A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2010

Merry Christmas!

Usually at this downloading season, I would be posting new Christmas albums that I would have rummaged for at thrift stores, haggled for at record shows, and sniped at the last minute on eBay.

Several things prevented me in doing that this year - I could bore you with the details but I'll refrain. I did want to continue the tradition that I started five Christmases ago - the annual Yuleblog Sampler.

Normally, this would have been posted on Christmas Day - my present to you. But I decided to move the release date up by 10 days since I don't have anything else to post this season.

I'm excited about this release for two reasons: 1.) Many of the 45s and 78s I found for the sampler were nowhere to be found in my 22,000+ Christmas song library. 2.) These singles were the first vinyl transferred on my new Stanton T.92 USB turntable and captured to digital on my new Dell PC.

None of the vinyl I've transferred before has sounded better than this. Welcome to the 21st century Capt.

Your 2010 Christmas Yuleblog sampler:

Track 1 - Franklin MacCormack - I Like Christmas
Chicago Federal Savings Promo - ZTSC-9044-1A - 195?

MacCormack was a longtime Chicago radio host who helped to pioneer the spoken word album back in the 1950s.

Open a Christmas club account, get this record - sweet!

Track 2 - Dick Roman - Christmas Village
Harmon Records - 1011 (NO7W-0796-2) - 1962

"Pretty song about a dream of childhood days is sung with much feeling by the lad, while the ork lends good support. Could grab spins". - - Billboard Magazine, 12/1/62

I agree!

Track 3 - The Di Mara Sisters - Santa's Italian Wife
Pip Records - 100X-A - 1971

Did you that wife that Santa comes from Italy? And your presents on Christmas morning could have a very cheesy smell? Every Italian stereotype is thrown in good measure on this song - eh cumpari!

Track 4 - Johnny Long & His Orchestra (Vocal by Francey Lane and the Ensemble) - Winter Wonderland
Signature Records - 15150-B (SRC-434) - 1947

Found this 78 at a local thrift store - I've since discovered this came from a larger set of Christmas 78s that featured other artists. Keep watching...

Track 5 - Frank and Jack - Twas The Night Before Christmas (Breaking Through The Sound Barrier)
Bergen Records - 100A - 1957

Taking a cue from Buchanan & Goodman, two radio guys decided to have some fun in the radio studio. Instead of break-ins with Elvis and Fabian, they chose sound F/X and celebrities. Strange...

Track 6 - Hank Crawford - Merry Christmas Baby
Atlantic Records - 45-5032 (A-8326) - 1964

Crawford has a long career in the R&B/jazz world and was astounded to find this at a garage sale for a dime.

If you want some Christmas sax this holiday, look no further than this.

Track 7 - David Hill (with Ray Martin & His Orchestra) - Christmas Bride
RCA Victor - 47-7430 (H2PW-7812) - 1958

I've never heard of a song that combines wedding proposals and Christmas before. Not exactly rock-n-roll, not exactly pop... love the sax solo.

Track 8 - Red Buttons - Bow-Wow Wants A Boy For Christmas
Columbia Records - 40384 (CO 52652) - 1954

I won a promo 45 of this record several years ago on eBay. Found this 78 RPM earlier this year - one of the first 78s on the new turntable.

I think the songwriter on this is Steve Allen - can anyone confirm that?

Track 9 - The Gus De Wert Trio (with Gay LaComb) - Space Age Santa Claus
Ross Records - WW1004-B (SJW-3524) - 196?

This one has floated around cyberspace for a long time with Jeannie Jay listed as the singer.

Jay was the credited singer on side two ("When Christmas Bells Are Ringing"), LaComb on side one. Hope this clears up any confusion.

Track 10 - Monica Lewis (with Ray Bloch & His Orchestra) - The Christmas Song
Signature Records - 15151-B (SRC-540) - 1947

This was the other 78 RPM I found (see track four above). The third 78 in this set was Ray Bloch & His Orchestra doing "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Let It Snow x 3".

Artwork anyone?

Track 11 - Judy Storey - Christmas Cheer From Heaven
Breaking Records - IRDA 576-A - 1979

A Christmas song from a dead wife singing to her husband from heaven.

Who gave the green light to this one? Truly inexplicable.

Track 12 - Consuela & Luisa Valdez - This Xmas Day
Mosaic Records - 210419A - 1970

Mother/daughter duo who self-produced and wrote this tribute to a family member at Christmas.

Found at Wooden Nickel Records in Fort Wayne (thanks Tim!).

Track 13 - The De John Sisters - The Only Thing I Want For Christmas (Is To Keep The Things That I've Got)
Epic Records - 5-9133 (ZSP 37226) - 1955

The second 45 to feature a sister singing act. This is yet another song I'd nominate to get more radio airplay at this time of year.

Track 14 - Joel Grey - Santa's Little Sleigh Bells
Majar Records - 137-X45 - 1954

Recorded at the beginning of his career, Grey was primarily known as an comic actor/dancer. His comic sensibilities are showcased in this silly song about a rogue sleigh bell.

