Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cool Yule Tunes 2009 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation

This is my last Christmas post for the year as I'll be visiting my family and friends back in my hometown for the Christmas holiday. And, as has become my tradition, I've put together a compilation of some favorite Christmas songs for this year's Cool Yule Tunes 2009. This is just my little way of saying thanks to all of you for visiting my blog and sharing in my love of this type of music and the nostalgia of glorious vinyl.

Some of these songs are old favorites from my growing-up years, and there are a couple that are newer, and there are some that I'd never heard before until I heard them played on a local radio station. There's a little bit of everything here. And, if you don't already have them, click on the "Cool Yule Tunes" label to see the previous two Christmas compilations and download them to have a complete collection!

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and I hope you get to spend it with those you love. I also wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! See you back here after the New Year!

Track listing for Cool Yule Tunes 2009 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation:

1. It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis
2. Let Me Be the First (To Wish You a Merry Christmas) - Steve Lawrence
3. Deck the Halls - The Johnny Mann Singers
4. Frosty the Snow Man - Esquivel
5. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dorothy Provine
6. Pretty Snowflakes - Patti Page
7. Sleigh Ride - Andy Williams
8. White Christmas - The Ray Conniff Singers
9. Home for the Holidays - Jerry Vale
10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jackson 5
11. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Brothers Four
12. O Come All Ye Faithful - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
13. The Birthday of a King - Judy Garland
14. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Angels We Have Heard on High - Andre Kostelanetz
15. And the Bells Rang - Glenn Miller Singers
16. Jingle Bells - Jimmy Dean
17. Ring Those Christmas Bells - Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians
18. Jingle Bell Rock - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
19. (Everybody's Waitin' for) The Man with the Bag - Brian Setzer Orchestra
20. Mister Santa - Amy Grant
21. The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks with David Seville
22. Nuttin' for Christmas - Barry Gordon
23. All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) - King Cole Trio
24. Toyland - Doris Day
25. My Grown-Up Christmas List - Donny Osmond
26. Blue Christmas - The Partridge Family
27. Christmas in Killarney - Bing Crosby
28. Yah, Das Ist Ein Christmas Tree - Mel Blanc

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

True Value Happy Holidays Volume 18 (1983)

I got this album at my favorite little resale store down the street from my house. I was very familiar with the Christmas albums put out by Goodyear and Firestone back in the day, but I didn't know about the True Value ones since we didn't have any True Value stores in my hometown. This is volume 18 from 1983, but I would like to find the early volumes, especially from the 1960s. If anyone out there has any other True Value albums, please do share!

Track listing for True Value Happy Holidays Volume 18:

Side 1:
1. Christmas Is... - Jack Jones
2. Winter Wonderland - Anne Murray
3. Sleigh Ride - Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
4. The Twelve Days of Christmas - Harry Belafonte
5. If Every Day Was Like Christmas - Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires

Side 2:
1. Christmas is Here Again - Roger Whittaker
2. The Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone Chorale
3. O Holy Night - Nat King Cole
4. Christmas is the Warmest Time of the Year - Ed Ames
5. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Forever - Perry Como

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lawrence Welk - Merry Christmas from Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music (1956)

Todays Christmas album is dedicated to the memory of my parents, who loved watching "The Lawrence Welk Show" and who passed the love of this kind of music to me. I grew up watching Lawrence Welk on Saturday evenings after we would come home from Saturday evening Mass, but this album came out years before I became a fan of Mr. Wunnerful. I found this album in pristine condition at an estate sale. As you can see from the photo, it still has the original cellophane wrap with the K-Mart price sticker! I love finding treasures like this! This is definitely an album worth playing on Christmas morning as you open up all your presents!

Track listing for Merry Christmas from Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music:

Side 1:
1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Instrument Fox Trot
2. I Wanna Do More Than Whistle (Under the Mistletoe) - Vocal by The Sparklers and Alice Lon
3. White Christmas - Vocal by The Sparklers
4. Christmas Island - Vocal by The Sparklers
5. The Christmas Toy - Vocal by The Lennon Sisters
6. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Instrumental

Side 2:
1. Winter Wonderland - With Larry, Dick and Curt
2. Christmas Dreaming (A Little Early This Year) - Vocal by Dick Dale
3. Christmas Comes But Once a Year - Vocal by Larry, Dean and The Sparklers
4. Thanks for Christmas - Vocal by Alice Lon and The Sparklers
5. Twelve Gifts of Christmas - Vocal by Larry, Dean and The Sparklers
6. High on the House Top - Vocal by Larry Hooper

Here's a clip from the 1958 Lawrence Welk Christmas show:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas (1955)

This is yet another gem I rescued from the HPB bargain bin - for only 50 cents!!! And once again, it was the album art that caught my eye. Of course, the fact that this is by the Three Suns is also great, plus they perform with a string orchestra conducted by Marty Gold and Sid Ramin! You just can't go wrong with this record!

Track listing for The Three Suns - The Sounds of Christmas:

Side 1:
1. Adeste Fideles
2. The First Noel
3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
4. Oh Holy Night
5. The Monastery Bells
6. Greensleeves
7. Winter Wonderland
8. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
9. White Christmas
10. Joy to the World

Side 2:
1. Jingle Bells
2. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
3. Carol of the Birds
4. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
5. Silent Night
6. Der Tannenbaum (Christmas Tree)
7. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
9. Carol of the Bells
10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra with Children's Chorus - Children's Christmas Album (1959)

I couldn't resist buying this record when I saw it in the HPB bargain bin - love the artwork! If you listen closely to the songs, you'll be able to hear the children's British accents - either that, or they have impeccable diction. Billboard Magazine gave this album three stars in its November 16, 1959 issue, and gave this review, "Good low-price Xmas buy. Stapleton's ork plays material suitable for the holiday season. Much charm contributed by the children's chorus. 'Christmas Alphabet', 'Rudolph' and 'Greensleeves' are typical." I'm not exactly sure what they mean by 'typical'...hmmm. I was a little surprised by the choice of songs on this album - most of them aren't exactly what I consider children's songs. But maybe back in 1959 they were considered just that ('Christmas Island' a children's song?). Anyway, I do like this album - hope you do too!

Track listing for Cyril Stapleton - Children's Christmas Album:

Side 1:
1. Christmas Alphabet
2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
3. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
4. Christmas Island
5. White Christmas

Side 2:
1. I Saw Three Ships
2. Once in Royal David's City
3. Greensleeves
4. The Holly and the Ivy
5. Silent Night

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Perry Como - Sings Merry Christmas Music (1956)

Today's Christmas album is by Perry Como. What a smooth voice he had! I don't remember ever watching his TV show, but I do remember catching a couple of his Christmas specials - the last one being one he did in San Antonio (where I went to college). Well, this album is a must-have for your Christmas collection. It has some songs for the kiddies, some songs of faith, and a couple I'd never heard before - something for everyone. The back cover notes that the songs on side 1, Perry performs with Mitchell Ayres and his orchestra, and side 2 is with Russ Case and his orchestra. Enjoy!

Track listing for Perry Como - Sings Merry Christmas Music:

Side 1:
1. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
2. The Twelve Days of Christmas
3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
4. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
5. Joy to the World
6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
7. Frosty the Snow Man
8. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

Side 2:
1. That Christmas Feeling
2. I'll Be Home for Christmas
3. Silent Night
4. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
5. Jingle Bells
6. White Christmas
7. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
8. Winter Wonderland