Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas 1966 Veterans Administration Hospital Program

To honor Marc Bird's memory, I'm posting various Christmas VA hospital records ranging from 1953 to 1976.

This is the 1966 album. LBJ has gone in with two feet into Vietnam and the divisions in the USA are beginning to deepen. As the war expands, so does the production from the VA.

What started in 1953 with one track, this has now expanded to 25 tracks (with venerable Guy Lombardo as master of ceremonies) and many top name stars to add their two cents.

Jo Stafford and Mitch Miller are back again, along with first timers Al Martino, Frankie Laine, Nancy Wilson, Jan Garber, and two guys named Hope and Crosby. Bob and Bing's 1966 contribution was reused twice by the VA - the following year in 1967, then again in 1976!

Two songs on the album - Jo Stafford's "Merry Christmas" and The Andrews Sisters'"Christmas Island" - both in trunicated forms.

But it's Bill Driver, the then-VA Administrator who gets the royal prize - an introduction of the President of The United States. We then hear a taped message from LBJ - half-hearted, phoned-in sentiments never go over well in any arena.

Christmas 1966 Veterans Administration Hospital Program

Happy listening...


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