Showing posts from January, 2008

Santa Claus Blues (Jass Records)

Since the beginning of the year, I've been spotlighting new CDs that were given to me as genuine Christmas gifts. Although this one isn't "new" as in "newly released" last Christmas, this rare compilation definitely qualifies as a true present! It was found by my brother Rafael in a second hand store in the deep South (Cleveland, Tennessee). As is standard practice by members of my immediate family, he called me first to ask if I had this CD. I asked for the playlist (my standard practice) and heard many familiar names - Benny Goodman, Louis Prima, Lionel Hampton, and lots of Louis Armstrong. But on a "blues" Christmas album? Upon opening it on Christmas morning, I was astounded to discover his CD was pressed in Canada from Jass Records in 1988. It's getting more scarce finding CDs pressed before 1998 these days, even more so for Christmas albums. So to find a 20 year old Christmas Canadian import is simply mindboggling and exciting!

Joe Gibbs - Reggae Christmas

This was a Christmas gift from my about to turn four year old daughter Josie (purchased with her mom's help). I don't think she's ever heard any reggae before in her life but she's a HUGE fan of The Backyardigans and they've sampled every musical genre under the sun so... By the way, this isn't THAT Joe Gibbs (Hall of Fame football coach, NASCAR car owner). This Joe Gibbs was working in a music store in Jamaica back in the late 1960s who decided to become a record producer. Working with groups in the back of his music store, he soon began signing artists to his successful label and became an authentic music mogul. Throughout the 1970s, his empire expanded. He set up a new studio, started three new record labels (Jogib, Shock, and Pressure Beat), and was everywhere on the reggae scene and helped record many of the top artists of the day. This album was originally recorded in 1979 under the title "The Joe Gibbs Family Wishes You A Merry Rockers

Oh Santa! New & Used Holiday Classics (Yep Roc)

One night last month, my wife and son huddled around the computer, shopping for my Christmas gifts. When they came across this one , my son laughed out loud at the artwork and selected this one for me. Yep Roc Records was founded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina back in 1996 and has grown to be a quite reputable independent record label. Some of the artists who have released albums for them include Robyn Hitchcock, Los Straitjackets, The Minus 5, Paul Weller, Nick Lowe, The Fleshtones, Marah, and The Reverend Horton Heat. To quote from their website : "Every family has one, that Grinch who hates Christmas music, the humbugger that snarls at the mere mention of Rudolph or silent nights. During the holidays we here at Yep Roc have more than a few of these curmudgeons roaming the halls, so we decided to do something about it. "Oh Santa! New & Used Holiday Classics from Yep Roc features our favorite Christmas tracks from twelve of Yep Roc's best and brightest in

Lena Horne - Merry With Lena

Last January, I reviewed " Christmas With Peggy Lee " which was a gift from my oldest daughter Maggie who fell in love with the "snow princess" on the cover. So can you guess who gave me this CD as a Christmas gift? I had a copy of this CD in my collection - the 1995 Razor & Tie version from a fellow collector. It also had a lousy scan of the cover and pre-2000 CD-R that was falling apart. I always kept my eye out for a used copy whenever I went Christmas CD hunting but no one was willing to part with them (can't say that I blame anyone for that). Thankfully, some bright record executive at DRG Records decided a reissue was in order. After a twelve year hiatus, Lena Horne was officially back in the Christmas bins last year. When I discovered this had been reissued, it immediately shot to the top of my wish list. If you don't know who Lena Horne is, you owe it to yourself to take about 10 minutes out of your time and learn. Start with her Wi

Darlene Love - It's Christmas, Of Course

During the first days of this new year, I've been trying to get my reorganization skills reorganized in an effort to catch up with the 200+ Christmas albums I need to catalog and/or burn & catalog. This CD was on top of the stack labeled "Christmas Gifts" and was given to me by my charming wife on Christmas morning. It's been getting plenty of airplay on my computer since then. Why? It's Darlene Love, of course! Love was born in Los Angeles and sang in her church and school choirs. While in high school, she joined a budding girl group called The Blossoms. The group caught the eye of record producer Phil Spector who was reinventing the music scene with his "wall of sound". He immediately noticed Love's talents and began working with the group in 1963. During that fateful year, Spector brought together his stable of stars (The Crystals, The Ronettes, Bob E. Soxx & The Blue Jeans) and began recording a different Christmas album.

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition

Pop quiz: What scenes in "The Godfather" contain Christmas elements (see answers below)? Technically, this is NOT a Christmas CD... but I did receive it for Christmas... and this isn't the first time I've reviewed something that wasn't a Christmas album. It has been part of an amazing change here with my "family"... Back in August, 2006, my wife went into our Toys R' Us for a last minute birthday present. When she arrived, an employee was taping a handwritten sign that simply read "We have Wiis ". She bit the bullet and purchased one for our kids for Christmas. The only problem was my wife's anticipation began playing games with her. She wanted to play the games, see how the system worked, and couldn't wait to sample the updates in technology. The last video game system we both owned was the venerable Atari 2600 from the early 1980s (we both received them as Christmas gifts separately in the same year of 1979). We ne

Happy New Year!

For our first post of 2008, we need to clear up some old business: 1.) All of the album & MP3 shares were taken down today. Several album links were shut down at RapidShare early - this was totally out of my control and since I wasn't near a computer for over a week, I apologize to all who missed out. For more info, click here . 2.) We received several comments concerning one of our shares with a defective track. For more info, click here . 3.) New additional info on several posts is now available - click here and here . 4.) If you left a comment here between December 11, 2007 and January 2, 2008, I've tried to answer them all. See your respective comment for my response. 5.) Nothing further to report on my schedule status - I'll post when I can. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you have a great 2008! Capt