Showing posts from November, 2009

Three Days Late and Several Dollars Out

The 2009 Christmas downloading season is under way. I'm saddened to learn that my friend Ernie (Not Bert) had a computer hard drive crash and burn (I feel your pain - same thing happened to me five years ago.) Don't fret - his collection is so huge that anything he posts is worth a first or second look. In my case, it's the 203rd look. Two days in and there are new releases all over the place. If you haven't bookmarked it yet, Santas Working Overtime does just that - finding all these new releases and highlighting them faster than any RSS feed can ever hope to do. During these same two days, I discovered that two albums I was preparing to share... were already shared out! The first is this amazing chestnut: Recorded in 1954, this 10" was the first full-length Christmas album for Messrs. Ferrante and Teicher. All of the eight songs on this album were later re-released on their " Adventures In Carols " album from 1956 (available to download

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

Doris Day Marilyn Monroe Just wanted to sign on quickly to wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Capt

The FPT Christmas Revue - In Rehearsal

What is today? Saturday... okay. I've lost track of time! For the past several weeks, a bunch of local Fort Wayne actors (myself included) have been furiously working on an upcoming Christmas production I had previously mentioned back in September. It's under two weeks now until we are in front of an audience and the whole production is beginning to gel. It's been an amazing process and the cast is having loads of fun getting this on its legs. I've been meaning to post some pictures that I took at rehearsal the other night... it SEEMS like it was the other night... Gee, a guy with a white beard and a kid sitting on his lap - I wonder what this could be all about? The staging of a large group sketch that leads off our show. Another staging of a musical number. Note another guy with a white beard in the center. Forgive the silhouetted foreground figure - he's the director and I couldn't very yell at him to stay out of the shot. During a rehears

Vintage Christmas Ads Pt. 21 - Paul Jones Whiskey, 1942

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. I will attempt 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. In the last installment of this feature (see link above), I selected an ad from the 1920s because of its simple but elegant illustration and its dependence on its text to get its message across. Earlier this year, I came across a 1942 LIFE magazine and found several different wartime ads, Christmas ads, and Christmas wartime ads. But the one ad that struck me as the cleverest and funniest of the lot was this one from a once-popular whiskey brand. Between

The Hipwaders - A Kindie Christmas

This is the last of four new Christmas releases that I received at my P.O. Box that I'm reviewing this week. Ironically, this was one of the first of those four that arrived. It's been sitting patiently while I reviewed Emmanuel Shall , Kevin Koelbl , and Silvia Fleming , eyeballing me the entire time, tempting me with its artwork. To quote the press sheet: "Since 2004, The Hipwaders have performed their own original Christmas songs along with their 'wader-ized' versions of Christmas classics. Finally, the band got around to recording their original compositions for the holidays. "Christmas music has traditionally always been "family music" and The Hipwaders carry on this tradition with their songs celebrating all aspects of Christmas with a special admiration for Santa Claus and his exploits. Some say The Hipwaders 'exploit' Santa - but that's for you to decide..." Indeed it is... and I must admit, I'm pretty intrig

Emmanuel shall come to thee - Noël

This was the third new Christmas release to arrive at my P.O. Box. Unfortunately, no press sheet or additional material accompanied the CD. So it was off to their Facebook page to find some threads of info off their wall. A post on October 25th states "this album is currently the top-selling holiday album at CD Baby !" I clicked on the CDBaby link and found the answer to several of my questions: "Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee is a Chicagoland collective of musicians led by composer Matthew Prins. The group incorporates classical, folk, new-age, orchestral, jazz, and minimalist influences into their progressive interpretations of familiar works. "Featuring 19 new holiday arrangements and compositions by composer Matthew Prins, Noël fuses a myriad of influences into a Christmas album quite unlike any heard before. Performed primarily by Prins and multi-instrumentalist A.J. Nelson, Noël features a harmonious blend of hand bells, hand chimes, carillon, strings,

Kevin Koelbl - This Is Christmas Time

This is the second of four new Christmas releases that I recently received at my P.O. Box. Thanks to the good people at Phil Putnam Public Relations for sending me the CD and cover sheet. Kevin Koelbl (pronounced "cable") has had a long and varied career in music. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, Kevin went on to leading roles at various regional theatres across the country. Some of the shows Kevin's appeared in include "Carnival", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "The Fantasticks", "A Little Night Music", "Beauty and the Beast", "Oklahoma", "Anything Goes" and "Show Boat" with legendary MGM star Van Johnson in the early 1990s. This led to his co-starring role with Michael Crawford ("Phantom of the Opera" no less) in the Las Vegas megashow " EFX ", once the most elaborate and expensive

Silvia Fleming - Love For Christmas

Silvia Fleming has been surrounded by music all her life. That's not surprising considering she had a mother who was a professional singer and a father who was an electronics engineer and a music manager for his wife. Needless to say, her mother's influence instilled a deep love of Big Band tunes, jazz, and all of the great American standards by George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, and Irving Berlin. Fleming combined her love of singing with the study of classical piano and received a B.A. in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton. Last November, Fleming released this album which got a tremendous review from our friends at : "Silvia Fleming has one of those honey-sweet voices that are just made for singing jazzy, romantic easy listening pop tunes. And with occasional support from the great Sam Levine on alto sax, she is able to deliver a sound that supports the romantic aspirations of 'Love for Christmas


On September 21, 2009, I typed a blog entry that dropped a hint that I would be interested in reviewing new Christmas releases BEFORE December 25th. Indeed, I received four new Christmas releases that were sent to my P.O. Box by members of the music industry. Then the other shoe dropped. On October 5, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission issued new guidelines regarding the blogging community: "The long standing principle that "material connections" (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed." Failure to do so could mean fines up to $11,000 per post . I quickly called my lawyer (a genial fellow whose name I can't use - otherwise he'd sue me) and asked what I needed to do. He informed me these new FTC guidelines take effect December 1st of this year. All posts after this date will need a quick disclosure clause - no statement is needed on any prior posts.