Showing posts from November, 2006

Mae West - Wild Christmas

Everyone remembers their first time. My first time was with Mae West. It's not as shocking as you think, dirty minded people. Last year, this was the very first full Christmas album I recorded, transferred, and offered as sharity anywhere. This is what my description of the album read as posted at FaLaLaLaLa : In 1966, Mae West was on a roll! Her earlier album release that year was "Way Out West", a minor hit on college campuses that featured songs like "When A Man Loves A Woman", "Shakin' All Over", and two Beatle covers (everyone was covering the Beatles in '66). For more info on that album, click here: Mae West - Way Out West Quick to act before the momentum ran out, Mae went into the recording studio again to record this album. They probably rushed the recordings in order to get it out on time for Christmas (maybe why there's only eight songs on the album) but she gives each tune the FULL Mae West treatment. This featu

Ken Griffin - Christmas Organ

Last year at FaLaLaLaLa , I began my career in Christmas sharity. One of these shares was a 45 single of "Winter Wonderland" and "Up On The Housetop" by Ken Griffin that I had just acquired from my in-laws record collection. If you look at the Rondo label of " Winter Wonderland ", the credited songwriter is Irving Berlin! Fact checking wasn't a huge priority in the music industry back in the 1950s obviously. When I typed out the description for that record, I didn't know who Ken Griffin was. I did some Google searches for background information and the like. At the time, I stated that Ken released two Christmas albums: + Christmas Organ And Chimes (Rondo-Lette A-40), 1950/1951 + The Organ Plays At Christmas (Columbia CL-692), 1959 Some new research informs us that Griffin did indeed release a Christmas album entitled "Merry Christmas (Organ And Chimes)" (Rondo RLP-10) in 1951. It was a 10" LP that I haven't found... yet

Liberace - 1954 Christmas Greetings Flexi (w brother George)

Yesterday, two Christmas flexis were offered by members of FaLaLaLaLa in their Forums section. FLLLL member Shemp gave us the first paper record at 78 RPM. "General Motors Songs of Christmas" is a two tracked flexi that features the "General Motors Chorus" singing Christmas favorites. Do you think GM pulled some of these singers off the line to record this? This prompted FLLLL member PDMan to comment that he had a Lawrence Welk Christmas flexi. After some urging (and ah-share, and ah-share), he was gracious enough to post "Christmas Music For Your Holiday Pleasure", compliments of your local Dodge dealer. Back in 1958, if you test drove a new Dodge, you were handed this flexi with Welk introducing the "luvely" Lennon Sisters singing "Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House." All of this communal sharing touched me deeply (although some think I'm touched in the head already). So I dug deep into my stacks of 33s and 45

Will Glahe & His Orchestra - Christmas Greetings From Germany

On October 18th, I posted a yuleblog entry that was written entirely in German because I had downloaded an album from my friend Jeff's website that was entirely in German! I acquired this album from a relative of my wife who had an amazing assortment of Christmas music. This album features a children's choir singing traditional carols in German backed by Will Glahe and His Orchestra. Glahe also gets his fair share of instrumentals as well. Not much is known about Glahe. Google searches have pointed to a lot of his records across cyberspace as well as the usual sites that attach onto a musician's name and declare you can find "Will Glahe Ringtones" or "Will Glahe Lyrics". How does one get lyrics off of instrumentals? This album has tracks to accommodate anyone even if you're not feeling very Bavarian. Just to hear the kiddie chorus sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Deutsch is worth the price of admission alone... wait, there

Bobby Vinton - Christmas Promo EP

On January 2, 2006, a FaLaLaLaLa member named Elaine Zap posted this in the Members Share section of the forums: " In 1963, Bobby Vinton put out an EP called "The Four Songs of Christmas". Three of the four songs were repeated on other complilations, but "The Christmas Song... (the chestnuts roasting on an open fire song)" never seemed to show up anywhere else. "I'd really love to have it if someone could post it for me (provided it's not still available somewhere). It wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't available, though, because I can barely find mention of it even when I Google it. After searching in the usual places (eBay, GEMM, Musicstack), I concluded this was indeed a dead end. One morning this past August, I clicked open my e-mail account and found this little gem on eBay (where else?)  I clicked, I paid, I won it! I do own Bobby Vinton's " A Very Merry Christmas " which can usually be found on eBay selling fo

Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card

A lot of searches through endless stacks of Christmas vinyl turned up this little gem that was originally released at Christmas, 1965. At first, I thought that this was another album marked for my " CD Available " pile. According to all my Google searches and checks, this album was released once on CD back in 1995, has been long out of print, and is much sought after by collectors throughout cyberspace. Bonus! Jimmy Dean was always a shrewd businessman. This was a man who once employed Roy Clark (of "Hee Haw" fame) and fired him for being constantly tardy! Dean had a long recording career throughout the 1950s and 1960s - spawning his only #1 hit "Big Bad John in 1961 - and had not one but TWO TV variety shows named after him (the latter being the more successful one from 1963-1966). This album was released at the very height of his popularity and it's a wonderful Christmas album. I never realized before what a melodious voice JD possessed - there

CLM Industries - Christmas 1961 - SINGLE

This little gem was found on eBay earlier this year. At first, I didn't know anything about it because the auction description was vague at best but the scan of the label is what caught my attention. I placed a bid and did a Google on "CLM Industries". I scrolled down on the first page of results and it came back: CLM Industries - Maker of Toronto and Chicago warning sirens during the Cold War. One was most famously featured in the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers" used as a vehicle mounted PA system. So this record had that going for it. The eBay auction ended without a whimper and several days later I received the record. The flip side was "The Sounds of Christmas" - reprinted from their 1959 Christmas brochure. It sounded very familiar and I began wondering why it did. Earlier this month, our neighbor Lee at his blog posted six Line Material 45s released through the years. And those record label scans he posted looked awfully familiar. T

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

One of the very first letters that came to my PO box was from Denise of South Charleston, West Virginia. She writes: " I noticed that your blog had a review and an option to download the album / music in July, 2006 . I have been looking for this recording off and on for many years " . Yes and no. I did indeed review a copy of Pete Fountain's "'Candy Clarinet': Merry Christmas From" but never offered it as a download. That job had already been filled by my good friend Ernie when he offered this album at his blog last December. But... Shortly after this review was posted, Ernie sent me a link to an eBay auction that was offering a STEREO copy of the Fountain album that he wanted as an upgrade. Then it hit me - I already had a copy of the stereo version somewhere in the stacks of LPs I owned! After some shuffling, I did indeed find it! I offered to send it to Ernie so he could transfer it over and share it as an upgrade at his blog. Ernie - gr

Happy Thanksgiving!

My son Alex (L) played Myles Standish in his kindergarten school play on November 22, 2005. My oldest daughter Maggie (R) played Sarah Alden for her kindergarten school play on November 21, 2006. Please forgive the parental pride. To one and all - Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Capt

Just a mouse click away...

On Monday and Tuesday , I reviewed CDs in which I originally found the LP album first, then the CDs. I also mentioned in one of the yuleblog entries: "I still could have gone ahead with my plans and shared this album out. But if it's available elsewhere on CD, I won't. It's not fair to the artists involved and my conscious remains clear. End of story." With that in mind, I now present some albums in my collection that I was all set to transfer, clean up, and present as gifts for the 2006 downloading season but won't: Al Goodman & His Orchestra - 1000 Strings At Christmas This one comes to us from the good folks at Premier Albums (356 W 40th St, NY, NY). Premier also bought us the fabulous Woody The Woodchuck album that's been bandied about through cyberspace. As you can see, the cover is festive, gay, and bright - in excellent shape. The record is a totally different story. A football team must have used this album to clean their cl

Jeffco Productions Podcasts now available!

Earlier this year, I reviewed a bunch of podcasts that my good friend Jeff of Jeffco Productions posted at his web site late last year. He is once again offering these brilliant gems for a limited time! Point your cursor at this little link and zap 'em before they disappear! Happy listening... Capt

Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra - Christmas Wonderland

Since the beginning of November, I've probably purchased around ten new Christmas CDs and received several others from interested parties at my PO Box . Most of these CDs won't be reviewed until 2007 - between my contributions over at , my schedule of releases here at the yuleblog, and my family's accelerating appointment schedule during December and the holidays, I won't have the time necessary to devote to my reviews / history lessons! So this is it - THE final addition to my Christmas music collection in this calendar year here at the yuleblog. Are you ready for an interesting story? In the spring of this year, I discovered a thrift store in the dodgy end of my hometown of Fort Wayne. On their second floor next to the slightly used typewriters and other electronics was a 10 foot long by 5 foot high rack of albums! I thought I had died and went to heaven. It took me four different visits over a two week period to go through every single album

