Showing posts from November, 2008

2008 Yuleblog Checklist - Week One

We've reached the end of week one of our 2008 shares so we've updated our list and we're checking it twice. See which ones you find naughty or nice... I've listened to so much Christmas music already that I'm quoting Christmas lyrics and passing them off as my own. And we're only at the end of week one... heaven help me. 1983 Air Force Public Service Spots - Disc V The Alcoa Singers - An Olde-Fashioned Christmas Around The Christmas Tree - A Special Christmas Day Program Pat Boone - White Christmas Bowen & Csehy - Christmas Steepletime Owen Bradley & His Quintet - Joyous Bells Of Christmas Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - The Sound Of Christmas Capitol Production Music Christmas 1971 Veteran's Administration Hospital Program CLM Industries - Christmas 1961 - SINGLE A Country Christmas Jimmy Dean - Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card Bill Doggett - 12 Songs Of Christmas Dragnet - The Christmas Story Fogwell Flax & The A

It's a YouTube Christmas - Pt. 3

From time to time this upcoming 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. Here are more videos of the York, PA steam whistle Christmas concert of 2006 as referred to in my previous post from Marlin L. Ryan. "White Christmas" "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" "Silent Night" "God Bless America" Pity the person who moved into the house across the street... What do you think? Capt

Marlin L. Ryan - York, PA Traditional Christmas Carols

Here's a record that I found at amongst its Christmas LPs for sale. Who knew that you could make Christmas music from a factory steam whistle? Apparently, Marlin L. Ryan, the whistlemaster for the New York Wire Company in York, PA has did just that from 1955 to 1990. The cylindrical, variable pitch whistle is 15 inches long and 5 1/8 inches in diameter. The exact age of the whistle is not known nor was it intended to be a musical instrument. The factory whistle was used to signal the start and end of the workers' shifts and breaks and was part of York's World War II civilian defense alert system. In addition to being an unusual instrument, the Guinness Book of World Records issued a certificate in 2002 stating that the steam whistle produced a peak reading of 134.1dBA during a recording. This qualifies the whistle's songs as the world's loudest music without amplification from a non-­musical instrument. This is a recording of those caro

Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra - Christmas Music

Vincent Lopez was a band leader for most of his life, beginning in 1917! In 1921, he was one of the first bands to utilize the latest thing in technology called radio; his trademark opening for all broadcasts was "Lopez speaking!" Throughout the 1920s, he had one of the top bands in America. It didn't hurt that he had talented musicians in his band like Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, Glenn Miller, and two brothers named Dorsey before they went out on their own. Lopez's piano stylings were flamboyant - influencing younger pianists such as Eddy Duchin and Liberace! He also discovered talents such as the blind whistler himself Fred Lowery and a young girl who made her debut with Lopez right here in my hometown of Fort Wayne, IN - Betty Hutton. Both Fred and Betty were featured in this musical soundie from 1939: In 1941, Lopez and his orchestra played an engagement at the Taft Hotel in New York City and didn't leave for twenty years. They were the house ban

Fred Lowery - A Family Christmas

Fred Lowery was blinded by scarlet fever at the age of two and sent to the Texas School for the Blind at the age of seven. A music teacher at the school encouraged Lowery to develop his unique talent of whistling as a way of making a living in the sighted world. Soon, his talents led him to the new audio medium of radio. He was soon signed onto WFAA in Dallas and became a star on one of its many variety shows, picking up the nickname "The Texas Redbird". In the late 1930s, he decided to try his chances in New York. A blind whistler was more novelty than artistry in New York and the jobs were scarce. A bandleader by the name of Vincent Lopez came around, heard his act, and asked him to join his orchestra. After four years with Lopez, Fred was lured away by Horace Heidt, who had a national audience and a bigger bankroll. He returned to Lopez briefly, until nightclub owner Billy Rose told Lopez that his patrons didn't want to see "a blind guy whistling when