Track 15 - Mona Abboud - I Should Have Left The Light On For Santa
Mona Records (Phonograph Records) - 100180-B - 1980

The flipside (listen to audio, ignore video) of this song was considered for "The FPT Christmas Revue". Spoke to Ms. Abboud who gave me her blessing to use the song (theater rejected it). Her voice hasn't aged a day - thanks Mona!

Track 16 - Lois Lynn - Every Christmas We Know
Concept Records - 45-896 - 1956

Purchased at a record show, this is either a haunting Christmas song or a bizarre experiment gone wrong.

Think I'm kidding? Check out this Billboard ad...

Track 17 - Heavy Duck - A Wonderful Christmas
Derrick Records - 45-DRC-113A - 1976

Okay, so Rick Dees scores big with "Disco Duck" in late 1976 which obviously prompted this Christmas single trying to cash in on its popularity several months later...

Things can never be explained...

Track 18 - Prof. Anonymous & The Marshalls - Christmas Elf
Isabelle Records - IS 0003-A - 1986

On nights when I can't sleep, I'll surf eBay for hours. While half-asleep one night, I purchased this. It was the sleeve I tell ya...

Later included on a cassette-only Christmas compilation with lots of other Boston Christmas garage rock - wow!

Track 19 - Dick Haymes & The Song Spinners Choir (with Jesse Crawford at the Organ) - Joy To The World
Decca Records - 24120A (73992) - 1948

Frank Sinatra made it big after he left Tommy Dorsey's band in 1942. His replacement was Dick Haymes. Haymes tried mightily (radio, records, movies) but never gained Sinatra's popularity - great voice on this 78 RPM, just not "The Voice".

Track 20 - The De Castro Sisters - Snowbound For Christmas
Abbott Records - 3012-A - 1955

The third 45 to feature a sister act (new record).

Lush, beautiful, wintry ballad - the sisters De Castro do a very nice job with this one.

Track 21 - Ken Griffin (Sung by Karen Ford & Bill Snary) - Our Christmas Waltz
Rondo Records - R-206-A (UB-9-1142-R) - 1949

Say what? When I was handed this 78 and noticed Ken Griffin, the king of the roller rink organists, had VOCALS?

And nice vocals they are - thanks to my wife's family for this one!

Track 22 - Eddy Howard & His Orchestra - Dearest Santa
Majestic Records - 1173 (T-1289) - 1947

Another amazing 78 from Mr. Howard and his band.

Dedicated to Dian B. Brown of Scottsdale, AZ. Type in "Eddy Howard Dearest Santa" into Google and her Amazon.com request for this song is the first thing to come up. Glad I could help!

Track 23 - Joe Walega & His Happy Hearts - Request To Santa Claus
Chicago Polka - 512-B - 19??

The flipside ("Christmas Without Daddy") is everywhere to download on the Internet. But this B-side isn't...

Sweet mother of God, what evil have I just unleashed?

Track 24 - George Bowers - Lonely Christmas
Nashville Talking Machine - M-001 A (PRP 34272) - 1971

Ernie (not Bert) shared out side A of this song a few hundred shares ago - he's mad, MAD I tell ya! But in a good way...

Here's side B - recorded in MONO just as the label states!

Track 25 - Lucho Gatica (con Los Cuatro Soles y la Orquesta de Jose Sabre Marroquin) - Noche De Paz (Silent Night)
Capitol Records - F71060 (45-X41854) - 19??

A foreign 45 in scratchy condition that I paid peanuts for at a thrift store - I can't find a thing about this one anywhere.

Pretty version in Spanish - a testament to the new turntable and computer how this one cleaned up.

Track 26 - Franklin MacCormack - My New Year's Wish For You
Chicago Federal Savings Promo - ZTSC-9043-1B - 19??

We come full circle with Side B from Mr. MacCormack.

What he wishes for New Year for you goes for me too.

Two not-so-secret Bonus Tracks

You knew these were coming... don't play coy!

A Christmas Yuleblog Sampler - 2010

UPDATE: 12/22/11

Next month will mark the fifth anniversary of this blog. The occasion will not be marked by a retrospective, a self-congratulatory pat on the back, or anything else special. In the five years we've been online, I've probably have two years' worth of material.

I started this as a way for me to keep track of the new additions to my Christmas music collection. It mushroomed into a Christmas review blog, a sharity site, and home to Christmas videos and advertisements. It's been fun, harrowing, time-consuming, and one of the best things I've done in my life.

There's so much that I want to upgrade here. I want to continue to post Christmas ads, videos, and Christmas music reviews. I want to remaster all of the shares I have here - I finally have the equipment and the understanding of that equipment to do that.

Sitting down in front of the computer to do anything is, for me, a challenge.

Every school day for the past year, I drop the kids off at school and then head to the gym. I like this routine and it has served me well - I've lost weight and kept it off. My cholesterol is low, my back is finally pain free, and I'm eating healthy and sensibly.

An unfortunate by-product of this lifestyle change is the fact that I can seldom sit longer for one hour behind the computer. I'm too active to allow myself to do more than that - I take walks, run errands, volunteer my time with my best buddy Joel and his theater activities, anything to stay away from the desk where I used to sit for hours on end; snacking, typing, drinking soda after soda, typing, eating...

