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Showing posts from December, 2008

A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2008

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Merry Christmas!   Two years ago, I posted my first sampler which was basically a "best of" of all the music I shared out in 2006. One year ago, I posted my second sampler which was basically a preview of all the music I shared out this year (no links to the previous samplers - what's the point?). About two months ago, I met a fellow Christmas music collector named Bill Dann who had supplied our friend Marc Bird with many, many a rare Christmas record. He sent me a list of extra Christmas 45s in his collection for sale and I purchased a fair number of these. This led me to re-explore my haunts here in Fort Wayne looking for Christmas 45s. I came up with a few more amazing Christmas singles (thanks to Tim at Wooden Nickel ) and even a couple of 78s (one of which came courtesy of my best friend Joel - thank you!). On one of these searches, I came across an RCA Victor demonstration album entitled " Hearing Is Believing " which had the amazing c

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 17

From time to time this 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. For those who lived through the year 1968 and survived, they received a Christmas present 40 years ago today. The year started off with the Tet Offensive that changed the whole outlook on the Vietnam War. The USS Pueblo was captured off North Korean waters and its crew was held and beaten for most of the year. Across the sea, Paris students threw riots that stopped the country cold. In Czechoslovakia, reforms are attempted during the "Prague Spring" only to be crushed swiftly and cruelly by Soviet tanks and troops. LBJ decides not to seek another term as Presiden

2008 Yuleblog Checklist - That's all, Folks!

As indicated above, this is indeed it. The end. Close the book. Bring down the curtain. The fat lady is singing. Cue the trumpets to play "Taps". Turn out the lights, the party's over. Put out the dogs and bring in the cat. Time to put it to bed. Here is the final tote - TIMPANI! 1983 Air Force Public Service Spots - Disc V The Alcoa Singers - An Olde-Fashioned Christmas Marian Anderson - Christmas Carols Around The Christmas Tree - A Special Christmas Day Program Jan August - Christmas Favorites The Banjo Barons - Selections from "Play Music For Happy Times" Ben Best - Happy Christmas Party Bielefelder Kinderchor - Christmas In Germany Pat Boone - White Christmas Bowen & Csehy - Christmas Steepletime Owen Bradley & His Quintet - Joyous Bells Of Christmas The Bravo Singers & Instrumentalists - Christmas Sing-Along Anita Bryant - The Miracle Of Christmas Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - The Sound Of Christmas The C

Sebastian's Zither - Christmas Dreams

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This was a from a lot of Christmas records I purchased from a Canadian dealer off eBay earlier this year. I know of only one other Christmas zither album - that would be the excellent Ruth Welcome "Christmas In Zitherland" LP (which our friend Ernie shared out at his blog - you da man, Ernie!) Sebastian Fichtl was born and raised in historic Salzburg, Austria. After his early lessons with the zither, he would go on to continue his studies under Professor Franz Brandlhofer, Austria's renowned zither virtuoso. He would later emigrate to Canada where this album was issued in the 1970s. There are some great covers of "Rudolph", "O Tannenbaum", and "Silent Night". There's also one original song - the title track which is haunting and beautiful at the same time. The rest of the tracks are German Christmas songs given the full zither treatment. If it seems that there are more songs listed than recorded, in several cases Sebastian re

Selections from "The Banjo Barons - Play Music For Happy Times"

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When I found this album (minus the disc) at a local thrift store, I noticed there was only three songs that would qualify as Christmas. Plus it was banjo. After enduring the Power Pak Christmas banjo album I shared previously, I needed some GOOD Christmas banjo. There is nothing short of a Chicago Cub loss that's more frustrating than searching a vinyl bin and finding a great album jacket that's empty. I spent nearly a full day looking at every homeless 33 1/3 but I didn't find it. eBay to the rescue again! I listened to the three tracks and couldn't believe my ears! Only one of the tracks had banjo - the other two were a conglomerate of orchestra and organ! Excuse me... but it says "BANJO" on the cover! Somewhere out in this world is a proper Christmas banjo album and I do intend to find it one day... Selections from "The Banjo Barons - Play Music For Happy Times" Happy listening... Capt

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and David Arnold - Hooked On Christmas - SINGLE

