Monday, September 29, 2008
Last week I went to a local Goodwill store that is phasing out their vinyl (sad, I know). Amongst the Barry Manilow and Christian evangelist LPs was this very album you are looking at. I picked it up for the princely sum of 75 cents and chuckled all the way to the car with this one.
I knew that sometime this week I was going to review this very album - downloaded from Ernie (Not Bert) again on November 26, 2006 at 8:36 PM. When Ernie posted this album, he also posted the following:
"I asked everybody the other day if they wanted to request anything, and got a few responses. Some of them were good ones that I'm going to work on, some stuff that I already had in the works, at least one item that I had already shared, and a couple of things that I can't share because they are on CD.
"But the very first request came from none other than my father. He wanted to hear an album that we had when I was a little kid. And you can't say no to dear old Dad, no can you.
"I remember this record from when I was little. After putting it on the turntable, I was able to sing along to every single song, even though I had no clue as to what some of them were. (Some of the titles are a little funny. They may have been trying to make you think you were getting a different song, or maybe avoid paying royalties. it is on Premiere, after all.)
"Be sure you leave a little comment thanking him for this one if you download it. It's really pretty good. Sounds like a typical Premiere label patch job though. Could be three or four different lead singers on here, and who knows how many actual bands. But it's nice stuff."
I wish there was more info out there for Premier Albums (356 W 40th St, NY, NY). This budget label has many Christmas albums out there in the vinyl bins - some good, mostly bad. These are the same people who brought you Christmas albums from Jesse Crawford, Al Goodman & His Orchestra, and Woody The Woodchuck.
Not much other info out there on Slim Boyd & The Rangehands either I'm afraid. Either Boyd and the band fell off the face of the earth and were never heard from again or this was a pseudonym for a talented bunch of studio musicians. Lee Hartsfield of Music You Won't (Possibly) Hear Anyplace Else posted several tracks of Boyd from other budget albums (click here and here to see those).
1.) Go Tell It On The Mountain
More barbershop quartet than country & western, it's still a nice rendition.
2.) On December 5 and 20
Ditto on the barbershop. Interesting song, though.
3.) Wagon on Christmas
Add some guitars, bass fiddle, and rework a vintage folk song, and presto! Instant country.
4.) I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
I'm guessing they never sung this one on the range back home... but iffin they did, this is what it would sound like!
5.) Jeanette Isabella
That's "Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella"... whoever's singing the lead can pass for Perry Como!
6.) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Not as good as Gene Autry's original version but it can pass for a generic C & W version of "Rudolph".
7.) The Night Before Christmas
This guy sounds a little like Tennessee Ernie Ford! I really enjoyed this telling of "A Visit From St. Nicholas"!
8.) A Santa Claus Greeting
No, the song's actually called "When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter". Like many other budget labels, Premier changed the title to avoid paying licensing & royalty fees. Santa says "Naughty, naughty!"
9.) Have A Merry, Merry Christmas
This sounds familiar - did someone else record this song? Either way, it's a fantastic waltz tempoed country song - my favorite on the album!
10.) Silent Night
The Perry Como soundalike is back - simple acapella version with mixed choir to start, add some strings in the middle, and it ends the album prettily.
If you were to enter Slim Boyd & The Rangehands Christmas on Google, you'll find many sites online selling this album (don't pay too much for this one!).
Or you can go digging in your local Goodwill or Salvation Army vinyl bins and wind up finding it there (before its too late). This way's so much fun and you'll be rescuing a lonely piece of vinyl to boot.
Or you can visit Ernie and get this album for your listening pleasure - just make sure you leave a comment there for his dad and for Ernie.
Either way, you're not gonna have a bad time with this album. Slim and the boys do a competent job and I'm sure you have fun listening.