (this one) at FLLLL.com to add to his Christmas mixes. I found this song on "Al's Christmas Ale 2005" (see #3 above) and posted it.
11.) Rato Records first posted this back in December, 2005 but Christmas A Go Go posted this last December. Thank you Martin - I missed this dynamite, swinging 1960s Christmas twist tune sung in French twice! WOW!
12.) Another great song I missed. This one came from Bongo Bells - can't seem to find what album this came from! I really need to learn how to subscribe to RSS feeds.
13.) Ernie loves scouring old vinyl to find those separated from the pack Christmas gems. This version of "Sleigh Ride" could fit in very well with Hugo's Christmas albums neatly...but instead it came from a non-Christmas album only to be rescued and offered by the hardest working man in sharity biz - Ernie.
14.) The Four Freshmen hick it up (hiccup?). Ernie rescued this song and offered it for his "Christmas In July" celebration (see above).
15.) Hi ho Steverino! Ricky Vera & Steve Allen released this as a B-side in 1953 but Ernie found it on a 4 LP set entitled "One Hundred Favorite Songs Of Christmas (MCA Special Markets SR 8726 DXS 504)". Steve sings on this - quite the crooner!
16.) WOW! Why can't we hear this Gayla Peevey song on Christmas radio instead of "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas"? From Rato Records (December, 2005).
17.) PDMan offered some fine albums throughout the 2006 downloading season at FLLLL.com: Paradise Islanders, two Jan Garber albums, a Ed Sullivan Christmas album, and this one. Look for full reviews of all these albums here before the year is out.
18.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! I never knew Fudgeland existed - and they have a great Christmas comp you can get with this song on it! So many blogs and websites, so little time (feel free to use that as a title Martin). Fudge, thanks for this one!
19.) This came from one of the best finds at this past year. Stubbyfears (aka Martin) offered this entire Feather & Burns album at FLLLL.com - brilliant stuff!
20.) Another "Best Find of 2006" - click on MY(P)WHAE to read the full story of this excellent cover of the Burt Bacharach song with some British flair!
21.) If you haven't visited Anna-Lena Lodenius' amazing blog called "Jul Igen - Christmas Again", you're missing out on some of the best Swedish Christmas music out there. This is a perfect example! Thanks Anna-Lena!
22.) Trendbend had a bundle of great Christmas singles to share at FLLLL.com. This is one of the gems! Thank you Trend - I enjoyed the Goon Show!
23.) If you want the full story behind this one, read the yuleblog entry about it. This was the share I was most proud of last year.
24.) WOW! This 1975 Christmas album by Vera Lynn was posted by Mister Miller at FLLLL.com and you can expect a full review on this here soon.
25.) Another great post by Trendbend at FLLLL.com. Ernie later added this great link about the Spotnicks. I think it's a fabulous song (my contribution).
26.) FLLLL member Shesapeach posted this kiddie song which prompted Tony at Way Out Junk to post the entire album (yes, it will be reviewed here as well).
27.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! Cheezepleeze found a long lost syndicated radio special with Lorne Greene and posted the whole thing at his site. This is great for those Christmas comps for next year folks!
28.) The irrepressible Kay Martin singing the title track from her 1962 Christmas album. The Groove Grotto picked up high marks for posting this last year.
29.) This was a track I grabbed off this album in my archives for my annual 2005 Christmas CD. April Winchell posted it at her site (bless her heart). Don't ask me why but if it's Jack Webb and Christmas related, I'm right there!
30.) From the King Of Jingaling's all time favorite Christmas album - which he posted at FLLLL.com and remains one of its most popular shares!


Looking and listening to this comp captured, for a brief moment, the excitement and anticipation the 2006 downloading season brought. It was the biggest and best season on the books and at the yearly rate it keeps growing, Lord help us all in 2007. Thanks to the sharity community as a whole.

Martin, Martin, Martin... I want to thank you for not just this comp but for the entire shoebox of comps you sent once again. These past two weeks have been fun, stressful, hectic, relaxed, tiring, and so full of artist links, Christmas album links, and links, links, and links that I began seeing blue underlines when reading the morning paper, restaurant menus, even a funeral card!

I've enjoyed reading your insights, listening to your hard work, and sharing your appreciation for Christmas music in all sorts, shapes, and forms. Back in my introduction of you two weeks ago (seems like two months), I stated that I have met my match in passion for Christmas music. I can now unequivocally say that you have surpassed me in that regard. Congratulations and thanks again Martin.


The journey of a thousand miles ends with a single tired step. And so it ends.


UP NEXT: April 2007


Capt

JohnsCDs 2006-0970-009 - 'Tis The Season

If you had told me last year that my annual look at homemade Christmas comps would have been extended into April, I would have waited for you to yell "APRIL FOOL!"

Well, that's exactly what has happened and today just happens to be April Fool's Day. It also happens to be the FINAL day of our annual look at homemade Christmas comps.

We have two more comps from our friend Martin Johns who sent us a jawdropping, earthshattering, astounding 21 Christmas comps - each of which has rarely covered the same ground and always manages to surprise as well as entertain.

The comp you see before you deals with Christmas jazz - always a welcome sound over my speakers at the computer or on my boombox.

To get some better understanding behind this stunning looking Christmas CD, here is the section that you've grown to love. It's very well known as...

STUBBY SPEAKS:

Like the Country CDs, there's a strong constituency for my Jazz CDs. One year, I was explaining to a friend of mine that "I can't do jazz every year". "Why not?" she asked. As I didn't have an answer, the Jazz comp became part of my annual repertoire.

