Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Various Artists - Great Songs of Christmas Album Six (1966)

Here's yet another treasure from the bargain bin at HPB! I understand there were ten of these albums that were "created exclusively for Goodyear" (it's a "Collectors Album Limited Edition" by Columbia Special Products). There were two of the others in the bargain bin, but the records were in pretty bad shape so I didn't get them. If anyone has the other nine albums or knows where I can go to download them, please let me know!

I'm surprised that my mother didn't buy any of these back in the day, since she bought all the other "special" Christmas albums (the Maxwell House one, the Radio Shack one, etc.). And a lot of my Christmas presents from Santa came from our local Goodyear (Does anyone remember when Goodyear sold more than just tires - like TVs, cool toys, etc.?), so that really surprises me that my mom didn't buy at least one of these albums.

Anyway, since this is a Goodyear record, I have to share a story about my mom's shopping at our local Goodyear. Back in the day, Goodyear had some awesome toys (my red metal pedal car and my tricycle, to name a couple), and on the morning after Christmas, my dad would drop my mom off downtown on his way to work, so that she could take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. (Remember, this is in the 1960s before we had shopping malls - and when most families had one car.) Well, my mom REALLY took advantage of those sales! At the end of the day, my dad would pick her up in front of Goodyear (I guess he knew that's where she'd really hit the jackpot), where she'd be standing on the sidewalk literally surrounded by all her purchases! My mom once told me that most of her purchases were toys and stuff for me (I'm an only child). I don't ever remember my parents arriving with a carload of toys on the day after Christmas, so I asked my mom what she did with all those things so that I never saw them. Well, parents have their special hiding places, and I just never snooped around looking for stuff (Why would I? I didn't know this was happening!). Throughout the year, my mom would give me toys from this hidden stash - for bringing home good grades, for my birthday, for when I seemed a little "blue" (my mom actually said this), etc. Those were the days!

Well, now that I've shared that with you, I hope you enjoy this record and have a very Merry Christmas! (I'll be back in a couple of weeks, after the holidays.)

Track listing for Great Songs of Christmas Album Six:

Side 1:
1. Silent Night - Barbra Streisand
2. Do You Hear What I Hear - Andy Williams
3. The Christmas Song - Johnny Mathis
4. The Holiday of Love/Caroling, Caroling - The King Family
5. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Pablo Casals
6. O Little Town of Bethlehem/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - The King Family
7. O Come, All Ye Faithful - Jan Peerce
8. Ave Maria - Barbra Streisand

Side 2:
1. Frosty the Snowman - Ray Conniff
2. We Need a Little Christmas - New Christy Minstrels
3. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Steve Lawrence/Eydie Gorme
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Ray Conniff
5. Noel Nouvelet - Jan Peerce
6. March of the Kings - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
7. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
8. White World of Winter - Bing Crosby
9. Il Est Ne - New Christy Minstrels
10. Still, Still, Still - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
11. Away in a Manger - Mahalia Jackson/Percy Faith
12. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Ray Conniff

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cool Yule Tunes - A Stax o' Wax Compilation

Well, this week I was putting together a compilation of some of my favorite Christmas tunes to burn to CD to give to my friend, Bradley, for Christmas. I finished it today (and gave it to him today so he was the first to listen to it), and now I want to share it with you all. Most of the tunes are familiar to you and you probably already have a lot of them, but you don't have them in this grouping! Anyway, I enjoy doing this so I hope this compilation brings you much joy. Hey, maybe you'll like it enough to play at your Christmas party!

Track listing for Cool Yule Tunes - A Stax o' Wax Compilation:

1. Prologue - Bobby Sherman
2. My Christmas Card to You - The Partridge Family
3. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
4. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
5. Christmas Waltz - The Carpenters
6. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
7. Grown-up Christmas Wish - Amy Grant
8. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
10. Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas - Ray Anthony
11. Christmas Island - Bob Atcher & The Dinning Sisters
12. Mele Kalikimaka - Poncie Ponce
13. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag - Kay Starr
14. Here Comes Santa Claus - Esquivel
15. Jingle Bells - Barbra Streisand
16. Jingle Bell Rock - Wayne Newton
17. Silver Bells - Doris Day
18. Frosty the Snowman - The Brady Bunch
19. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo - Billy May
20. Happy Holiday - Peggy Lee
21. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays - Robert Goulet
22. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
23. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme
24. Winter Wonderland - Johnny Mathis
25. Sleigh Ride - Jack Jones
26. Marshmallow World - Dean Martin
27. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
28. What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve - Donny Osmond

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Living Strings - The Spirit of Christmas (1963)

Hey, everyone! Today I'm celebrating that I've passed 100,000 hits on this blog! Woo hoo! What a great way to get in the spirit of Christmas!

And that's a perfect segue into today's Christmas music offering, "The Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings". This is another treasure from the HPB bargain bin. I've never really listened to the Living Strings before (I can't believe my mom never bought any of their records because she would have liked them) but I really liked the cover of this album so I went ahead and bought it. (I just really like how nostalgic 60s the cover looks!) Then when I listened to it, I really liked it! Now I'm going to have to go look for more records by the Living Strings. Enjoy!