Bill Doggett - 12 Songs Of Christmas

William Ballard Doggett was born February 16, 1916 in Philadelphia. At age nine, Doggett wanted to play the trumpet but since his family could not afford one, his mother introduced him to the organ. Four years later, Bill was being hailed as a child prodigy. When he was fifteen, Bill formed his first combo called "The Five Majors". While attending high school, he found work playing in the pit orchestra at the Nixon Grand theater with the Jimmy Gorman Band. He eventually inherited Gorman's fifteen-piece orchestra at the height of the Big Band Era After he sold the band to Lucky Millender, he stayed in contact with Millender - writing arrangements and playing piano. Then in late 1942, Doggett joined the Ink Spots and became the group's arranger and pianist. He recorded five singles with them during a two year period before heading out on his own again. Bill toured and recorded with several of the nation's top singer and bands. Among these were Johnny Oti

Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 10 - Saturday Evening Post, 1962

In addition to collecting Christmas music, I have collected nearly 1000 vintage Christmas ads over the years. Many of these include celebrities, radio, television, cigarettes, liquor, modern appliances, and the like. Every Friday from here until I run out, I will feature an ad from my collection. 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. It's been 24 hours since my family and I sat down for our annual Thanksgiving Day meal. And about 24 minutes ago, I polished off a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers (which will be the norm for several days to come). I looked high and low for something appropriate for this day after Thanksgiving. Something topical, something to spur on comments, something to reflect upon, something to fill up space (just kidding... maybe). As I thumbed through my scans online, I came a

The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas EP

This EP was given to me by my in-laws when they were cleaning out their closets. It was a popular record in their house at Christmas time and knew I might enjoy this. ARE YA KIDDIN'? Okay... if this looks familiar, you can thank our friend Ernie for that - his devotion to finding most of The Three Suns Christmas catalog and sharing it at his blog is legendary. He could very well be the Fourth Sun! I originally thought Ernie had offered this EP at one time or another but it seems that this EP was never offered. So to complete his collection (and the other Three Suns Christmas completists out there), I'm offering it in honor of the hardest working man in Christmas sharity show business - the one and only Ernie (Not Bert) . The Three Suns - The Sound of Christmas EP By the way, Ernie has started sharing out all new stuff at his blog - you'd better insure your clicking finger first and head over there. Best of luck with the 2008 downloading season! Capt

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even in space, they celebrate Thanksgiving. So you should do the same... As you bow your heads in prayer today before the big meal, ask for blessings to be bestowed on the Detroit Lions . With their record at 0-11, and facing the 10-1 Tennessee Titans, they need all the help they can get today. Have fun eating, visiting with your loved ones, and traveling safely wherever you are. Capt

Bobby Roberts & His Orchestra - Holiday Music For Happy People

Grab a coffee and sit a spell... have I got a story to tell you! I bought this album (mono) at a thrift store in early 2006 and attempted to transfer it over throughout that year. As the 2006 Christmas downloading season was set to begin, I had completed side one with no problems, but side two was a mess. I figured it would be ready to go for 2007 but the LP had other plans. The needle would not stay on the last two tracks of side two. As much as I tried to get it recorded, I couldn't get clean copies of the song to edit together! I continued to work on this, off and on, for the better part of 1 1/2 years. I had finally gotten the first of the two final tracks recorded and I kept plugging away on track ten - I would apply pressure onto the tone arm just enough for the needle to go through the scratch to get the precious one second segment I needed to piece the track together. By the middle of this year, I was down to the last 30 seconds of the final song and despite all

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

Back on October 1st, I wrote two reviews of Christmas disco albums that our friend Ernie shared out. In those reviews, I reiterated my guilty pleasure for Christmas disco and hinted: "And if you think Holiday Disco is bad, just wait until Christmas. For I have obtained what could be the WORST Christmas disco album of all time and I intend to unleash it to the world." Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... here it is. The folks at Peter Pan Records decided to combine their special brand of kiddie Christmas with Christmas disco to disastrous results. Leeching off the success of Rick Dees' novelty hit "Disco Duck", they decided to create the lovable duck on the cover named Irwin! Irwin is your host and narrator and after about 30 seconds into the first track (a remake of "Disco Duck" renamed "Disco Duck II" to avoid paying royalties), you're gonna be looking for a 12-gauge shotgun for some duck hunting. After two competent di