I was going for a particular mood, here. This one, I feel, is best listened to at about 2:00 AM. Close your eyes and let the music wash over you. Of course, if you don't like jazz...

Mae West was included specifically for Dee (my "why not?" friend). I knew she'd appreciate it.

Graphically, everything I do is an experiment. The new computer had a program called Discus Re and I was just playing around with that. I have to report that the only artist on the cover who's also on the CD is Billy Eckstine.

TRACK REVIEW:

(Click on image to enlarge)


1.) I knew they released their new Christmas CD only in Japan in 2005 but I DIDN'T know it was released at Christmas last year (note to self: check the jazz sections)! Cheryl, Alan, Tim, and Janis tackle Charles Brown's perennial favorite and transform it into a religious experience.
2.) WHOA! Look up the definition of silky smooth in the dictionary and you might see a picture of Carmen McRae. Pure gold from the budget LaserLight comp "Blue, Blues Christmas" (1997).
3.) It's official - this is the second song from Jane Fuller I've heard in two days and I am in love! There's more heat in Jane's voice than in that fire she's singing about. From her "The Spirit Of Giving" album that I just bought!
4.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! Skafish is a bonafide Chicago legend (heard this guy play piano at a student lounge - pure genius)! I didn't know he had a Christmas album. Scary part is - he's gotten BETTER! Martin, thank you!
5.) WOW! I've never heard Christmas blues / jazz done with a saxophone as lead instrument! This is glorious! Second song from Bobby Felder & His Friends in two days from their "Christmas Jazz At People's Church" - the better of the two!
6.) Recorded in 1966 at the tender age of 73, Mae West put all of her oomph into her Christmas album (which might explain why she only had eight songs on the album). This version of "Santa Baby" might be the best track on the album - just enough Mae and not over the top. I'd take this version over Madonna's any day of the century!
7.) Bruno Hubert and his trio give us an excellent pure jazz version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", adding new welcome life to a standard Christmas carol. Find their Christmas album on the Vancouver Jazz label.
8.) WOW! Mandolin jazz! Martini Red's tune evokes memories of Fred Astaire's "Putting On The Ritz" - grand stuff! This song is on "We Three" (only Christmas track on the album) or on "Holiday Feast V6".
9.) This isn't Billie Holiday I'm listening to... but it's awful close! Tanya Kalmanovitch not only sings great jazz but she's playing the both the viola and violin on this! Tasty cut from the 2003 album "Let It Snow! Unique Canadian Winter Music"
10.) A soft jazz version of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" - well played by Hiro Honshuku. Hiro's name is above the title of this Christmas album - well deserved!
11.) This is the second track I've heard from Wes Burden this week... sounds a lot like Kenny G... but Burden doesn't go overboard a la Mr. G - I can handle this. Off his 2005 "A Christmas Journey" CD.
12.) WOW! This was the B-side of Billy Eckstine's 1953 holiday single (A-side "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?). Mr. B give this the FULL Eckstine treatment - good to hear this again (might end up on my annual Christmas CD)! Find this diamond in the rough on one of two different Verve Christmas comps.
13.) I just melted. That's Dinah Washington on my speakers, singing about "Ol' Santa". About as good as it gets. This was on the LaserLight label (gotta reevaluate my thinking about that label)? "Christmas Blues & Shout" is a BOX SET? LaserLight's getting better... Hmmm...
14.) The best purveyor's of smooth jazz over the past 20 years, Hiroshima has a beautiful song that invokes visions of falling snow. A haunting track off their 2004 "Spirit Of The Season" album
15.) The most straightforward song by Jane Fuller I've heard... still a cut above! (See # 3 above).
16.) Martin's snuck some authentic Christmas blues here... Otis Rush recorded this for NPR's "Bluestage" on Christmas Eve, 1990 - hints of jazz yes, but it's the blues and 10 minutes of it... wow!
17.) It's unfathomable... Ruth Brown (who singlehandedly helped Atlantic Records get a foothold in the business) never recorded a single Christmas song. That was until this 1986 appearance on NPR's "Harlem Hit Parade" when she sang two songs. Her sassy voice gives "The Christmas Song" a new hip, soulful glow to it - what a track!
18.) "One more song before I go..." Ruth starts off reverently, her voice cutting through like the bow of a ship. As the song builds, she lets loose and proves why she was the Queen of R&B. By the end of this song, my eyes were misting up with tears... I'm glad Ruth got her wish and recorded some Christmas songs.


And Martin was afraid of putting together a Christmas jazz comp! I will listen to this one over and over and over!

This comp made me fall in love with Jane Fuller, reconnected me with Skafish, passed along some new great jazz artists I've never heard before (Bruno Hubert Trio, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Martini Red), and showcased some of the greatest jazz artists out there (Carmen McRae, Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, Manhattan Transfer).

However... this CD passed into legend when I heard Ruth Brown.

Last November, Ruth died from a heart attack and complications of a stroke. I knew she never recorded a full Christmas album but I managed to have one Christmas song by her - "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". I posted it as a tribute to Ruth at FaLaLaLaLa.com and here at the yuleblog throughout the 2006 downloading season.

Martin knew he had this on cassette somewhere and quickly rushed it to Stu Fink, his friend and audio guru of 30 years. Stu did a splendid job transferring Brown's two lost Christmas songs and Martin preserved it forever on this comp. Thank you for this wonderful tribute to Ruth!


UP NEXT: JohnsCDs 2006-1172-001 - A Sleigh Full Of Joy: Sharity Rarities 2006 (THE FINAL COMP!)


Capt