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?"
Hmmm...





Two "Super Secret Bonus Tracks"














A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2008


UPDATE: 12/22/11 - REMASTERED





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...


Capt

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 17

From time to time this Christmas season, I'll be posting some amazing videos that have been rescued by people like us and posted at the mecca of all things wonderful and obscure - YouTube.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

For those who lived through the year 1968 and survived, they received a Christmas present 40 years ago today.

The year started off with the Tet Offensive that changed the whole outlook on the Vietnam War. The USS Pueblo was captured off North Korean waters and its crew was held and beaten for most of the year.

Across the sea, Paris students threw riots that stopped the country cold. In Czechoslovakia, reforms are attempted during the "Prague Spring" only to be crushed swiftly and cruelly by Soviet tanks and troops.

LBJ decides not to seek another term as President, setting off the most explosive election year that culminates with the Chicago police reeking mayhem on protesters at the Democratic National Convention.

Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4/6/68. Robert Kennedy was assassinated on 6/5/68. Tommie Smith and John Carlos give a Black Power salute atop the Olympic podium in Mexico City and are promptly thrown off the team and vilified for their silent protest.

Richard Nixon stages a political comeback for the ages and narrowly beats out Hubert Humphrey to win the presidency. The divides between old and young, rich and poor, and black and white are chasms.

By Christmas, 1968, the U.S. and the world was 99% scar tissue. So when Apollo 8 lifted off on December 21st, the world needed something... ANYTHING that was remotely positive and uplifting.

They got it - at the conclusion of their Christmas Eve broadcast:



My mother said she fought back the tears when watched this live in 1968. But when Frank Borman closed with "all of you on the good Earth", she lost it completely.

If you watched this live, I would love to read your thoughts and comments about what happened to you 40 years ago today. If you watching this for the first time or the 10,478th time, I would love to know what you think of it as well.


Capt


P.S. Remember to leave a few carrots for the reindeer with your milk and cookies for Santa!

2008 Yuleblog Checklist - That's all, Folks!

As indicated above, this is indeed it. The end. Close the book. Bring down the curtain. The fat lady is singing. Cue the trumpets to play "Taps". Turn out the lights, the party's over. Put out the dogs and bring in the cat. Time to put it to bed.

Here is the final tote - TIMPANI!


1983 Air Force Public Service Spots - Disc V

The Alcoa Singers - An Olde-Fashioned Christmas

Marian Anderson - Christmas Carols


Around The Christmas Tree - A Special Christmas Day Program

Jan August - Christmas Favorites

The Banjo Barons - Selections from "Play Music For Happy Times"

Ben Best - Happy Christmas Party

Bielefelder Kinderchor - Christmas In Germany

Pat Boone - White Christmas

Bowen & Csehy - Christmas Steepletime

Owen Bradley & His Quintet - Joyous Bells Of Christmas

The Bravo Singers & Instrumentalists - Christmas Sing-Along

Anita Bryant - The Miracle Of Christmas

Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - The Sound Of Christmas

The Canterbury Choir - Christmas Hymns And Carols Sung By

Capitol Production Music

Christmas 1953 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas 1954 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas 1965 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas 1966 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas 1971 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas 1976 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program

Christmas Favorites EP (Mercury Records)

A Christmas Greeting (L.A. Unit of Recording For The Blind)

Christmas Greetings (U.S. Navy)

Christmas In Italy (Capitol Records)

CLM Industries - Christmas 1961 - SINGLE

A Country Christmas

Vic Dana - Sings Little Altar Boy & Other Christmas Songs

Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card

Bill Doggett - 12 Songs Of Christmas

Dragnet - The Christmas Story

Fogwell Flax & The Ankle Biters From From Freehold Junior School - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

Pete Fountain - Candy Clarinet: Merry Christmas From (STEREO)

DeWayne Fulton - Christmas Greetings From

Funky Christmas (Cotillion Records)

Will Glahe & His Orchestra - Christmas On The Rhine

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland

Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ

Walt Harper - Open Pantry Presents Christmas Eve With

Heino - A Festive German Christmas

The Hollywood Pops Orchestra - Great Instrumental Christmas Music


Alex Houston & Elmer - Here Comes Peter CottonClaus

Irwin The Disco Duck - Christmas & New Year's Party

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden

Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra - I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas

