Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel - 1938-2007


Christmas Day, 1974. I ran from my bed to my parents bed to announce that Santa had come. The only problem was the time read 4:30 AM. After a few protests, I went begrudgingly back to bed.

Several hours later, I woke up again and grabbed the closest present under the tree. It was a genuine Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle - just like I asked Santa down at Sears.

Like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story", this was the greatest Christmas present I had received or ever will receive. The many hours I spent hurtling Evel on his Harley over toy trucks, buses, and the occasional anthill doubling for the Snake River Canyon became some of the most vivid and exciting memories of my childhood.

Many kids of my generation got those Stunt Cycles - to the tune of $300 million dollars (in 1970s money). Many Christmases were just like mine.

Evel Knievel died yesterday after a long, action-packed, controversial, and even violent life on this Earth. At a time when America needed heroes badly, Knievel filled the bill quite well throughout the 1970s.





I recall seeing an actual Knievel Christmas card on an online auction site almost seven years ago (asking price $500). Since then, I have searched high and low to find anything Knievel and anything Christmas related to no avail.

I'm heading to Sears to ask Santa if he could bring me this CD for Christmas this year.


Capt

The Mom & Dads - Merry Christmas With


There's nothing like having family around at Christmas time. The reconnects, the laughter, the warmth, the love, the sibling rivalry, the photos, the big family meals, the one too many servings of egg nog, the inappropriate comments, the misunderstandings, the snits, the feuds, the clock watching, the diviing up of the leftovers, the opening of presents, the swap of gift receipts, the rounding up of the noisy kids, and the drive home.

Ahhh, there's no place like home for the holidays...

This album is from The Mom & Dads, a Spokane, Washington music group that specialized in Western styled dance music - polkas and waltzes mainly. I first came across this album in an impulse book I purchased last year at Barnes & Noble called "Horrifically Bad Album Covers". The author of the book is Nick DiFonzo who runs the aptly named Bizarre Records website - some real gems over there!

As soon as I saw the cover, I immediately began searching online and found a copy via eBay. The back cover is just as bad (purple vests are never in fashion) while the music (all instrumental) is oddly catchy. A few of the tracks contain the clippity-clop of horses which adds to the fun!

Stay clear of the 5:11 version of "Auld Lang Syne". It's a gas for about 1:30, then utterly and ultimately deadly.

Polka on down for yourself:


The Mom & Dads - Merry Christmas With


Happy listening...


Capt

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yuleblog Comments Pt. 3

It's been some time since I've sat down in front of my trusty ol' computer and bang on the keyboard for the yuleblog. My schedule has been written on an Etch-A-Sketch recently and my time was very limited for anything online.

However, the Christmas gods have opened a 18 day window where nothing is scheduled (quite the gift). Taking advantage of this, I wanted to catchup on the numerous comments that were left here - click on the album title link to see my response:


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Robert Way - New England Sleigh Ride: Music For Th...":

Hi Captain! I love your comments about my old LP "New England Sleigh Ride." Recorded in 1967 in Munich, Germany. I'm now back in the music saddle after retiring as a clinical psychologist. Visit my web site: themusicway.com. I have two new Christmas CDs and a third in production. Let me hear from you.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bowen & Csehy - Christmas Steepletime":

I am Executive Director of Csehy Summer School of Music. If you want more information on Wilmos or Gladys Csehy, go to our web site, www.csehy.com and send me an email. There is a biography of Wilmos available, as well as several CD's including one of their Christmas music that really highlights their talent and passion.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "1983 Air Force Public Service Spots":

Kind sir, the link to the files has expired, would you please re-post them? thanks!



Ernie has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Happy Anniversary, Cap'n & Mrs. Cap'n! Enjoy your trip!



stubbysfears has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Happy Anniversary. You're gonna love New York!



Jonathan has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Happy tenth Mr & Mrs Captain!

We love your in depth reviews and enthusiasm, but hey!, family comes first! We understand! Why not just post on the twent-fifth of each month? Be as in depth or as simple as you like. Any review, link, or Christmas nugget from your vast collection is fine with us!

Be safe in a place I've never been either!



Jeff has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Hey Capt, I knew you couldn't walk away for long. Your fans are all understanding though, so we'd rather have occasional than nothing! Enjoy the Big Apple!



