Monday, November 03, 2008

Bruce Woodman Presents Christmas Carols With A Latin Lilt

Once again, here is another rescued piece of vinyl from the collection of Ernie (not Bert). This was part of three albums Ernie shared with a Latin feel (heck, just look at that title above!) and this was downloaded on November 30th, 2006 at 8:50 AM.

To quoteth Ernest:

"I guess I should try to squeeze one more Latin-tinged Christmas album here before I move on to something else. This little goody was recorded by a missionary in South America, and he fills it with local songs for the holidays, as well as some familiar Christmas tunes. There is some narration on there as well, my favorite bit being the introduction at the beginning of the LP. That part may make my Christmas CD this year."

Beyond that, good people, there's nothing on the Internet about Bruce Woodman.

However, the narrator Ernie alluded too has a massive presence online. His name is Luis Palau and has been an evangelist for more than 40 years. The author of nearly 50 books, Palau's radio broadcasts in both English and Spanish are heard by millions more on over 2,600 radio stations in 42 countries.

Strangely enough, there is nothing at his website or in his bio that even mentions Bruce Woodman. Therefore, the only info (and mug shot) we have on Woodman is the back cover:


1.) Luis Palau - Introduction 1
"Yes, that's right. It's Christmas time... We would like to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to transport you to the many lands south of the border." - Sounds like something you'd find on one of Eddie G's comps.

2.) Bruce Woodman - Come All, Ye Shepherds
A standard carol with a hint of Latin lilt... Bruce's fine baritone voice shines.

3.) Bruce Woodman - Silent Night
Take one tuba, organ, piano, and blend together in equal parts. Still not very Latin.

4.) Luis Palau - Introduction 2
Palau recites the same story Linus used to tell Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about.

5.) Bruce Woodman - En La Noche Los Pastores Velan (The Night Watch Of The Shepherds)
Using authentic Latin instruments and singing in Spanish, this song pumps up the Latin content by about 200%.

6.) Lois Hat Vasconez - There's A Song In The Air
More like a song in the organ... Vasconez plays beautifully but is it Latin? Judging by my Mexican ears, no.

7.) Luis Palau - Introduction 3
Fifteen seconds of Luis introducing Bruce and his baritone horn.

8.) Bruce Woodman - Salvador Admirable (Wonderful Savior)
Just adding the Spanish title to a standard carol doesn't make it Latin. This is getting depressing.

9.) Luis Palau - Introduction 4
Luis announces the arrival of the Three Wise Men and the next song by Bruce.

10.) Bruce Woodman - Blessed Palestine
A song about Israel done in a light Latin lilt. This could either be classified as Latin or Israeli music.

11.) Bill Fasig - What Child Is This?
Organ and chimes version - I'm still waiting for the maracas and marimba...

12.) Bruce Woodman - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Bruce is back with his baritone horn... and I'm looking for some Tito Puente or Celia Cruz to pep me up.

13.) Luis Palau - Introduction 5
"The next Christmas song is a hymn with a message for our time..." Uh-oh.

14.) Delores Baklenko - It's Christmas Time
The first 1:30 of this song is wonderful - not heavy on the Latin or message but the images it conjures is magical. It then switches gears and becomes a song about the manger, baby Jesus, the arrival of the savior - never capturing the magic of the first 90 seconds.

15.) Bill Fasig - The First Noel
Bill plays us out on the organ... please pick up your church bulletins and drive safely.

Of the three Latin flavored albums Ernie shared, this album is the worst of the lot. Woodman must have used a Toledo scale on this album - if it got too heavy with Latin lilt, he stripped some of that distinctive sound away, leaving a shell of "Latin" music.

Ernie shared out two other Latin albums of note. The first is Canciones de Navidad (Spanish Christmas Carols) by a fellow named William Clauson. During the 1950s, Clauson made a name for himself importing music from around the world and presenting it to the nuclear families of the Eisenhower era. This one's just a step above the Woodman album... but not that much.

The second album is
Natal No Brasil - an authentic Christmas album from South America. Pick any song from this one and it contains more Latin lilt than Woodman's album altogether. This is the one I would choose from the three - it holds up after several listens.

Checking my notes, I discovered in early 2007, I downloaded several other Latin albums:

Floral Pops 70 - Drum Christmas Para Bailar

Miguel Ramos y su Organo Hammond - Navidad 1967

A Festa do Natal

Any one of these will more than satisfy that Latin Christmas urge... hope these will do the trick!



Ernie said...

Ummmm, it had a nice cover though, didn't it?

CaptainOT said...

Ernie - Yes, very!


Bart Fargo said...

I hope you can help me with something. I have been looking for a recording of the Hawaiian 12 Days of Christmas for about 20 years now. It was originally on a Firestone compilation from the 60'sand was performed by Edward Kenney. You seem to be the great guru of obscure Christmas Music, I would love to see if you might have a recording of this little Chestnut. I am now your biggest fan.

Kevin Packard
Checkpoint Charley

CaptainOT said...

Bart - It's not in my collection, I'm afraid.

Have you tried asking at There's a bunch of like-minded Christmas obsessives over there who are pretty good in finding obscure titles.

Good luck!