The Klaudt Indian Family - Peace On Earth; Christmas Greetings

The Klaudt Indian Family was a southern gospel group whose origins began in the badlands of North Dakota. As the family grew, the parents (Lillian (Little Soldier) and Vernon Klaudt) wanted their children to get a proper Christian education. So they headed south to Cleveland, Tennesse where the pentecostal Church of God had its headquarters and biblical school named Lee College (noted for its regarded musical program). As the kids grew and got their education, they joined the family on the road and established scholarships at Lee College in their name. From 1929 to 1982, the Klaudt Indian Family toured across the United States and around the world - playing nearly 400 dates a year! It has been said that the Klaudts were the first nationally known gospel music group, due to their engagements throughout the country. In addition to gospel concerts and church venues, they played engagements in Las Vegas, state fairs, professional sports games, and theme parks. This album was

It's a YouTube Christmas - Pt. 2

From time to time this upcoming 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. Just moments ago, I posted a Dragnet Christmas album and expressed my love for all things Jack Webb Christmas related (albums, PSA records). So when I discovered this amazing clip of Webb doing a promo for Christmas Seals, oh baby, did I go through the roof! It's all done in his inimitable style, reading you facts the way a prosecutor would present evidence. Jack even manages to crack a smile at the end: The man radiates warmth, don't you agree? What do you think? Creedmoor says: He should have had a butt going. Any other opinions? Capt

Dragnet - The Christmas Story

The story you're about to read is true... As a kid growing up in the 1970s, I was a Jack Webb fan. I loved watching reruns of "Dragnet 1967, 1968, etc". I was equally mesmorized by "Adam-12", "Emergency!", and an obscure Webb produced show called "Project UFO". I loved his staccato delivery, the way he walked (he put his coat on with the coat tree attached), and his quick editing style. Get a VHS copy of any "Dragnet" episode and press the fast-forward button - the flash frames will give you a buzz similar to alcohol on an empty stomach. After I had began my obsession with Christmas music, I wondered if Jack Webb did anything related to Christmas. One of the first eBay auctions I ever won was for a U.S. Navy LP that featured Webb doing some spots for the Navy in 1998 (our friend Ernie posted this at his blog last year). When Basic Hip - the granddaddy of all sharity sites - first offered this album back in 2001 or 200

Bob Ralston - Christmas Hymns & Carols (UPDATE)

Back in 2006, this was one of the first albums I ever shared out - posted this over at . Then last year, I posted it here at the yuleblog. I ended each post with the same comment: "This is the MONO copy... I'd love to find this in STEREO". As you can tell by the picture above, I indeed found the STEREO copy I'd been searching for. Read more about Bob Ralston and find both copies for your listening pleasure... Capt

Green Chri$tma$ - Fifty Year$: An Appreciation

"I realize that things won't change much because of my little record, but if people stop to think a little about it, then it has been all worthwhile. Maybe it will pay off in another generation." - Stan Freberg on "Green Chri$tma$", 1958. 1958 Picture Sleeve Front Cover If I was to be stranded on a proverbial desert island and forced to choose only three Christmas CDs to accompany me, I would choose 1.) "A Charlie Brown Christmas" 2.) "Christmas Cocktails" and 3.) a custom compilation that would feature all of the recorded Christmas output by Mr. Stan Freberg - perhaps the last great satirist America has ever produced. Fifty years ago, Uncle Stan walked into his longtime home of Capitol Records located at Hollywood & Vine and recorded a Christmas single entitled "Green Chri$tma$", a song that was labelled "offensive", "sacrilegious", and "controversial" for its time. Capitol barely rel