The King of Jingaling has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Me and The Queen will be celebrating 10 years this Christmas (well, the 27th), so I'm with you all the way! Have fun in the Big Apple!



Stephen has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Hey, what a coincidence - my 10th anniversary is next month! Well, Mr. Cap'n, I'm afraid time becomes a precious commodity when one has children, as you well know (and yours are growing like weeds). Don't worry so much, because there will always be other Christmases, and your hardcore readers will be here no matter the season.



Tru5t has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Your memo makes me realise how so many of us are in similar situations. Starting with a big music obsession then we get married and that takes over (as it should) then we add some youngsters every couple of years until your so busy with life and you're hands are too full to continue doing what you used to always do. We all love you Capt and will enjoy your posts whatever the pace. Happy Anniversary!



Puckwheat has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

First of all, Happy 10th! My own schedule (and life) has changed dramatically recently, too. After 22 years in radio, I felt it was time to get a "real" job. I started working for the US Post Office this week, and even my boys realize that dad may not be able to make it to EVERY event.

I've been to every event since they started school. I have one who is 15 and one that is 12. They are my life, so I know exactly where you are coming from. Just know, Capt'n, that regardless of how much or how little you are able to share with us this season, it will all be greatly appreciated.

With you, Ernie & The King, you have made me feel less of a dork by LOVING Christmas music. I honestly thought I was the only one. Now, I know there are many of us. Thank you for everything you do and enjoy your trip with the Mrs.



PDMan has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

The missus and I wish you a Happy 10th as well! Take care and we'll look look forward to your return.



john has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

"If the Cubs get into the playoffs..." Ferchristsake, don't jinx 'em!!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bob Mantzke Choralaires - Christmas Songs":

Thanks so much for posting this. I was going through some old albums and found 365 Days of Christmas Each Year - the first musical I was ever in, at 6 years old. (I had one line.) It's sitting in my lap while I type this.

I had to find out more. But Wikipedia has nothing on the album or on Mantzke. So this blog was very helpful. Thanks again!



l°luna has left a new comment on your post "JohnsCDs 2006-0667-020 - Ey, Mon, It's Christmas":

would you mind to share that cd?? its sounds very interesting. i love reggae

peace out



noisereductions has left a new comment on your post "Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - I Know What He Wants For Christmas...":

Through the 365 project, you've turned me on to something amazing. As I was doing some recent digging, I came across this alternate racier cover... either a bootleg or an "x-rated" pressing.

Keep up the good work!!



Watoo Watoo has left a new comment on your post "It's A Blackbean & Placenta Christmas":

Hi, Michaël from Watoo Watoo speaking. We released 2 records on bbptc & we had some songs on comps. Mike was a nice guy (i even met him once i was in san francisco), who had lots of children (4 or 5). He wanted to release a lot of records, very quickly, to sell them cheap & he didn't care much about design or whatever (lots of ugly handmade covers, etc.).

he had good ethics also what he did wasn't always clever to the bands. in in 2000 or so, he decided to stop the label & he bought a vinyl pressing plant. then he disappeared. he was very active on the indiepop mailing-list (see www.twee.net). I guess there are still lots of his messages in the archives.

don't hesitate to ask if you need to know more! mk



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card":

Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! I have the LP and have searched for years for the CD. Finally, I have a clear recording that I can burn to a disc or listen on my computer.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Buck Owens & Susan Raye - Merry Christmas From":

Hi! Came across this looking for this album tonight. I really enjoyed reading this. I grew up on this Christmas album (which we had on 8-track) I wish it was on CD. I do have a question that maybe you could answer: I was very young then 6 or 7 but I remember a song that I thought was on this called "Christmas in November" But I can see that it isn't. Do you happen to know what album it was from? Thank you so much!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bob Mantzke Choralaires - Christmas Songs":

I sang with the Minneapolis Choralaires from 1946 until 1954. The group was first called the Bob Shaw Club in honor of Robert Shaw, who politely asked Bob Mantzke to change the name of the group in the late 40s. My husband and I were good friends of Bob and his first wife Janet so I can tell you any number of things you might want to know. Bob was originally from Minneapolis but moved to California after his divorce in the 1960s.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

