To honor Marc Bird's memory, I'm posting various Christmas VA hospital records ranging from 1953 to 1976.
This is the 1976 VA album. The Vietnam War had ended the previous year when the evacuation of Saigon began with the playing of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" on the remaining American radio station in Vietnam.
The VA had its hands full when this album was released to vets recuperating from Agent Orange, post-tramatic stress disorder, and depression. So their decision to really class up this album for Christmas and the Bicentennial gets my vote for the best produced album of this series.
The Hollywood Pops Orchestra leads off with a mix of patriotic and Christmas songs. They have three other songs later in the album.
Big name stars? You bet! Peggy Lee, Wayne Newton, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, John Davidson, and Glen Campbell all contribute to the fun.
One month prior to this album's release, President Gerald Ford was defeated by Jimmy Carter in the presidential election and was clearing out his desk. Ford was a Navy veteran and always made time for the vets. His appearance on the album is classy and dignified.
This leads us to side two. On the 1971 VA Christmas album, five Christmas songs by five artists were featured and since these were available elsewhere, I made the decision not to share them.
On this side two, we again get Christmas songs that you can find elsewhere but NOT in this format.
For example, track four is Dean Martin's version of "White Christmas". The VA thought it would be best to add even MORE stars greetings to the festivities and dubs in Ricardo Montalban smack dab in the MIDDLE of the song! Other celebs bridge two songs into one medley (all versions you can't find anywhere else).
Christmas 1976 Veterans Administration Hospital Program