Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2008

Merry Christmas!


Two years ago, I posted my first sampler which was basically a "best of" of all the music I shared out in 2006. One year ago, I posted my second sampler which was basically a preview of all the music I shared out this year (no links to the previous samplers - what's the point?).

About two months ago, I met a fellow Christmas music collector named Bill Dann who had supplied our friend Marc Bird with many, many a rare Christmas record. He sent me a list of extra Christmas 45s in his collection for sale and I purchased a fair number of these.

This led me to re-explore my haunts here in Fort Wayne looking for Christmas 45s. I came up with a few more amazing Christmas singles (thanks to Tim at Wooden Nickel) and even a couple of 78s (one of which came courtesy of my best friend Joel - thank you!).

On one of these searches, I came across an RCA Victor demonstration album entitled "Hearing Is Believing" which had the amazing cover art that I appropriated for my own. It also gives me a chance to use this vintage RCA Victor Christmas ad from 1950:

No spoken intro like on samplers past, no partial artwork like on samplers past, no individual tracks to pick and choose from like on samplers past. It's the full package - my Christmas present to you.

Your 2008 Christmas Yuleblog Sampler:

Track 1 - Ethel Smith - Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
Decca Records - 9-27240 - 1950

From her 45 box set called "Toy Parade" - another contribution from the former closet of my in-laws!

Maybe the best rendition of this song ever.

Track 2 - Allen & The Lads - Legend Of Old St. Nick
Secret Records Incorporated - 8696 - 196?

Bluesy Christmas song that lays the whole story of Santa out, ya dig?

The B-side is coming up later... stay tuned.

Track 3 - The Willis Sisters - Blue Christmas
Columbia Records - 4-41320 - 1958

No, not Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah... sadly, Google turned up nothing on these sisters. Anyone?

This is the B-side to "Happy Birthday Jesus" by Little Cindy which John Waters used on his Christmas album.

Track 4 - C.W. McCall - Sing Silent Night
Polydor Records - PD 14445 - 1977

Mercy sakes alive, we got us a Christmas record!
Earlier in 1977, McCall gave us the C.B. hit "Convoy". This Christmas song has no C.B.s in it at all - surprisingly solemn.

Track 5 - Joe Green - Adeste Fideles (Oh, Come All Ye Faithful)
RCA Victor - 26079-B - 1938

Straight chimes, anyone? From a 78 I found at a local Salvation Army store.

Thanks to Larry Pester for the transferring this!

Track 6 - The Walter Murphy Orchestra - Disco Bells
Major Records - tjv-disco bells - 1975

A year before they gave us the disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven", these guys gave the disco treatment to "Jingle Bells".

Man, I love Christmas disco...

Track 7 - Dolly Nunn - Nuttin' For Christmas
Gateway Records - 9024-B - 195?

This is the first track I'm sharing from this EP. I searched everywhere for info on this one. Not a thing.

Nice to hear this song sung by a little girl instead of a little boy!

Track 8 - Connie Canuso - Santa Claus And His Sleigh
Applause Records - 8-1246 - 196?

I thought this looked familiar - Ernie shared out the A-side ("Someone Painted Rudolph's Nose a Chocolate Brown") at his blog.

Both sides are dynamite!

Track 9 - Bob & Dolores Hope - Silver Bells
Coral Records - 9-62237 - 1958/9

Forget their 1994 duet from "Hopes For The Holidays" - this one recorded back in the day is the real deal!

I'm now looking for the album listed on the label...

Track 10 - The Country Squirrels - How I Love Those Christmas Songs
Metromedia Country - MC-903-AA - 1972

An old-school Christmas country song with Chipmunk-like voices passed off as squirrels?

I am so there...

Track 11 - Ray Stevens - Happy Blue Year
National Recording Corp. - NRC-063 (S-1102) - 1960

Don't look, ETHELLLLL! Made before he started doing novelties for a living, this one features Ray playing a mean piano instrumental.

The B-side is forthcoming.

Track 12 - Terry Buter - C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
Gateway Records - 9024-A - 195?