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In 1981, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra had a huge #1 hit across the world with their " Hooked On Classics " single. While compiling 1980s music (both Christmas and non-Christmas) for my 20th anniversary CD , I discovered this single on eBay. When it arrived, I placed it on the turntable and gave it a listen - I deemed it not Christmas enough for my CD and it got bumped off the playlist. In two days, I'll be serving up my 2008 Yuleblog Sampler and one of the selections on it was this obscure single I picked up five years ago. That is until I read this from a new member at FaLaLaLaLa.com : Quote from: roje on December 09, 2008, 08:23:17 AM: First-off, I have to admit that having stumbled across this website where there's clearly a true celebration of Christmas music, is most enriching, particularly with our world in its current state. Christmas music is, quite simply put, the exact equivalent of happiness, period. Now, there is a 7-inch vinyl which I hav

Patricia Wilde - Christmas Carols In Percussion

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This was found at a local garage sale several years ago and the cover totally hooked me. It looked promising (lots of titles listed - in hi-fi!) and I gladly paid my 50 cents. Then I dropped the needle... A pretty standard Christmas organ album. There was a serious glut of Christmas organ albums between then and now along the sharity network and I couldn't bring myself to share this one out. One track was shared last year as a part of the 2007 Yuleblog Sampler and I decided to share the rest this year. I wish I had more on Patricia Wilde (Google turned up nothing) but it did yield some info on Acorn Records thanks to the folks at Both Sides Now. It seems Acorn Records had problems with its grammar and spelling - I urge you to check out the Acorn link; it's a hoot! Patricia Wilde - Christmas Carols In Percussion Happy listening... Capt

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 16

From time to time this 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. When I began searching for YouTube Christmas videos a while back, these next three were among the first ones on the list. They are a series of theater ads that movie houses and drive-ins would show inbetween their showings and trailers to their audiences: Some of these came from the excellent compilations entitled " Hey Folks! It's Intermission Time " from Something Weird Video - there are some amazing ads on here if you like these sort of nostalgia. What do you think? Capt

The Sing 'N' Do Company - Christmas Windows

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Remember your elementary school Christmas pageant or play? You may or may not remember the name of the classmate who played Scrooge or the kid who threw up onstage. But you probably remember the music that you sang. For many school kids, it was standard Christmas carols and standards. However, some schools went out and spent money from an educational service for a Christmas program, complete with scripts and songs. This is one of those programs. Designed to enrich the musical experience of boys and girls in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, this program came with an illustrated guidebook (lost for all eternity) for staging, costuming, and dramatizing the entire program to make the teacher's job all the more easier. Side one is entirely vocal - one lone female voice singing eight different songs (or "windows") that comprise the entire show (and one of these tracks was used for the 2007 Yuleblog Sampler). Side two is completely instrumental - so if you feel inspire

Sacred Heart School Choir - Sings Croatian & English Christmas Carols

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In March of 2007, I travelled back to my old haunts in Chicago and picked up a few Christmas albums. This is one of the last ones from that trip left to be shared. There's about 25 schools in Chicago named Sacred Heart. Considering that 1/2 of the album was sung in Croatian, my first guess was that it was recorded up somewhere in the West Town section of Chicago where Ukrainian Village is. From some comments and consultation with my father (who grew up at 83rd & Buffalo - in the shadow of South Works), there was a Croation enclave on the south side of Chicago as well. Sacred Heart Croatian Church is located at 96th and Escanaba Ave. on the Southeast side of Chicago. This album is nothing fancy (a lot of my shares are usually just that). School kids singing Christmas songs. The school sold this album to parents so they could assumingly fund other programs at their school. We are talking about Chicago here - ask Gov. Rod Blagojevich! I would love to hear from an

Åke Jelving - Christmas In Sweden (UPDATE)

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An error has been found thanks to a sharp listening listener... for more on this, click on this link to read about it. Capt

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 15

From time to time this 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. Earlier today, I posted two albums with connection to my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Continuing with that theme, I scanned the YouTube dial to find any videos with a similar connection to the Summit City and came up with quite a few vids. The first is of a well known and loved three-story tall Santa Claus that's been hanging in downtown Fort Wayne for decades: This mammoth display used to hang off the Wolf & Dessauer department store in downtown Fort Wayne eons ago and was rescued from the trash bin two decades ago - click on the links for more info. Our n

