Showing posts from March, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Searching ... for Christmas LPs

In March of 2007, I travelled to Chicago sans wife & kids to search through the bowels of Chicago thrift stores, flea markets, and rare record stores to search for Christmas LPs for my collection. This past weekend, I travelled again to Chicago sans wife & kids to do the exact same thing. Upon learning the news, the Chicago River turned green with envy (keep reading). My weekend trip began last Friday and I stopped at various flea markets and antique stores along the Lincoln Highway from Fort Wayne to Chicago. I walked away with two Christmas albums (both have been shared out by our friend Ernie (Not Bert) - keep reading). After getting to Illinois, I went to a thrift store location that two years ago had just opened, had one entire corner of their store reserved for LPs, and yielded a good portion of the titles I shared out last year. Upon my return this year, their selection was reduced to an eight ft. folding table with about 10 milk crates full of LPs. Sadly, I

Old Hawaiian Christmas (SeaWest Records)

Last week, I reviewed a Christmas comp that was the last present I received last December. This CD was the very first present I received. Back in November, my good friend Martin Johns sent me his annual Christmas comps (which I'll be reviewing some time down the road). Inside the box was a wrapped Christmas package that read "DO NOT OPEN 'TIL DEC. 25". I dutifully tucked it under the tree and there it remained until Christmas morning. What went through my mind on Christmas morning as my kids tore through their gifts with this CD staring at me in the face? I remembered reviewing Martin's 2005 comp " No Rain, No Rainbow: A Contemporary Hawaiian Christmas " and mentioning this very CD when reviewing a version of "Jingle Bells" in Hawaiian: WOW! "Jingle Bells" in Hawaiian! Featured on the 2001 comp "Old Hawaiian Christmas" which is OOP? I'm about to cry here... I also remembered that a year earlier, I sampled a

Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 17 - Westinghouse, 1940

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. Almost 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. Last week, I posted an ad that showed a vintage transistor radio from 1955 that was the size of a church hymnal. After spending some time leafing through my ads this morning, I wondered how I would follow it up. I kept going back through my archives year by year to find something that just struck me as odd. And I think I found it with this ad from Westinghouse: (Click on image to enlarge) We get a kid mentioning Santa Claus, some other mentions of Christmas t

A Very Standard Christmas (Standard Recording Co.)

This is the very last Christmas CD I received as a present last December. It came from my best friend Joel who took a brief moment from his Indianapolis holiday getaway with his charming wife Samantha to check out a used CD store to see if there was something inside that I didn't have. Joel actually called me from the store itself to read off titles to see what I had and didn't have (with Sam standing alongside, bored to tears). After reading off the limited Christmas LP titles, Joel scanned through the holiday CDs and found this particular compilation that I had never heard of. Back in the early part of this decade, two guys named Mark Latta & Kevin Phillips decided to help out Habitat For Humanity in Indianapolis with a benefit CD. And that's how Standard Recording Company began. Since then, Mark & Kevin have improvised running an indie label as they've gone along, getting distribution deals, signing up talented Indy bands, and issuing releases when

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmasville

I can explain. I'm reviewing Christmas albums that were given to as presents last year. So if you're thinking that I went to my local music store of choice and plunked down good money for this CD, guess again. This was presented to me by one of my wife's aunts at a family gathering last Christmas Eve. As I unwrapped it knowing full well it was a Christmas CD, I began to wonder what new release it could have been. Harry Connick Jr.? Sheryl Crow? Brian Setzer's umpteenth Christmas album? Aretha Franklin? The Fleshtones? Melissa Etheridge? "Cameo Parkway Holiday Hits"? When I laid eyes on the green and purple cover and the familiar " American Gramaphone " logo at the bottom of the cover, in an instant I knew. I had to fight back the piercing shriek of terror that was building inside me. "Ohhhhhhh... wow!" I exclaimed. My wife's aunt was pleased at my reaction. "Their new Christmas CD!" I politely thanked h