I've stayed away from blog lurking for many months, but in spite of the heat here in southern Ontario, I've actually thought about getting my Christmas music sorted --- I'm quite home-ridden, one of the perils of the golden years, -- but I happened to look at your blog and was pleased to see the postings in July -- I probably have a lot of them, but am too disorganized to be sure. (I also collect images of south African stapeliads from a yahoo site, so I am not a one-note maniac). I so appreciate all your effort, given freely, and very welcome to those of us with limited resources and mobility. Savoadaki



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Hanna-Barbera Organ & Chimes - Merry Christmas":

a new link to this album would be great



Lynda has left a new comment on your post "Billy Vaughn - Christmas Carols":

Hey Capt, it's Lynda (Lvanett from FLLL boards). I remember this album. I have this on LP too and I don't remember if I shared it or not, but I know mine was badly scratched up like yours. I'll have to see if I have the file to this one, since FLLLL is down....but hopefully not out for good.

I also had the Christmas With album too, but didn't keep it because I didn't like it as much as this one. Billy Vaughn's album is one of my all-time "must listens" during the Christmas season. He and Percy Faith, IMO, define GREAT Christmas music!



Dave has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

October almost over. Wondering if you are going to return soon. Hope so. Thanks!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "L'il Wally & The Harmony Boys - A Polka Christmas":

You write beautifully on the record store in all of its impracticality and wonder.

Sadly, Mr. D passed away yesterday in his sleep at age 91, exactly four months following Mrs. D. They never were apart for very long. Their oldest son Jack continues to manage the store.

Thanks for letting people know about the store. Please do swing by when you feel like adding a few more things to your collection. We look forward to seeing you!

Aimee
Mr. and Mrs. D's granddaughter



Tony has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

Do what ya gotta do to make it work, cap'n!

We've been happily married here since 1989 and we have fun with everything as much as we can--even when it comes to paying for a new hot water heater!

Congrats on your 10th, just know we all support you. -T



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card":

Todd,
I had no idea other people enjoyed this album as much as I did. I grew up listening to this and it is the best Christmas album - period. If you only know Jimmy Dean from his pork sausage product and have never heard him sing please download the music. I guarantee you will forever remember this music.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Ralph Hunter Choir - Christmas Surprises From":

I found this death notice on Ralph Hunter from 2002. I didn't realize until reading this that he only recorded five albums with the Ralph Hunter Choir. Too bad, they were great.

Ralph Hunter, 81, a Choral Conductor and a former professor of music at Hunter College, died on June 3 in Grinnell, Iowa, where he lived. He was 81.

Known for his passionate conducting of polychoral and spatially stereophonic music, Mr. Hunter also worked in radio and television and recorded five albums with the Ralph Hunter Choir.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card":

I pull out my turntable every Christmas just to listen to this album. My mom bought the album when it came out and I have been listening to it now for 40 years. I have always thought JD never got the credit he deserved for being a great singer. This album has some great tunes: "My Christmas Room" is my favorite. Would love to find it on CD. Thanks!



Doctor Love has left a new comment on your post "The Happy Crickets - Christmas With":

Oh man this one is truly horrible. I always wanted an official Chipmunks Christmas album and my Mom got me this instead at the grocery store. Not only did it suck, but we were stuck listening to it for the next several Christmases cuz my parents never threw out any Christmas album EVER. Ah, childhood....



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Welcome!":

Dear Capt,

I am trying to find out information on Christmas Dance Party with Jan Garber and His Orchestra. I would love to know how to download the stereo version you have spoken of. Thanks



Kiera'sMom has left a new comment on your post "Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ":

Thank you for this! You just made my year. I used to listen to this every night growing up around the holidays. I have been looking everywhere for a non lp version as I don't have a record player. Do you have any more?? (i.e from Organ Plays Christmas?)



greg has left a new comment on your post "Woody The Woodchuck - Christmas Sing Song (STEREO)":

The link is now dead. Could this be reposted?



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Voices Of Walter Schumann - The Voices Of Christmas":

It is now on CD. You can purchase from ccmusic.com.



Nancy has left a new comment on your post "The Cricketones - Christmas Is For Children":

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



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "L'il Wally & The Harmony Boys - A Polka Christmas":

Lil' Wally passed away last year, he left a heritage of songs. Lil' Wally was the Polka King of "Polish Broadway" in Chicago, where Polka Taverns ran supreme in the 40's - 50's. Out of his music was born the Chicago Push style music.