Selections from "The West Creighton Avenue Christian Church Bell Choir of Fort Wayne, Indiana"

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During a vinyl bin search and rescue mission here in Fort Wayne, I came across not one but two copies of this album still sealed! The West Creighton Christian Church was looking for an activity for their youth back in 1963 and came across an advertisement for handbell ringing. They ordered a set and a tradition was born. They toured all over the country with their handbells between 1963 and 1965. This album features Christian music, one patriotic song ("America"), one popular song ("Moon River"), and four Christmas songs! The four Christmas songs on this album are presented here. On the back cover of this album is a list of all the bellringers - I would love to hear from any of them about this album, memories of travelling with the handbells, etc. Last June, the West Creighton Avenue church closed after 110 years of ministry in the Fort Wayne area. No word if the handbell tradition was kept to the very end or to the fate of the handbells themselves.

Joe Longstreth and John Escosa - Christmas With

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Many times I've come across this album in thrift stores, online vinyl markets, and even eBay and Amazon.com. Two silouetted harps in black and white tell the story. What I didn't know was the connection this album had to my hometown of Fort Wayne until I had a copy in my hands. It seems not only were one of the harpists (Escosa) had deep roots in Fort Wayne but it was actually recorded here as well on the Carriage Records label. Side one is The Christmas Story according to St. Mark. Written and narrated by Longstreth, this full 15 minute story is interspersed with lovely music for solo harp (Escosa). Side two has the harpists trading off each other as they go through ten different Christmas carols. Nothing fancy but it's well done Christmas harp. One free day this past summer, I went looking for the location of the recording studio listed on the back cover. Located in a iffy part of town, I managed to find it - an empty lot full of grass and trees. Nothing to

2008 Yuleblog Checklist - Week Four

If this is the end of week four, that means we've been doing this for a month? Holy guacamole... We've got a few odds and ends left after tonight so stay tuned. In the meantime, this is the most up-to-date checklist we've got. Take a look to see if you've gotten everything. If not, click on the link and get it. I need the RapidShare points... And on with the countdown... 1983 Air Force Public Service Spots - Disc V The Alcoa Singers - An Olde-Fashioned Christmas Marian Anderson - Christmas Carols Around The Christmas Tree - A Special Christmas Day Program Jan August - Christmas Favorites Ben Best - Happy Christmas Party Bielefelder Kinderchor - Christmas In Germany Pat Boone - White Christmas Bowen & Csehy - Christmas Steepletime Owen Bradley & His Quintet - Joyous Bells Of Christmas The Bravo Singers & Instrumentalists - Christmas Sing-Along Anita Bryant - The Miracle Of Christmas Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - The Sound Of Christmas T

Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin - Christmas In The Congo

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As a kid, I remembered going through my mother's stack of Christmas albums around Christmas and gazing at this exotic, green covered album that contained some of the most bizarre Christmas music I had ever heard. When she told me this was how children in Africa celebrated Christmas, I nodded my head and still thought it was strange music. This album was seldom played at our house growing up. Flash forward to 2006. One of my wife's relatives gave me her entire collection of albums and included in that stack was her copy of this album. So I listened again and I appreciated the drumbeats, the style of singing, and the pure joy in the voices that were celebrating Christmas. Then my kids entered the room and wondered what the mysterious noises from the turntable were... the circle of life indeed. Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudonin - Christmas In The Congo Happy listening... Capt

The Canterbury Choir - Christmas Hymns And Carols Sung By

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This 10" Christmas LP was given to me by my in-laws when they were cleaning out their closets. When Columbia Records first unveiled the long playing record in 1948, two formats were introduced - the 10" version (same size as 78s, used for popular music) and the 12" version (more expensive / reserved for classical & Broadway shows). This 10" Christmas LP was issued in 1950 (look at the back cover at the popular music of the day) and contains only eight songs. The Canterbury Choir has had so many Christmas albums under different titles that I threw my hands up after looking for them on MusicStack . At some point, MGM rereleased this album under another title (where & what title, I don't know). This is a standard organ & choir album. Nothing fancy to detract. A nice change of pace if you're looking for that sort of thing. The Canterbury Choir - Christmas Hymns And Carols Sung By Happy listening... Capt