Showing posts from October, 2006

Alexander Goodrich - Christmas Organ And Chimes

Here is yet another Christmas organ music album for my collection. If you're keeping score at home, this is the FOURTEENTH album of the organ variety that I've added since last year. Wurlitzers, Kimballs, and Lowerys... oh my! If you've ever thumbed through a stack of Goodwill or Salvation Army albums in one of their stores, chances are you've seen this album. I have seen two different album covers for this one personally and wouldn't be surprised if there were others. Released by Caroleer Records in 1964, this one features one Alexander Goodrich playing your favorite Christmas tunes. I wish I could add more. Google searches lead nowhere on either Alexander Goodrich and Caroleer Records. As for the music, this is about as straight as you can get without an ounce of soul or rhythm. Adding chimes only serve to awaken those who might fall asleep during the tracks. Every public domain song is captured here because chances are Caroleer Records couldn'

Ontario Lottery Corporation - Christmas Is For Children

Several weeks ago, I reviewed a certain album from the Ontario Lottery Corporation that came to us from my good friend Jeff in Canada at his website . Buried in my stack of CDs was the OTHER album by the Ontario Lottery Corporation! Released in 1982, these sixteen tracks were possibly if not probably used for radio & TV commercials for the Ontario Lottery. The first album was very straight laced - harmonized singing, lush orchestra, well produced, occasionally some of the strangest lyrics you'll ever hear, and very homogenized. It's worth a listen and a chuckle. This second album has these elements and a little bit more. The camp factor on this album is ten times higher than the first album - making this one of the best finds of the year in my book! Here's a track by track review: 1.) Christmas Is For Children There was a song on the first album with the exact title. Coincidence? This one isn't oversung though! 2.) Whenever It Snows "Whenever

Guitars Inc. - Guitars At Christmas

From the back cover of this album: "What happier way to celebrate Christmas? The Festive Sounds of Yuletide have never been captured with greater warmth or charm in this novel album. "Guitars At Christmas" combines the talents of five of America's most distinguished guitarists with the very special, tinsel-like sounds of Christmas: chimes, bells, celeste, music boxes, and many other memory stirring delights. "The sixteen very popular melodies in this album are given soft but stirring interpretations by the many rich "voices" of guitarists Al Hendrickson , Howard Roberts , Bobby Gibbons , Tommy Tedesco , and Bill Pitman . The sound they develop is distinctive enough to stimulate even the most jaded of ears, adding zest and a bubbly newness to the most familiar of melodies. "No small part of the liveli- and loveliness heard here can be attributed to the refreshing accents flowing from the "light as a Winter's night," clear as cry

Paul Mickelson - Christmas Bells

In March of this year , I added my first Christmas carillon album. Two months later , I purchased my second Christmas carillon CD. We now fast forward to today and here is the third Christmas carillon album for my collection! Recorded in 1955, this one features a gent by the name of Paul Mickelson. Not much is known (or at least available online) about Mickelson's early life. We do know that he was a talented musician and a devout Christian by the time he was asked by Billy Graham to join his evangelical ministries as an organist in 1950. In 1953, Billy Graham Ministries released a 78 RPM entitled "Wonderful Peace" that features Mickelson playing Christmas carols on side two. If any can locate a copy of that one, please let us know! Two years later, Mickelson got a recording contract from RCA Victor. He released two albums in 1955; the first was Inspired by the lush sounds of Jackie Gleason, Mantovani, and the like, Mickelson gathered his orchestra and recorded

Eaton's Presents Christmas Magic

You're looking at a typical 1960s Christmas compilation album that was branded and sold by a department store during the holiday season. However, this store is probably one you've never heard of... unless you live north of the 49th parallel. Back in 1869, a young man by the name of Timothy Eaton sold his interest in a dry-goods store and went into business for himself. Finding a store location in Toronto, he opened his first store - appropriately named Eaton's . Eaton's soon became the largest department store chain in Canada. In many ways, it resembled Macy's - it soon had a Gimbel like competitor in the Simpson's department stores and billed itself as "Canada's Greatest Store". In a nod to Sears, it began a mail order catalog which doubled Eaton's sales yearly. An old saying in Canada states that "only two books mattered in a typical Canadian home: the Bible and the Eaton's Catalog". History was made on December 2nd,