As my children have grown from day-care tots to the precocious kids they are now, school activities like scouting, cheerleading, and basketball stretch my time tighter and harder than Joan Rivers' face.

I re-read my notes from last year's Sampler:

I realize I'm in a Catch-22 situation: I can continue to lose weight by being away from the computer but can only work on all these projects if I'm in front of the computer. I have to to find a balance inbetween somehow...

When I find the balance in 2011, I will post an entry here. It won't be as bad as the drought this year - 2010 was a learning year. I'm hoping to put some of that knowledge into practice with the aforementioned projects I want to complete for the blog.

Rob Martinez
aka CaptainOT


Auntie Knickers said…
Thanks, and I hope you find that balance. How about relocating the computer, etc. so you can stand while working on them? I heard a story about the Mayo CLinic where they did that and it improved people's activity level and health quite a bit. You look good and have done great, keep it up! We want you around for a long, long time!
planet0fs0und said…
Thanks for all of your hard work finding and transferring all of these! Know that your work and sharing is appreciated. Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
ron said…
Thank you for this early Christmas Present !!
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!
Anonymous said…
I want you to know how much I enjoy your work on this site. I know you put in a lot of time for this, and I really appreciate what you do. Happy holidays to you!
PDMan said…
Another GREAT Sampler Rob. And by the way, congrats on your new Stanton turntable. I'm a Stanton owner myself and I can't say a single negative thing about mine. Merry Christmas to you and all your family!
Quixotience said…
This is what we closet Christmas music fans are lurking for. You are DA BOMB
Ravel said…
Captain, Sir. Reporting for thanking you for the wonderful work. Transfering, researching, writing & so on... You do a great job, Capt'. !!!
Joking tone aside, I used to believe that Xmas music was a minor genre in music. The more I download tunes here and there, the more my own collection grows! So much to discover... I even pay attention to songs on albums that I didn't see (hear?) before. Like Elaine Stritch singing Let It Snow, in her own peculiar way.
Anyway, if I ever find something really special, I'll let you know.
Thanks again!
Jeff said…
Great job, Rob! On the real-life stuff, the stuff that really matters. Never apologize for getting in shape, tanding to your health or spending time with the kids. Those of us who know your work from past years will be here whenever you get around to it.
Badgercat said…
Captain, thanks for the share! I sent a message to you over at the King's place in hopes that you might help me with something I'm working on.

Merry Christmas and thanks again for this place and all you do!

Anonymous said…
Thanks for the Sampler, and thanks for everything that you do for the Christmas Music collecting community at large. There are a lot of RL issues that can be the cause of an absence from the bolgosphere - I'm releived that what's been keeping you away is something as positive as a healthy lifestyle change. FYI_ there is an Eddie Cantor version of Track 13 from the 30's that is also worth listening to - if you like the song, you should definitely check it out. Happy Holidays to you and yours.


P.S. If (and when) you decide to accept Xmas music comps again from some of your faithful viewers, please put the word out there on the site - I for one have been doing Xmas music comps for friends and family for a few years and wouldn't mind if they got a somewhat larger aduience.
Badgercat said…
Those who are doing Christmas comps for family and friends, what have you found to be the best way to send them?

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas!
DJ Papa St. Juan said…
You are a beacon of light each Yule.

Many, many thanks.

I have links to my last two annual mixes. Is there an email address I can use, or can they be posted here?

All best!
Buster said…
Hello Capt,

Sounds like you are doing quite well! Congrats on that lifestyle change.

The complete Johnny Long / Monica Lewis / Ray Bloch album can be found on my blog:


Tony said…
Yo, Caps --

I dropped one of those techological anachronisms in the mail to ya.

The Stanton sounds hot. Have fun with it!

Your blog is an inspiration -- and don't you forget that!
Anonymous said…
This is great! Thank you very much and have a very merry Christmas!
DaytonDave said…
As a fellow Christmas Tune hunter, I formally declare that I am not worthy!! You are the BEST!! I took the liberty of saving this for my own, after stumbling across your blog while surfing for more elsive Christmas tunes to add to my own collection. I'll download the previous years' samplers also, and will place you as the star on top of my personal Christmas Tune collection tree. Keep on hunting,,there is always more to be found, and I will do my best to even get a fraction of the great items you have. I also have that same turntable, and I confess, I never found a better system with which to use to copy my songs to CD. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family!
Thanks a lot for bringing me this years compilation as well. Highly enjoyable as always. Hope things will work out and allt the best. A Happy Christmas from a Wintry and cold Sweden.
Inkydog said…
Love these, especially the Franklin MacCormack. Thanks for another great year!
Martin Klasch said…
I hope you had a great Christmas and that you'll have a Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas =) thanks for sharing...
Anonymous said…
Thank you!
James Fox said…
The link is broken, please fix it
MetalPilgrim said…
The link is down :(
LisaMay said…
Hello... how are you doing? I came here to visit as it is that time of year again. Hope all is well. Thank you for all of your hard work. If you would ever decide to repost your collections we would all have our tongues wagging. Until then stay well.

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