Track listing for The Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings:

Side 1:
1. White Christmas
2. Silver Bells
3. Medley: Wassail Song; The First Noel; Angels We Have Heard on High; Joy to the World
4. Mary's Boy Child (Mary's Little Boy Chile)
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
6. Medley: We Wish You a Merry Christmas; We Three Kings; It Came Upon the Midnight Clear; O Holy Night; Silent Night

Side 2:
1. Medley: O Come, All Ye Faithful; Oh Little Town of Bethlehem; Coventry Carol; Away in a Manger
2. Introduction: Deck the Halls; It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas
3. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
4. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
5. I'll Be Home for Christmas
6. The Little Drummer Boy

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dean Martin - The Dean Martin Christmas Album (1966)

Here's a swingin' Christmas album for all you cool cats out there! Who can resist Dean Martin crooning some yuletide tunes? I got this album from the bargain bin at my usual supplier of groovy records (Half-Price Books), and it was in good condition! I cleaned up the songs pretty well (I think), so this should be a decent download for you all. One of my very favorite songs is on this album - "The Things We Did Last Summer". I don't know why I love that song so much, but I have several versions of it (maybe I'll do a compilation of all the different versions I have). I love the way Dino sings it with that smooth way of his - definitely one of the best versions. Anyway, go fix yourselves a martini, sit back, and give a listen to this album.

Track listing for The Dean Martin Christmas Album (link has been deleted. Go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. White Christmas
2. Jingle Bells
3. I'll Be Home for Christmas
4. Blue Christmas
5. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Side 2:
1. Marshmallow World
2. Silver Bells
3. Winter Wonderland
4. The Things We Did Last Summer
5. Silent Night

And here's a great video of Dino singing "White Christmas"!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Partridge Family - A Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971)

Here's one of my absolute favorite Christmas albums! Yes, I'm sure it's out there multiple times in blogland, but I'm sharing my copy anyway!

I fell in love with David Cassidy when I first saw his picture in a magazine called "Who's Who in the Teen World", just a couple of months before "The Partridge Family" came on the air. I was just a little kid, but I was completely enamored of the show! Every Friday night, I would lock myself in my parents' bedroom with my little tape recorder (I'd tell my family to be sure not to bother me or make noise), watch the show on the 13-inch TV, and would record the song they sang each week. I wanted to make sure I had all the songs before the albums actually came out. I do remember the Christmas episode, and I've included a video clip from that episode where they sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (video clip deleted from YouTube).

Besides the fact that I'll love the Partridge Family forever (thank goodness I learned how to digitize my albums so I can listen in my car!), and have wonderful memories of watching the show, listening to their albums, reading about them in magazines, etc., I have great memories of listening to this album at Christmas. I especially remember one occasion when my Uncle Abel, Aunt Licha, and cousins Abel and Sammy, came to our house on Christmas Day. I put this album on my little portable record player (Realistic brand from Radio Shack), and my Uncle Abe danced around the tree with us kids to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" . That's really what's it all about - just family (and friends) having a great time together and making great memories such as this.

So, I hope you all make some wonderful Christmas memories this year, and that you include this album in those memories!

Track listing for A Partridge Family Christmas Card (link has been deleted - go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. My Christmas Card to You - the absolutely BEST song!
2. White Christmas
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
4. Blue Christmas
5. Jingle Bells
6. The Christmas Song

Side 2:
1. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
2. Winter Wonderland
3. Frosty the Snowman
4. Sleigh Ride
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The back cover of the album.

The Christmas card bonus "signed" by the cast:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Brady Bunch - Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch (1971)

What would Christmas be without our favorite family, the Brady Bunch? I know this album has been posted by others before, and I'm sure someone has posted it already this season, but I couldn't find a download of it, so I went ahead and recorded my record album.

One of the things I like about this album is that the kids recorded it "in character". Some of the songs say lead vocal by Bobby Brady, Jan Brady, etc., not by the actors' names. Another interesting bit of trivia, is that Marcia's name is spelled "Marsha" here, whereas the show's credits always spelled it "Marcia". "Frosty the Snowman" was the kids' first single, too, with lead sung by "Cindy Brady" (Susan Olsen is exactly one week older than I am). Well, I hope this brings back good memories for those of you who grew up with The Brady Bunch!

Track listing for The Brady Bunch - Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch:

Side 1:
1. The First Noel - Lead Vocal by Bobby Brady
2. Away in a Manger - Lead Vocal by Marsha Brady
3. The Little Drummer Boy - Lead Vocal by Jan Brady
4. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. O Holy Night - Lead Vocal by Greg Brady
6. Silent Night

Side 2:
1. Jingle Bells
2. Frosty the Snowman - Lead Vocal by Cindy Brady
3. Silver Bells
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Lead Vocal by Peter Brady
5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas