Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Walter Brennan - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...Back Home (1962)

Here's an album from one of my favorites - Walter Brennan! I don't know why, but I just loved this man - in all his movies, in his TV shows, and on record (I have several of his albums!). My favorites of his songs are "Old Rivers" and "Old Shep" - they both bring me to tears because they're so sad and he was such a good story teller. For those of you who aren't familiar with Walter's recordings, he didn't sing - he spoke along to background music and sometimes background singers. Walter just seemed like such a nice man - sort of like a kindly grandfather. And his voice was perfect for telling stories, especially sad or sentimental ones - something about the timbre of his voice, I guess. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this Christmas album - "Just Three Letters for Christmas" will be sure to bring a tear to your eye.

Track listing for Walter Brennan - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...Back Home:

Side 1:
1. White Christmas
2. Just Three Letters for Christmas
3. A Farmer's Christmas Prayer
4. Henry Had a Merry Christmas
5. Old Time Christmas Stories
6. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays

Side 2:
1. Silent Night
2. Christmas Together
3. Let the Bells Ring Out
4. A Good Year for Santa Claus
5. O Come All Ye Faithful

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Patty Duke & Norman Vincent Peale - Guideposts for Christmas (1963)

Now here's a vinyl rarity for you. This record was produced by the Guideposts magazine back in 1963 but, according to the liner notes, was not for sale. I'm guessing that folks who subscribed to the magazine must've received it as a Christmas freebie. The reason I have this record is that I'm a big Patty Duke fan. But, for those of you who are looking for cheery Christmas songs sung in that Patty Duke style, this record is not that! This is a spoken word record. Patty Duke and Norman Vincent Peale take turns reading "some of the most treasured Christmas stories ever written". Patty Duke was only 16 at the time and was starring in her own weekly TV series when she recorded this. Since this is spoken word, I did not break down the record into the individual stories; instead what you'll get when you download is Side 1 and Side 2. But, as always, I'm listing the tracks below. Enjoy!

Track listing for Patty Duke and Norman Vincent Peale - Guideposts for Christmas:

Side 1:
1. The Star and the Shepherd Boy - Dr.Peale
2. The Christmas Thief - Patty Duke
3. The Man Who Missed Christmas - Dr.Peale
4. The Surprise Feast - Patty Duke
5. The Masterpiece - Dr.Peale
6. A String of Blue Beads - Patty Duke
7. The Deputy - Dr.Peale
8. Toys for a King - Patty Duke

Side 2:
1. Let's Go Neighboring - Dr.Peale
2. A Brother Like That - Patty Duke
3. Santa Rides the Bus - Dr.Peale
4. You Can Keep Christmas - Patty Duke and Dr.Peale
5. The Stubborn Unbeliever - Patty Duke
6. A Boy's Finest Memory - Dr.Peale
7. The Best Part of Giving - Patty Duke
8. The Greatest Christmas Story of All - Dr.Peale

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Lennon Sisters - Christmas with the Lennon Sisters (1960)

Last time I presented a quartet of young brothers singing Christmas songs; today I present a quartet of young sisters! The Lennon Sisters were featured on "The Lawrence Welk Show" back in the day. I have to admit that I watched the show when I was a little kid (it was either that or "Hee Haw" - blecht!), and now sometimes catch reruns of it on our local PBS station. Gotta love those polyester suits! Anyway, this is a nice album to sing along with, and definitely one to add to your Christmas collection. Hope y'all enjoy it!

Track listing for Christmas with the Lennon Sisters:

Side 1:
1. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
2. The Little Drummer Boy
3. Christmas Island
4. Adeste Fideles
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. Silent Night
7. White Christmas

Side 2:
1. Jingle Bells
2. Away in a Manger
3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
4. Winter Wonderland
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem
6. Joy to the World
7. I'll Be Home for Christmas

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Osmond Brothers - We Sing You a Merry Christmas (1962)

Before Donny and Marie, and before Jimmy, there were the Osmond Brothers - Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay, the four oldest singing Osmonds. The Osmonds Brothers first appeared on the Andy Williams TV show back in the early 1960s, and then got a regular spot on the ABC TV series, "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters". It was during this time that they recorded this Christmas album, which was "brought to you with the cooperation of AC Spark Plug Division" which "sponsors 'The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters' on ABC-TV Sunday night". At this time, the Osmond Brothers sang in a barbershop quartet style, and this is how most of this album sounds. They were very young on this album, and I believe Alan is the one with the lowest voice on this record - the other three sound absolutely adorable, kind of like little chipmunks! Anyway, I've been an Osmond fan since forever (I gave up drinking caffeine for an entire week once because I loved Donny so much!), and it gives me pleasure to share this album with you!

Track listing from The Osmond Brothers - We Sing You a Merry Christmas:

Side 1:
1. Silent Night
2. Winter Wonderland
3. The Little Drummer Boy
4. Jingle Bells
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem

Side 2:
1. Joy to the World
2. White Christmas
3. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
4. Christmas Means More Ev'ry Year
5. The First Noel
6. O Come All Ye Faithful