Mike Douglas - My Kind Of Christmas

Just as the dust was settling from Christmas In July over at Ernie (Not Bert)'s blog , a former World War II vet, band singer, and talk show host died. Ernie honored the man the best way he knew how - by posting this album. Before Oprah, before Rosie, before Springer, before Donahue, before Dinah, and yes, even before Merv (by two years!), Mike Douglas created and defined the afternoon talk show from his homebase of Philadelphia, PA. At his peak, he was seen on 171 TV stations and an average audience of 6 millions viewers. From 1963 to 1981, Mike hosted many diverse guests. Who can forget the appearance of the rock group KISS with legendary comedienne Totie Fields? Or the appearance of a two year old Tiger Woods doing trick golf shots and impressing Bob Hope? Mike also lent his co-hosting duties out now and then. Such was the case of the week of February 14, 1972 when Mike asked John Lennon & Yoko Ono to co-host the show. It was hugely risky and controversial

A Long Way To Say Goodbye To A Friend

I woke up this Monday morning severely jetlagged and with just a touch of sadness. Last Wednesday, my wife flew to Phoenix, AZ to attend a medical conference (she's a board certified geriatrician specializing in internal medicine). This is nothing new; she attends medical conferences at least three times a year. On most of these occasions, my stay-at-home dad duties kick into high-gear for the usual three to four day absences she's gone. However, last week's plan called for me to watch the kids just for two days, send them to my in-laws for the other two, and fly out to Phoenix to spend a short weekend with her. Sounds good in theory. Last Friday, after posting two yuleblog entries, my overnight bag and I drove the short 15 minutes from our house to Fort Wayne International Airport, hopped onto an American Airlines flight to Chicago (35 min including a GREAT 45 seconds flying over Wrigley Field upon approach) and picked up the connecting flight to Phoenix (3:25). I

Victorian Christmas (Village Square Records)

You never know what you're going to find in a second hand shop. During this past year, I've found a large amount of lost Christmas albums at my local Salvation Army, Amvets, and others. (Disturbing note - all three of my local Goodwill stores have STOPPED carrying LPs. I don't know why but I hope this isn't a nationwide trend!) Very seldomly do I find an actual Christmas CD. Several years ago, I came across a Neil Diamond Christmas disc in pretty good shape at a local shop. An old sticker from a garage sale stated $2. but the HUGE sign above the bin read "CDs - $1.00". Guess which price the cashier insisted on ringing up the disc at? Mmhmm... This CD was found at the Salvation Army, encased in a glass showcase along with the seven other CDs in the entire store and the assortment of "high-end" items they don't want to walk out the door via the five finger discount: the answering machine that's several years out of date, the boomb

Midnight String Quartet - Christmas Rhapsodies For Young Lovers

If you haven't visited Bongobells recently, you're missing out on some very interesting finds (a Nelson Eddy Christmas album? Who knew?). Many of these finds will be reviewed here over the next several weeks. This is the first. Released in 1968 on the Viva label, not much else is known about the Midnight String Quartet other than a one sentence line on the back cover: " The Midnight String Quartet has now arrived at a position of great prominence among the successful instrumental groups of the world. " Hmmm... To understand all of this a bit further, let's take a closer look at the Viva label and the person behind it - a legendary record producer who got his nickname from chewing tobacco. By the age of 15, Snuff Garrett was already working in the music industry as a producer's assistant. Two years later, he was a disk jockey in Lubbock, Texas, hosted an "American Bandstand" type TV show for a time, and moved west to Hollywood to begin

Dennie Christian - Weihnachten mit

Ist hier ein Album für den Deutschen in allen uns! Dieses kommt zu uns von den guten Völkern an den Jeffco Produktionen und Sie können dieses an ihrem Aufstellungsort NOCH downloaden ! Dennie Christian wuchs in Deutschland auf und hoffte, ein Musiker zu werden ein Tag. Daß Tag in 1975 kam, während seine notierende Karriere anfing zu blühen. Er beanspruchte schnell herauf einige Erfolg singles und Alben und wurde betitelt "dem deutschen Andy Gibb." Ende der Dekade war seine Karriere emporgeragt. Er notierte dann das Album, das Sie vor Ihnen 1980 sehen. Die meisten Schienen sind direkt, keine Krausen, und - alle auf Deutsch ziemlich gut gesungen. Ungeachtet es gibt eine grosse Überraschung - Christ singt eine Version "des weißen Weihnachten" auf englisch, das ziemlich ist gut, Teutonic des Akzents. Es ist ein netter Oasis mitten in dem Album. Er ist kein Hasselhoff, aber das ist ein definitives Plus für Dennie! Um diese Zeit fing Christian, seine Karrierewa