This type of music has a concertina, two horns and a strong vocal singer. The Versatones, Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push and the Country Polka Musicians are amazing musicians. Lenny Gomulka started to perform and in fact became a professional musicians at age 13!!

He is the Frank Sinatra of Push music, I love the way his voice carries and trancends Push music.



Adam Eleven has left a new comment on your post "Douglas Leedy - A Very Merry Electric Christmas To You":

Thank you very, very much. This is a super-rare album and really one of the better switched-on works. If you're into christmas stuff have a look at Wiels.nl. This Dutch guy has posted (among shitloads of other rare analog vintage stuff) a lovely xmas moog album by Sy Mann. I'm still trying hard to find Rob Meurer's A Synth for Christmas - any chance?



Karissa Noel has left a new comment on your post "Yuleblog Memo":

I am a fellow Christmas song fanatic and was glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

I have what is, without a doubt, the best Christmas song written in the past 50 years (okay, to be fair, I'll say one of the top 10). No, I'm not talking about another "The Christmas Shoes" - this is a toe-tappin', clever little ditty that fits in perfectly with the classic Christmas songs of the mid-twentieth century.

Matter of fact, I'm certain that if it had been written back then, Brenda Lee would have recorded it and it would have been every bit as big, if not bigger than, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - yes, it is really that good! Lucky for me, it was written in this century, and I get to be the one who goes down in history as the gal who brought Christmas music back to its heyday!

Anyway, it being mid-November, I'm in a mad rush to get it to anyone who will listen and you seem like a perfect candidate. It is of the utmost importance that lovers of Christmas music everywhere hear this song!



Oakleaf Mold has left a new comment on your post "Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme - That Holiday Feelin":

get the cd at deepdiscount.com for 14.95 plus free shipping

See Rock and Mae on YouTube



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card":

I know it is difficult to put one album above all the rest BUT, this one brings back such fond memories of my childhood at Christmas time I cried when I finally found it. JD is also a fabulous vocalist.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Ralph Hunter Choir - Christmas Surprises From":

I had the 1962 version. My parents played it ragged. As a kid, I finished it off. It was the only Christmas record we HAD! I'd been meaning to look for this record for years and years. I can't believe I got it tonight thanks to you and Ernie (not Bert). Thank you!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Cabbage Patch Christmas":

Does anyone know where I could find this tape/CD of Christmas in the Cabbage Patch? I've been looking everywhere. Any ideas?



frank zahn has left a new comment on your post "The Fabulous Fay McKay - Winter Favorites":

HELP! I tried to call the number for Fay's CD, but the e-mail bounces back and the number is always busy.
Do you think there's any other way to get this CD?!?

If you can email me, my information is on my website. Thank you SO MUCH!



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Funky Christmas (Cotillion Records)":

Can you PLEASE repost the Funky Christmas album? My parents played this album EVERY Christmas when I was a child growing up in Louisiana and I haven't been able to find it as an mp3 file anywhere. I would truly appreciate it!

Thank you in advance!!!!



amy has left a new comment on your post "A Cabbage Patch Christmas":

I have that cassette tape! It is very used! I loved that tape! I remember every song almost to the T. Christmas Day in the Cabbage Patch, One more dream til Christmas, Gimme Gimme Take Take, I Saw Three Ship come Sailing in. And all the rest. I sing them now to my children 7 and 3. I was 8 years old and am now 32. Amazing what I childs mind can retain. Hope you find one!



All caught up! It's nearly 1 AM and it's been a long weekend... I'm heading to bed


Capt

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!



This YouTube clip is from "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" from 1958. Dinah begins with a beautiful song about Thanksgiving (around the 3:20 mark) and joins her special guest stars around a lovely Thanksgiving setting.

What makes this clip special is the fact her guest stars were all real-life spouses appearing on the same show: George Montgomery (then Mr. Dinah Shore), Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Edie Adams, and Ernie Kovacs - two husband and wife teams and some of my personal heroes.

After some appropriate solemnity, Dinah, George, Louis, Keely, Edie, and Ernie all join in for a spirited singing of "Dry Bones" over a turkey carcass.



Some time this Thanksgiving weekend, I will be answering the 50+ comments left here since I last visited this place, fixing some broken links (if any), and quite possibly posting an actual yuleblog entry (WOW).

Have fun eating, visiting with your loved ones, and travelling safely wherever you are.


Capt