This is the second track I'm sharing from this EP. I searched everywhere for info on this one. Not a thing.
Very nice rendition.

Track 13 - The Frank DaVino Chorus - Lonely Old Shepherd
Decca Records - 9-29727 (45-88777) - 1955

Nice original Christmas song from a double-sided promo single. The B-side is lurking below...

Thanks to Ted or whoever wrote 12-10-55 on the label!

Track 14 - Justin Wilson - Whitey The Snow White Lamb
Tower Records - 380 - 1967

Glad to get this rare single from the Cajun Chef! A nice compliment to his full Christmas album that I shared previously.

Track 15 - Sammy Poole - Snowball
Great Record Co. - 1190 - 196?

Snowball's not a lamb but a cute adorable puppy... mix this with some old-school country and you get this toe-tapper.

Track 16 - Ken Griffin - The Skaters Waltz
Rondo Records - 45197-A - 1951

What better way to follow "Snowball" than with a winter waltz? A bunch of newspapers... har-dee-har-har.

Another contribution from the former closet of my in-laws!

Track 17 - Jim Backus - The Office Party
Dico Records - D-101 - 1959

This is the hilarious B-side to "I Was A Teenage Reindeer". Listen as Backus plans the annual Christmas office party ("Boob McNutt!"). Clean copy!

Track 18 - Jack Daniels - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Gateway Records - 9024-B - 195?

This is the third track I'm sharing from this EP. I searched everywhere for info on this one. Not a thing.

He makes a mean whiskey and sings a great rendition of "Rudolph" as well...

Track 19 - Ambrose Haley & His Ozark Ramblers
Mercury Records - 6067 - 1948?

This is my favorite track on the whole comp.

Not because of my friends' help. This is a great old-school Christmas country song whose melody will get trapped in your skull after hearing it...

Track 20 - Eric Jay - Little Drummer Boy
Bullseye Records - B-1021 - 1959

Jay's solo voice vs. a male choir, a string section, and drums that attempt to blow little Eric out of the water.

A good alternative to the Harry Simeone Chorale.

Track 21 - Allen & The Lads (feat. Larry Crippen) - Homemade Christmas Card
Secret Records Incorporated - 8698 - 196?

Perhaps the grimmest Vietnam Christmas song of them all.

This one locks you in at note one and doesn't let you go. Oliver Stone couldn't have written this any better.

Track 22 - Ray Stevens - White Christmas
National Recording Corp. - NRC-063 (S-1101) - 1960

Stevens signed with NRC, owned by music mogul Bill Lowery, in 1958. During his tenure there, Ray did mostly session and arranging work (i.e. this song).

The following year NRC went bankrupt, Stevens signed with Mercury and began cranking out the parodies.

Track 23 - Homer & Jethro - Santy's Movin' On
RCA Victor - 47-6322 - 1955

I missed out on an eBay auction for a Homer & Jethro Christmas EP (twice!). So when Tim at Wooden Nickel sold me this one, I didn't feel so bad.

Track 24 - Eileen Scott - The Night Before Christmas Song
Gateway Records - 9024-A - 195?

This is the fourth and final track I'm sharing from this EP. I searched everywhere for info on this one. Not a thing.

Another great rendition.

Track 25 - Ed Penney - What Is Christmas?
Decca Records - 9-29727 (45-88776) - 1955

Penney attempts to define Christmas through narration.

Did Stan Kenton get a listen to this before he recorded "What Is A Santa Claus?"

Two "Super Secret Bonus Tracks"

A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2008


A reminder: I contributed an entry to Otis Fodder's 365 Days Project at WFMU's "Beware of the Blog!" on December 26th last year. If you're looking for some post-Christmas radio spots, and songs for the New Year, click on the link.

In years past, I've used this spot to share some personal info about me and my upcoming year. What's next?

About sixteen hours of uninterrupted sleep for starters. I stopped downloading stuff about three weeks back - it's time to catch up, sort through the backlog, catalog it all, and then do the same for all the Christmas CD presents I'll receive under the tree.

2009 will be a year of change for me. I want to lose 40 lbs. by my 40th birthday in June and I'm going to do my best to get to that goal. A special project lurks on the horizon that I definitely want to be part of (more on that as it develops).

Next fall, my youngest daughter will start kindergarten and my decade long career as a stay-at-home dad will come to an end. Finding a part-time job that revolves around my kids' schedule will be a difficult task for someone who hasn't been in the workplace for 10 years.

I'm looking into radio production classes - either online or nearby if available. Where that might lead to in the future ("Rob Martinez on KAOS Radio... here's the latest by Barry Manilow!") is anyone's guess.

In any case, I'll start cranking out new entries as best as I can next week. I won't be sharing out much - just the occasional MP3 post now and then.

If you found this place for the first time this year, thanks and I hope you'll stop back often. If you're a longtime reader, thanks for stopping here often and hope you'll come back. I am wishful that you found something that made you smile, brighten your day, week, Christmas season, lifetime, etc.

I appreciate all the comments, criticism, corrections, and comradery you've given to me throughout the 2008 downloading season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone reading, everywhere...



DonHo57 said...

Thanks for the Sampler, all the shares for Christmas, and the hard work you put into this.

Merry Christmas!

Chris in Cary said...

Capt, thanks for a monumental amount of great music this year. I truly appreciate the effort that you stalwarts of the Christmas sharity community put forth on behalf of your readers and downloaders.


stubbysfears said...

Ooooooh! Christmas Sampler! Yummy.

Merry Christmas, Captain!

parsonbruce said...

An extra big Christmas thanks and wish for a blessed New Year to Ernie (Not Bert), The King of Jingaling (at, AM, Then FM, A Christmas Yuleblog, Hi-Fi Holiday, Big Balls of Holly, Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else, Christmas Music Everyday, Way Out Junk, Hip Christmas, Twelve Months of Christmas, Sanity Clause's Shanty and Santas Working Overtime--and MANY other faithful bloggers I have not mentioned by name--for the OUTstanding Christmas music shares! In my little universe alone, your generosity has made dozens of folks VERY happy, and I'm sure thousands more too, on all those Internets!

Franklin Mint said...

Thanks for all the music this season.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your sampler songs so much.

bassman said...


Ambrose Haley was my Grandfather. Always interesting to find his music on the 'net'.

PDMan said...

I remember Guy, Skeeter and Vic - the Willis Brothers - from the Opry but the Willis Sisters? can never go wrong with Homer & Jethro!

Cait said...

Thank you so much for the sampler and all the wonderful Christmas music you've shared. It really brightened my Christmas this year. I hope the new year brings you and your family much happiness.

Stephen said...

Rob, thanks for all your shares this year! This looks like a great compilation - I can't wait for it to finish downloading so I can listen to it. Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I especially appreciated the veterans shares. Thanks for your hard work.

The Tone King said...

Thanks for sharing, Cap! I just got around today in checking out the tracks! I think there was only one or two familiar to me, so it was a real treat!

One of the songs familiar to me was the Country sounds like a different version than the one I shared previously on my blog. Or maybe a different mix...something is just different about it from the record I got. That got me curious....

CaptainOT said...

Everyone - Glad you enjoyed the Sampler! Thanks for the kind words!


Anonymous said...

Capt, you can be assured that you have added some holiday glow to our Christmas this year. Many thanks for your hard work. Please give us some hints about the artists on the bonus track?

Anonymous said...

OK, here's my guesses:

Track 26 is Mabel Scott - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus from 1948.

Track 27 is Connie Haines - I'm Making Believe (Its Christmas Eve)from NBC's Abbott & Costello Camel radio show 14 December 1944. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

I think we are closer to solving the mystery of Gateway Records. This label was apparently pressed in 1956 by Rite Record Productions in Cincinnati. Please refer to

Hope this helps in solving the Gateway EP mystery.

sambson said...

According to the Mercury Numerical Listing - 6000 Series Country/Western: 1945-1950; this single was originally released as a 78rpm in 1947. (check:

Anonymous said...

Thank you!