Julie Andrews & Andre Previn - A Christmas Treasure

Whenever I get the chance to visit Chicago (like I did this past weekend), I try to find some time to check out the used CD stores in the area. I'm sorry to report that on this trip I discovered that one of my favorite used CD stores - the Compact Disc Trading Post of Merrillville, IN - has closed its shutters for good. Many used Christmas CDs were found in this place over the past six years. To the girls who work at the Subway located next to the former location of the used CD store: Just because your former neighbors moved away doesn't justify my moaning in agony, tears flowing, and the kicking and screaming I displayed in booth #6. I apologize for my actions. I then travelled to another used CD store that keeps a box of Christmas CDs under the "Religious / Easy Listening" bin. While many used CD stores choose NOT to buy or display Christmas CDs, this store does exactly the opposite (to that I say BRAVO!). This CD you're looking at was buried deep within

Nick Holiday

This past weekend, my family and I travelled to Chicago to visit family and celebrate the birthdays of two of my nephews (one of which is my godson - my only chance to be Vito Corleone). The whole family decided to find birthday presents together and went to a local Target store to hunt them down. We were browsing through their toy section which was located dangerously close to their music section. While my wife and my two daughters were "oohing" and "aahing" down the Barbie aisle together, I took my son and quickly cruised through the music section, intent on purchasing nothing - ain't that always the case? Like a moth drawn to a flame, I found their newly installed Christmas music section. While I thumbed through the CDs, my son thumbed through a section as well. Suddenly, I heard him cry "SPONGEBOB! FAIRLY ODDPARENTS!" I immediately thought he was looking at the toy section across the aisle. "DAD! LOOK! IT'S A NICK HOLIDAY!"

Ontario Lottery Corporation - Santa Claus Is Canadian

Shocking, isn't it? Bet you didn't know that St. Nick's real name is St. Canuck. Turns out that Santa is a fan of Hockey Night in Canada. Santa even has Red Green on retainer as "advisor" to all the elves at his workshop. Well, maybe. My last yuleblog entry came to you from the Oregon State Lottery from last year. This charming album title comes to us from the Ontario Lottery Corporation circa 1981. Sense a pattern forming? My good Canadian buddy Jeff at Jeffco Productions decided to offer this album at his website where you can STILL download this album for your own listening pleasure. The Oregon lottery had five tracks to offer - "Santa Claus Is Canadian" is a full album with thirteen original tracks all quite lush and well produced - what you'd expect from a big lottery corporation. Several of the tracks are instrumentals ("Fanfare For Christmas", "Country Christmas", "Christmas Samba") and hold up v

Spirit Of Fruitcake Volume Four (Asche & Spencer)

After a five week layoff, it's back to the reviews. The stack beside my computer monitor isn't as large as this but it still has enough cool stuff to look over. Figuring out which new Christmas CD in my collection would be the first to review was the main problem. However, when I discovered this little crumb a few days ago, I knew it'd be the perfect CD to begin with. A little backstory though. On March 16 of this year, I reviewed a homemade Christmas compilation sent to me. I did a track by track review and the very last track was: 26.) Asche & Spencer - Merry Christmas Fruitcake Read the full story here ... ANYONE HAVE THE FULL CD? Last week, while reviewing this blog for possible selections for my annual Christmas CD, I looked at this yuleblog entry once again and reclicked on the link explaining the story. It seems that an advertising company named Borders Perrin Norrander were hired by the Oregon State Lottery to come up with a clever ad campaign

Yuleblog Comments Pt. 1

Before I begin reviewing new additions to my Christmas CD collection, I want to reach into the mailbag to answer some comments and/or questions left for me here during my five week absence from the yuleblog desk. SOMEBODY STOLE A RALPH HUNTER ALBUM? Back on September 18, 2006, a blogger named Merry left a comment for me at this yuleblog entry : " Many (very many) years ago I brought the Surprises from . . . Ralph Hunter Christmas album to school for use in a dance recital music selection process (after Mom told me not to). Short story - it was taken from my locker and I have been in a very big doghouse ever since, as it was the family favorite. How can I get a copy (any format)? " Merry, I'm sorry your album was pinched. That would definitely be an album to have (can you hear the eBay gods a-calling?). At least the thief in question had good taste in Christmas music. My friend Ernie originally offered the album at his blog almost a year ago. He's a very goo

October 2006 or "YIKES! We're behind schedule!"

Dear readers of the yuleblog, As you can tell, one month wasn't long enough for me to complete my annual Christmas CD. I'm almost done. Check back soon, k? Capt