Al Martino - A Merry Christmas

There are exactly two discs left in my stack of CDs waiting to be reviewed - this is the first of those two. I've held off posting it here at the yuleblog until now because it segues rather nicely into the 2006 downloading season (more on that in a while). A scene from the movie " The Godfather ": Kay Adams : Michael, you never told me your family knew Johnny Fontane! Michael Corleone : Oh sure, you want to meet him? Kay : Yeah! Michael : You know, my father helped Johnny in his career. Kay : Really? How? Michael : ...Let's listen to this song. Kay : ( after listening to Johnny for a while ) Please, Michael. Tell me. Michael : ...Well when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this contract with a big-band leader. And as his career got better and better he wanted to get out of it. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. My father went to see the bandleader, with a contract for $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day,

Please Stand By

I'm looking at the space formerly occupied by the stack near my computer. There are two CDs left to review before the 2006 Christmas downloading season begins. These CDs also share some special significance (alliteration aside) that will be explained after my return. Return? What's he talking about? There is a great deal left to do here and not much time to complete it in. I have several projects concerning this yuleblog that need to be completed. I'm also preparing to contribute heavily over at during the upcoming holiday season in many different ways. Lastly, I have over 120 Christmas CDs for family and friends that require my attention pronto. I have pushed this back and pushed this back to devote more time to the yuleblog and I cannot delay this anymore. Over the next few days, I will attempt to get the 2006 edition burned, packaged, and ready to ship - this is priority right now. Oh, I get it... he's taking some time off... procrastinato

The Lost Yuleblog Entries

Back in September, I took the month off while compiling my annual Christmas CD for family & friends. In previous years, I would have to listen to every CD because I didn't keep track of the new additions into my collection. That's one of the main reasons why I began this yuleblog. While I was working in my basement / dungeon / bachelor pad (I can dream) one September day, I came across a stack of Christmas CDs. Four releases of the 2005 holiday season, two new Christmas CDs I purchased, and one used Christmas CD that were never logged into my spreadsheet or never logged into the yuleblog! Today, I will right this wrong and review these albums that should have been reviewed back in January of this year. To keep my feeble mind in order, I will actually use empty days in January to place these yuleblog entries in. If this stack of CDs wasn't moved to the basement, it's likely this is when I would have written them. Between now and Wednesday, November 8th, a new l

A Bongo Trio - Three Reviews in One

Why didn't someone think of this before? One song, one CD, many different versions? And with Christmas songs? BONUS! Someone did it, though. Not once, not twice, but THREE times! This is the first of THREE CDs compiled by our friend Bongo over at his BongoBells blog. These three CDs were the very first albums I downloaded from his site and you probably can STILL download these albums if you hurry! Twenty Little Drummer Boys - TRACK REVIEW: 1.) The Harry Simone Chorale I use to detest this song when I was a child because I thought it was repetitive and the Rankin-Bass Christmas special sucked. I have since wised up. 2.) Cuba L.A. Imagine sitting in a Cuban jazz bar in L.A. around Christmas. This is smooooth! 3.) Peter Wood Singers Bongo snagged this from and you can read my yuleblog review here . 4.) RiverTribe An electronica version? Somehow, it fits with this song nicely! 5.) Ten Point Ten An interesting version... a Michael Bolton sound

Nelson Eddy - Songs For Christmas

"Ahhh, sweet mystery of life! At last I've found you!" The song "Ah Sweet Mystery Of Life" was utilized in the 1974 movie "Young Frankenstein" at certain climatic moments in the movie (wink wink). However, it was first introduced in the 1935 movie "Naughty Marietta" by Nelson Eddy, the gentleman on the cover of today's album. This amazing Christmas find from 1951 was brought to us from Bongo at his BongoBells blog (say that five times fast!) and you can STILL download this album over there! Nelson Eddy spent much of his childhood becoming a classical trained opera singer. He honed his craft by singing at recitals, theatrical productions, and churches in hopes of bigger and better things. That came in the late 1920s when he became a principal performer with the Philadelphia Civic Opera. His introduction to opera also gave him the chance to study under many of the leading voice/opera coaches of the day. After a successful si