Thursday, December 07, 2006

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland

Well... how do I follow up from yesterday's longwinded but true story? How about a shortwinded true story about the album (or albums) in this yuleblog entry?

Around this time last December, I went on one of my first power Christmas album searches throughout the Fort Wayne area and found this copy (pictured above) by Earl Grant.

The album cover (in good shape) stated this was a re-release and the record was in excellent shape. I can't remember what I paid for it but I knew it was a steal.

With album in hand, I went to my local Kinko's to create color copies of the covers so I could transfer them over to my computer at home.

I arrived home with the copies but left the album at Kinko's! I immediately called the store and they couldn't find the album on the glass or around the workstation! I was depressed beyond belief!

I called the following day (different shift, different people) and got the same answer. Two weeks passed and I found myself back at Kinko's. I asked if they had a lost and found.

They brought out a HUGE box chock full of papers, computer disks, one cell phone, computer cables, and several hundred family photos that were left behind like my album (which wasn't there). I returned the box to the counter and thanked the lady behind the counter.

"What did you lose?" she inquired. I told her it was a Christmas album.

A quick twinkle of the eye from the lady. "Wait a minute..."

She disappeared into the back room and came back out with my album! I was overjoyed!

"I thought I saw it back there..." she said as I interrupted her with a few thousand "thank you's" and even a little jumping up and down. I brought the album home and all was well with the world.

A great ending to this story, yes? WAIT... there's more.

A week later, I was on another search and rescue mission at a local Goodwill store when I found another copy of the SAME album (pictured right)!

However, this version was the original 1965 release with the word "STEREO" prominently displayed! Both the album and covers were in great shape and I wasn't complaining about the 25 cent price tag.

In both cases, the music of Earl Grant is great to listen to - the perfect organ album to listen to when warming by the fire with some cocoa in your hands.

This is a great light Christmas organ album He's not a virtuoso like Jimmy McGriff or a Jimmy Smith on the organ but his stylings (and his singing) are just perfect.

My favorite track on the album has to be "Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep" where Grant foregoes the organ and plays this one on the piano, bringing this Irving Berlin song to life instrumentally!

There you have it. I have two versions of the same album. You can choose whatever version you wish:

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland (Decca)

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland (MCA)

Happy listening...



PDMan said...

I subscribe to the "whichever sounds best" theory. You can always pick whichever cover you like...I'd probably use the original because I like the old Decca arrow.

CaptainOT said...

PDMan - Another reason why I offered the Decca. I wasn't sure if the MCA was in stereo or not (it is) but it's nice to have it advertised!


greg said...

Excellent! We had this album when I was a kid, probably the re-issue, and it has been lost to the ages. Thanks for the posting!

CaptainOT said...

Greg - Glad to reconnect you with some great Christmas memories!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this!!! My sister had this album when we were kids and it's long since lost. We have been looking off and on for years and HERE IT IS!!!!!!
She will get a nice surprise this year! Thank you again!!

Anonymous said...

Is there any way you could re up this link?
I would love to hear this lp again, i can't even find the album to buy.
Thanks! Great Blog!

refchef said...

Thanks so much for this! I've been looking for this album for years. My mom had it on cassette and the tape finally died. Now I can replace it. She'll be thrilled. Merry Christmas!!

musings said...

The first organ notes of "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" took me back to my first Christmas memories in the mid-late 60s. I've been weeping tears of happiness ever since.

Thank you thank you thank you for this.

palanakaj said...

I have the Original vinyl album. I play it Faithfully every Christmas. Wish I had it in a Cd. It's the Best album ever.

chucko said...

Earl Grant was always great on his Hammond B 3 and Leslie Speakers!