Jim & Tammy - Christmas With Love

KFUO Presents Christmas Hymns

KFUO Presents Christmas Hymns and Carols

The Kid's Bible Club - At Christmastime

The Klaudt Indian Family - Peace On Earth; Christmas Greetings

Carmen Le Nard - Jolly Snowman - SINGLE

Liberace - 1954 Christmas Greetings (w brother George) - FLEXI

L'il Wally & The Harmony Boys - A Polka Christmas

Joe Longstreth & John Escosa - Christmas With

Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra - Christmas Music

Fred Lowery - A Family Christmas


The Lutheran Voices Children's Choir - Silent Night

Vera Lynn - Christmas With

Ruth Lyons - Selections from "It's Christmastime Again"

Sy Mann & The Malvin Carolers - Let's All Sing Christmas Carols

The Manhattan "Pops" Symphonic Band - The Sound Of Christmas

The Manhattans - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

The Bob Mantzke Choralaires - Christmas Songs

Robert Maxwell & His Harp - 40 All-Time Christmas Favorites


Mary Mayo - The Magic Of Christmas

Mickey & Bunny - Sing English Xmas Carols in Ukrainian

The Mom & Dads - Merry Christmas With

The Murk Family - Christmas With

Selections from "Nashville Christmas Party" (RCA Victor)

NORAD Tracks Santa - Christmas 1968

Pat O'Brien - A Quiet Christmas

O Tannenbaum - Christmas On The Rhine

The Pac-Man Christmas Album

The Piano Rolls & Voices - All Time Christmas Hits

A Pink Panther Christmas

A Power Pak Christmas - THREE ALBUMS

Bob Ralston - Christmas Hymns & Carols

RCA Victor Holiday Promo 45

Bobby Roberts & His Orchestra - Holiday Music For Happy People

Mickey Rooney - Merry Merry Micklemas

Del Roper & The Mason Swiss Bell Ringers - I Heard The Bells

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and David Arnold - Hooked On Christmas - SINGLE

The Royale Story Tellers - Christmas EP

Marlin L. Ryan - York, PA Traditional Christmas Carols

Sacred Heart School Choir - Sings Croatian & English Christmas Carols

Orion Samuelson - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

Sebastian's Zither - Christmas Dreams

Harry Secombe - White Christmas

Seeburg Corporation - The Sound & Color of Christmas

The Sing 'N' Do Company - Christmas Windows

Shirley & Squirrely - Christmas With

Ethel Smith - Silent Night-Holy Night

The Soulful Strings - The Magic Of Christmas

The Sounds Of Christmas (Warner Bros. Records) (MONO)

Phil Spitalny & The Hour Of Charm - Christmas Carols By

The Stonemans - A Stoneman Christmas

Paul & Nancy Steffen - Christmas Bells

The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas EP

Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin - Christmas In The Congo

Bobby Vinton - Christmas Promo EP

Jimmy Wakely - Christmas On The Range

The West Creighton Avenue Christian Church Bell Choir of Fort Wayne, Indiana - Selections from

We Three Bings: Vital Music's N.Y. Trash Xmas Comp

Patricia Wilde - Christmas Carols In Percussion

Justin Wilson - A Cajun Christmas With

Ingvar Wixell - Christmas Music of Sweden

Merrill Womach - Sings Christmas Carols


Archie Wood & His Friends - Christmas Album

Woody The Woodchuck - Christmas Sing Song (STEREO)



This is normally the spot in years past when I've stated "download 'em now because after January so-and-so, I'm yanking the links". Not this year. I'm leaving them up.

The collection has grown to a point where it would take me a week straight to re-upload these again and I'd rather not go through that process next fall. My laziness is your gain.

If you're heading somewhere this Christmas Eve, please get there safely. Not only is tomorrow Christmas Day but I'm posting my 2008 Yuleblog Sampler after the kids open their presents and eat breakfast - can't miss that!


Capt

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sebastian's Zither - Christmas Dreams


This was a from a lot of Christmas records I purchased from a Canadian dealer off eBay earlier this year.

I know of only one other Christmas zither album - that would be the excellent Ruth Welcome "Christmas In Zitherland" LP (which our friend Ernie shared out at his blog - you da man, Ernie!)

