Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Happy Crickets - Christmas with the Happy Crickets


Well, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! I ended up not cooking my first turkey dinner. One cousin got sick and wasn't able to come over, so my other cousin convinced me to go out to eat instead of me cooking for just the two of us. So, we went to Black-eyed Pea where, it seems, a lot of other people had the same idea. So, the turkey breast is back in the freezer and will make the trip "home" with me for Christmas. That'll be my donation to the family gathering - and the good thing is that I won't have to cook it.

So, now we're into the Christmas season - the shopping frenzy has begun, people are putting up their Christmas trees (which will be all dried up by the time Christmas day rolls around), the electric companies are happy (thanks to all the lights). I bought a vintage aluminum Christmas tree for my cool mid-century modern house, so I'll be putting that up. Now that I bought two pet scram alarms (to scare the cats away when they approach the tree), it's safe for me to put up the tree. I don't have the color wheel though - I'm going to order it via catalog but it probably won't get here in time. Well, on with the first of this season's Christmas albums...

I bought this at my favorite place (the HPB bargain bin) and it was the cover art that caught my eye - love the graphics. I figured that this would be a knock-off of the the Chipmunks, and it is a rather cheap and bad knock-off. The Happy Crickets are nowhere near the same league as the Chipmunks! I grew up with the Chipmunks Christmas album and never heard of the Happy Crickets, but some of you may have listened to this album back when you were tiny tots and loved it. So, really, this album is dedicated to those of you who have some sort of fond nostalgic memory of listening to this album. This is also a good album for little kids, especially since little kids usually haven't developed a good ear for music, and they tend to like voices that sound like the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. So, this album is worth downloading to entertain your kids or grandkids. (Or, if you just like to collect bad record albums, then this one is for you!)

Track listing for Christmas with the Happy Crickets:

Side 1:
1. Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. White Christmas
3. Jingle Bells
4. Christmas Is For The Family
5. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
6. The Chipmunk Song

Side 2:
1. Away In A Manger
2. The First Noel
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
6. Silent Night

BTW, does anybody know when this album came out? I'm thinking the mid-1960s, but would love to know the year if anyone out there knows it!

12 comments:

casamaravilla said...

I found another scan of the cover on line and this one had:

Wanda Haynes
12/14/67

Written in the top righthand corner, which leads me to guess it was bought that year and maybe came out then, too?

It was at:

http://christmasyuleblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/happy-crickets-christmas-with.html

cheers

Charles

Ernie said...

Actually, that's mine. It was my aunt's copy. I shared it out a few years ago here:

http://ernienotbert.blogspot.com/2005/12/danger-do-not-download.html

Esther said...

Hi, Charles!
Thanks for the info!

Hi, Ernie!
That's pretty funny (that Charles found the scan of your aunt's record). I went back and read your post and saw that yours is a stereo copy, but you mentioned that it wasn't a really clean copy. Mine is not stereo, but it's a good, clean recording (if you consider the Happy Crickets "good"). Their version of "The Chipmunk Song" is absolutely the worst!

Dave said...

I have this same LP, but mine is with a yellow background and the crickets standing on a Holly leaf. Mine is also number AKX-9 instead of KX-9 like yours. I'm assuming mine was a later release. Mine has no date either.

Dave

Dave said...

NM. I see ernie posted the scan of mine on his share at the link he gave above.

Dave

mel said...

Esther, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

- Mel

Michael said...

I came across your blog and noticed your name was Esther, not a common name and it was my moms name who just passed at age 75. I remember the aluminum cmas trees and even the color wheel lol thanks for great memories by the way a cool blog indeed, thanks!

MrBill said...

Oh my - I had this when I was a child. It's probably still somewhere in my mom's house. If I were to hazard a guess I'd say it dates back to at least 1966 - that's how far back I remember it, at any rate. I remembered I liked it at the time, but I probably haven't heard it in 40 years! I'll have to check it out again - I hope it falls into the so-bad-it's-good category.

Chip said...

I just pulled the KX-9 album (Not the yellow album) out of my parents collection. Now as for the date, here is what I am guessing. At the top of the album is written three names, my older sisters, mine, and my younger brother. My older sister was born in October of 1953, me in September of 1957, my younger brother March of 1959, and my yougest sister in August of 1966. The first three of us were born in California and we moved to Connecticut just after my 6th year birthday (1963). We moved in with my Aunt and Uncle and celebrated the Christmas of 1963 with them. My parents bought a house in the winter of 1964. Up till this time we did not own the album. Now my younger sister was born in August of 1966 and her name is not on the album that leaves 1965 and 1964. I don't remember the album playing that first Christmas, buying the house and all made a tight Christmas. So I belieave my parents bought the album in 1965.
I hope this helps.

Chip

Crystal said...

Yay! Thank you so much for posting this. My grandmother used to play this for me every Christmas when I was little and I had been looking everywhere for it.

Mike Haun said...

Esther,

Thanks for providing this album! You have absolutely made my Christmas this year! I have very fond memories of listening to this when we were kids (I was born in 1954). I especially liked "The Chipmunk Song" which is a knock-off of the Chipmunk's "The Christmas Song". Someone mentioned The Chipmunk Song was the worst song ever, and it probably was if you didn't grow up with it! But it's the only song on that album that is played in real time! I think it is the actual voices of the women that sing all the rest of the songs, which were all recorded at a different speed. It is very interesting! I would love to play that song at a different speed to see if it sounds like the rest of the songs on that album. Again Esther, thank you SO MUCH for providing this! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year!

Mike

The Aardvark said...

I had the 45 of "The Chipmunk Song" from this album, and it was an immense embarrassment to me as a child. The Happy Cricket's improvisations in the song were not fun. It was what we have come to call in our household "Grandmother gifts". (The Granny in question being mildly clueless, and buying the off-brand version 'cos it's cheaper).

The cover characters brought a real shock of recognition.

Not to be Captain Bringdown; I love your site, and your style. You are really tops at what you are doing. Thank you SO much!