Sebastian Fichtl was born and raised in historic Salzburg, Austria. After his early lessons with the zither, he would go on to continue his studies under Professor Franz Brandlhofer, Austria's renowned zither virtuoso. He would later emigrate to Canada where this album was issued in the 1970s.

There are some great covers of "Rudolph", "O Tannenbaum", and "Silent Night". There's also one original song - the title track which is haunting and beautiful at the same time. The rest of the tracks are German Christmas songs given the full zither treatment.

If it seems that there are more songs listed than recorded, in several cases Sebastian recorded two songs within one track - there was no break in the record so I treated these as medleys.


Sebastian's Zither - Christmas Dreams


Happy listening...


Capt

Selections from "The Banjo Barons - Play Music For Happy Times"


When I found this album (minus the disc) at a local thrift store, I noticed there was only three songs that would qualify as Christmas. Plus it was banjo. After enduring the Power Pak Christmas banjo album I shared previously, I needed some GOOD Christmas banjo.

There is nothing short of a Chicago Cub loss that's more frustrating than searching a vinyl bin and finding a great album jacket that's empty. I spent nearly a full day looking at every homeless 33 1/3 but I didn't find it.

eBay to the rescue again!

I listened to the three tracks and couldn't believe my ears! Only one of the tracks had banjo - the other two were a conglomerate of orchestra and organ! Excuse me... but it says "BANJO" on the cover!

Somewhere out in this world is a proper Christmas banjo album and I do intend to find it one day...


Selections from "The Banjo Barons - Play Music For Happy Times"



Happy listening...


Capt

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and David Arnold - Hooked On Christmas - SINGLE


In 1981, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra had a huge #1 hit across the world with their "Hooked On Classics" single. While compiling 1980s music (both Christmas and non-Christmas) for my 20th anniversary CD, I discovered this single on eBay.

When it arrived, I placed it on the turntable and gave it a listen - I deemed it not Christmas enough for my CD and it got bumped off the playlist.

In two days, I'll be serving up my 2008 Yuleblog Sampler and one of the selections on it was this obscure single I picked up five years ago. That is until I read this from a new member at FaLaLaLaLa.com:

Quote from: roje on December 09, 2008, 08:23:17 AM:

First-off, I have to admit that having stumbled across this website where there's clearly a true celebration of Christmas music, is most enriching, particularly with our world in its current state. Christmas music is, quite simply put, the exact equivalent of happiness, period.

Now, there is a 7-inch vinyl which I have been in search of, for what has seemed like centuries. I first heard it on a local radio station back in the early 80's. Its called 'Hooked On Christmas', and features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

One thing I'm not too sure of though, is whether its the one with David Arnold, or the one with Louis Clark. In fact I'm not even sure if they are the same recording or not. I'm also practically sure that strangely this has never been released on CD.
Does anybody here have this rare gem that they are willing to share, please?

Once again, the single gets bumped off a playlist. But it's still win-win:


The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and David Arnold - Hooked On Christmas



The B-side is "Listen To Essex" - a non Christmas song in case you were wondering.


Happy listening...


Capt

Patricia Wilde - Christmas Carols In Percussion


This was found at a local garage sale several years ago and the cover totally hooked me. It looked promising (lots of titles listed - in hi-fi!) and I gladly paid my 50 cents. Then I dropped the needle... A pretty standard Christmas organ album.

There was a serious glut of Christmas organ albums between then and now along the sharity network and I couldn't bring myself to share this one out. One track was shared last year as a part of the 2007 Yuleblog Sampler and I decided to share the rest this year.

I wish I had more on Patricia Wilde (Google turned up nothing) but it did yield some info on Acorn Records thanks to the folks at Both Sides Now. It seems Acorn Records had problems with its grammar and spelling - I urge you to check out the Acorn link; it's a hoot!


Patricia Wilde - Christmas Carols In Percussion


Happy listening...


Capt

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 16

From time to time this Christmas season, I'll be posting some amazing videos that have been rescued by people like us and posted at the mecca of all things wonderful and obscure - YouTube.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

When I began searching for YouTube Christmas videos a while back, these next three were among the first ones on the list. They are a series of theater ads that movie houses and drive-ins would show inbetween their showings and trailers to their audiences:








Some of these came from the excellent compilations entitled "Hey Folks! It's Intermission Time" from Something Weird Video - there are some amazing ads on here if you like these sort of nostalgia.

What do you think?


Capt

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Sing 'N' Do Company - Christmas Windows


Remember your elementary school Christmas pageant or play? You may or may not remember the name of the classmate who played Scrooge or the kid who threw up onstage.

But you probably remember the music that you sang. For many school kids, it was standard Christmas carols and standards. However, some schools went out and spent money from an educational service for a Christmas program, complete with scripts and songs.

This is one of those programs. Designed to enrich the musical experience of boys and girls in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, this program came with an illustrated guidebook (lost for all eternity) for staging, costuming, and dramatizing the entire program to make the teacher's job all the more easier.

Side one is entirely vocal - one lone female voice singing eight different songs (or "windows") that comprise the entire show (and one of these tracks was used for the 2007 Yuleblog Sampler).

Side two is completely instrumental - so if you feel inspired to learn the lyrics and record your own karaoke version, please send us an MP3 at the P.O. Box.


The Sing 'N' Do Company - Christmas Windows



Happy listening (and possible singing)...


Capt

Sacred Heart School Choir - Sings Croatian & English Christmas Carols


In March of 2007, I travelled back to my old haunts in Chicago and picked up a few Christmas albums. This is one of the last ones from that trip left to be shared.

There's about 25 schools in Chicago named Sacred Heart. Considering that 1/2 of the album was sung in Croatian, my first guess was that it was recorded up somewhere in the West Town section of Chicago where Ukrainian Village is.

From some comments and consultation with my father (who grew up at 83rd & Buffalo - in the shadow of South Works), there was a Croation enclave on the south side of Chicago as well.

Sacred Heart Croatian Church is located at 96th and Escanaba Ave. on the Southeast side of Chicago.



This album is nothing fancy (a lot of my shares are usually just that). School kids singing Christmas songs. The school sold this album to parents so they could assumingly fund other programs at their school. We are talking about Chicago here - ask Gov. Rod Blagojevich!

I would love to hear from anyone on the back of the cover! And according to one of the commenters below, this album was recorded in 1961.


Sacred Heart School Choir - Sings Croatian & English Christmas Carols


Happy listening...


Capt

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden (UPDATE)


An error has been found thanks to a sharp listening listener... for more on this, click on this link to read about it.


Capt

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 15

From time to time this Christmas season, I'll be posting some amazing videos that have been rescued by people like us and posted at the mecca of all things wonderful and obscure - YouTube.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

Earlier today, I posted two albums with connection to my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Continuing with that theme, I scanned the YouTube dial to find any videos with a similar connection to the Summit City and came up with quite a few vids.

The first is of a well known and loved three-story tall Santa Claus that's been hanging in downtown Fort Wayne for decades:



This mammoth display used to hang off the Wolf & Dessauer department store in downtown Fort Wayne eons ago and was rescued from the trash bin two decades ago - click on the links for more info.

Our next clip is from The Chorus of Fort Wayne, a gay men's chorus that puts a unique spin into their Christmas show. Anyone got a white polyester suit?:



What can I say? If it's Christmas disco, I'm there. The Chorus of Fort Wayne has a website so if you enjoyed the video, drop them a line!

And now, a word from our sponsor:



Russ Moore Transmissions have been rebuilding Fort Wayne's motors since 1955 and have provided many amusing TV commercials over those many long years.

Amazingly, a good majority of these commercials have been posted online for your viewing enjoyment. FYI - the bumbling mechanic in many of these videos (and in Russ Moore's avatar) is my friend Thom Hofrichter, the head of First Presbyterian Theater where I volunteer my time to help them (and my best pal Joel).

This final clip I was thrilled to find on YouTube. If I were to grab my trusty Boy Scout compass, walk out my front door, and start heading directly northwest for about 1/2 mile, I would run directly into this house:



The Mazocks have been dazzling their neighborhood for several years. Six weeks before Thanksgiving every year, these folks hang an estimated 24,000 lights on their house, bushes, trees, basketball court, and driveway. Even the trees 200 feet away from their home in the backyard don't escape decoration.

By the time they flip the switch, they have a state-of-the-art, 200-amp outdoor power board with 32 plug-ins and an electric bill at Christmas time $250 higher than average.

And they don't stop there. As the cars drive by slowly, you'll notice one of the family members sitting on the driveway as Santa Claus welcoming well-wishers and posing for pictures. You can have your "Wizards of Winter" homes and flashy light-shows... the Mazocks celebrate Christmas, period.

We drove by the house a week ago and I noticed that the house directly next door is on the market. Can you imagine the amount of Christmas energy that would flow from that subdivision if I decided to purchase that home?

Honey??? A Happy Fort Wayne Christmas to one and all...


Capt

Selections from "The West Creighton Avenue Christian Church Bell Choir of Fort Wayne, Indiana"


During a vinyl bin search and rescue mission here in Fort Wayne, I came across not one but two copies of this album still sealed!

The West Creighton Christian Church was looking for an activity for their youth back in 1963 and came across an advertisement for handbell ringing. They ordered a set and a tradition was born.

They toured all over the country with their handbells between 1963 and 1965. This album features Christian music, one patriotic song ("America"), one popular song ("Moon River"), and four Christmas songs!

The four Christmas songs on this album are presented here. On the back cover of this album is a list of all the bellringers - I would love to hear from any of them about this album, memories of travelling with the handbells, etc.

Last June, the West Creighton Avenue church closed after 110 years of ministry in the Fort Wayne area. No word if the handbell tradition was kept to the very end or to the fate of the handbells themselves.


Selections from "The West Creighton Avenue Christian Church Bell Choir of Fort Wayne, Indiana"


Happy listening...


Capt

Joe Longstreth and John Escosa - Christmas With


Many times I've come across this album in thrift stores, online vinyl markets, and even eBay and Amazon.com. Two silouetted harps in black and white tell the story.

What I didn't know was the connection this album had to my hometown of Fort Wayne until I had a copy in my hands. It seems not only were one of the harpists (Escosa) had deep roots in Fort Wayne but it was actually recorded here as well on the Carriage Records label.

Side one is The Christmas Story according to St. Mark. Written and narrated by Longstreth, this full 15 minute story is interspersed with lovely music for solo harp (Escosa). Side two has the harpists trading off each other as they go through ten different Christmas carols.

Nothing fancy but it's well done Christmas harp.

One free day this past summer, I went looking for the location of the recording studio listed on the back cover. Located in a iffy part of town, I managed to find it - an empty lot full of grass and trees. Nothing to suggest there was a structure anywhere on the lot.

Across the street stood an apartment building with a prominent name: Carriage House Apartments. I'll have to do some detective work to see if the two are related or if the area has some sort of history with carriages, etc.

String this one along:


Joe Longstreth & John Escosa - Christmas With



Happy listening...


Capt

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 Yuleblog Checklist - Week Four

If this is the end of week four, that means we've been doing this for a month? Holy guacamole...

We've got a few odds and ends left after tonight so stay tuned. In the meantime, this is the most up-to-date checklist we've got. Take a look to see if you've gotten everything. If not, click on the link and get it. I need the RapidShare points...

And on with the countdown...























Christmas Favorites EP (Mercury Records)

A Christmas Greeting (L.A. Unit of Recording For The Blind)

Christmas Greetings (U.S. Navy)

Christmas In Italy (Capitol Records)

CLM Industries - Christmas 1961 - SINGLE

A Country Christmas

Vic Dana - Sings Little Altar Boy & Other Christmas Songs

Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card

Bill Doggett - 12 Songs Of Christmas

Dragnet - The Christmas Story

Fogwell Flax & The Ankle Biters From From Freehold Junior School - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

Pete Fountain - Candy Clarinet: Merry Christmas From (STEREO)

DeWayne Fulton - Christmas Greetings From

Funky Christmas (Cotillion Records)

Will Glahe & His Orchestra - Christmas On The Rhine

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland

Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ

Walt Harper - Open Pantry Presents Christmas Eve With

Heino - A Festive German Christmas

The Hollywood Pops Orchestra - Great Instrumental Christmas Music

Alex Houston & Elmer - Here Comes Peter CottonClaus

Irwin The Disco Duck - Christmas & New Year's Party

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden

Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra - I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas

Jim & Tammy - Christmas With Love

KFUO Presents Christmas Hymns

KFUO Presents Christmas Hymns and Carols

The Kid's Bible Club - At Christmastime

The Klaudt Indian Family - Peace On Earth; Christmas Greetings

Carmen Le Nard - Jolly Snowman - SINGLE

Liberace - 1954 Christmas Greetings (w brother George) - FLEXI

L'il Wally & The Harmony Boys - A Polka Christmas

Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra - Christmas Music

Fred Lowery - A Family Christmas

The Lutheran Voices Children's Choir - Silent Night

Vera Lynn - Christmas With

Ruth Lyons - Selections from "It's Christmastime Again"

Sy Mann & The Malvin Carolers - Let's All Sing Christmas Carols

The Manhattan "Pops" Symphonic Band - The Sound Of Christmas

The Manhattans - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

The Bob Mantzke Choralaires - Christmas Songs

Robert Maxwell & His Harp - 40 All-Time Christmas Favorites

Mary Mayo - The Magic Of Christmas

Mickey & Bunny - Sing English Xmas Carols in Ukrainian

The Mom & Dads - Merry Christmas With

The Murk Family - Christmas With

Selections from "Nashville Christmas Party" (RCA Victor)

NORAD Tracks Santa - Christmas 1968

Pat O'Brien - A Quiet Christmas

O Tannenbaum - Christmas On The Rhine

The Pac-Man Christmas Album

The Piano Rolls & Voices - All Time Christmas Hits

A Pink Panther Christmas

A Power Pak Christmas - THREE ALBUMS

Bob Ralston - Christmas Hymns & Carols

RCA Victor Holiday Promo 45

Bobby Roberts & His Orchestra - Holiday Music For Happy People

Mickey Rooney - Merry Merry Micklemas

Del Roper & The Mason Swiss Bell Ringers - I Heard The Bells

The Royale Story Tellers - Christmas EP

Marlin L. Ryan - York, PA Traditional Christmas Carols

Orion Samuelson - Christmas 45 - SINGLE

Harry Secombe - White Christmas

Seeburg Corporation - The Sound & Color of Christmas

Shirley & Squirrely - Christmas With

Ethel Smith - Silent Night-Holy Night

The Soulful Strings - The Magic Of Christmas

The Sounds Of Christmas (Warner Bros. Records) (MONO)

Phil Spitalny & The Hour Of Charm - Christmas Carols By

The Stonemans - A Stoneman Christmas

Paul & Nancy Steffen - Christmas Bells

The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas EP

Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin - Christmas In The Congo

Bobby Vinton - Christmas Promo EP

Jimmy Wakely - Christmas On The Range

We Three Bings: Vital Music's N.Y. Trash Xmas Comp

Justin Wilson - A Cajun Christmas With

Ingvar Wixell - Christmas Music of Sweden

Merrill Womach - Sings Christmas Carols

Archie Wood & His Friends - Christmas Album

Woody The Woodchuck - Christmas Sing Song (STEREO)


Happy listening...


Capt

Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin - Christmas In The Congo


As a kid, I remembered going through my mother's stack of Christmas albums around Christmas and gazing at this exotic, green covered album that contained some of the most bizarre Christmas music I had ever heard.

When she told me this was how children in Africa celebrated Christmas, I nodded my head and still thought it was strange music. This album was seldom played at our house growing up.

Flash forward to 2006. One of my wife's relatives gave me her entire collection of albums and included in that stack was her copy of this album. So I listened again and I appreciated the drumbeats, the style of singing, and the pure joy in the voices that were celebrating Christmas.

Then my kids entered the room and wondered what the mysterious noises from the turntable were... the circle of life indeed.


Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudonin - Christmas In The Congo


Happy listening...


Capt

The Canterbury Choir - Christmas Hymns And Carols Sung By


This 10" Christmas LP was given to me by my in-laws when they were cleaning out their closets.

When Columbia Records first unveiled the long playing record in 1948, two formats were introduced - the 10" version (same size as 78s, used for popular music) and the 12" version (more expensive / reserved for classical & Broadway shows).

This 10" Christmas LP was issued in 1950 (look at the back cover at the popular music of the day) and contains only eight songs.

The Canterbury Choir has had so many Christmas albums under different titles that I threw my hands up after looking for them on MusicStack. At some point, MGM rereleased this album under another title (where & what title, I don't know).

This is a standard organ & choir album. Nothing fancy to detract. A nice change of pace if you're looking for that sort of thing.


The Canterbury Choir - Christmas Hymns And Carols Sung By


Happy listening...


Capt