Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cool Yule Tunes 2010 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation

Have you all finished your Christmas shopping yet? Have you started? ;-)

I braved the crowds this last weekend before Christmas and did my shopping for my family. So, 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. But before I sign off for the year, I have to post my annual Christmas compilation! So, I've put together a compilation of some favorite Christmas songs for this year's Cool Yule Tunes 2010. This is just a little token of my appreciation to all of you for visiting my blog and sharing in my love of this type of music and the nostalgia of glorious vinyl.

There's a little bit of everything here and I hope you enjoy the songs I've picked. And, if you don't already have them, click on the "Cool Yule Tunes" label to see the previous three 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 2010 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation:

1. Christmas All Over the World - Jim Nabors
2. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - The Three Suns
3. It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas - Kate Smith
4. Sleigh Ride - Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani
5. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Ed Ames
6. The Bell That Couldn't Jingle - Burt Bacharach
7. The Christmas Song - Carol Burnett
8. Winter Wonderland - Anne Murray
9. Joy to the World - Mannheim Steamroller
10. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
11. Santa's Got a Brand New Bag - The Hollyridge Strings
12. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Felix Slatkin
13. Christmas Island - Cyril Stapleton & His Orchestra with Children's Chorus
14. Mele Kalikimaka - Haleloke, featuring Arthur Godfrey on the ukelele
15. Holiday for Bells - Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra
16. Frosty the Snow Man - Vaughan Monroe & His Orchestra
17. Merry, Merry Christmas Baby - Dodie Stevens
18. Deck the Halls - Danny Kaye
19. Silver Bells - Pat Boone
20. White Christmas - Lana Cantrell
21. The Christmas Waltz - Nancy Wilson
22. The Night Before Christmas Song - Gisele MacKenzie
23. Jingle Bells - Sammy Davis Jr.
24. Parade of the Wooden Soldiers - Freddy Martin & His Orchestra
25. Blue Christmas - Ernest Tubbs
26. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Warner Brothers Stars
27. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Ramsey Lewis
28. Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus - Jimmy Osmond

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Boots Randolph - Boots and Stockings (1969)

I got this one from the HPB bargain bin either last year or the year before. I loved the title, "Boots and Stockings", and I also love the sax. I took up alto sax in the late 1980s, but had to quit when I got braces for the second time (I had them as a kid, then again as an adult). By the time I got the braces off, I had put the sax in storage (still haven't found it), so I don't play it anymore. Anyway, I do enjoy this album, and I hope you do, too!

Track listing for Boots Randolph - Boots and Stockings:

Side 1:
1. Medley: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town/ Jolly Old St. Nick/ Here Comes Santa Claus
2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
3. Jingle Bells
4. Frosty the Snow Man
5. Sleigh Ride

Side 2:
1. White Christmas
2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
4. Silver Bells
5. I'll Be Home for Christmas
6. Greensleeves

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gisele MacKenzie - Christmas with Gisele (1959)

I found this little gem last year at my favorite little resale store nearby. I bought it because I just loved the cover. I have never heard of Gisele MacKenzie, but one of my coworkers had and he liked her. I did like the album once I listened to it, and here are a few of the liner notes:
In this album, the Canadian-born songstress sings a collection of Christmas songs gathered from all parts of the world.... Gisele is a bewitching combination of gamin and grand lady.
I just love that description of Gisele! Now I have to find other albums by her!

Track listing for Gisele MacKenzie - Christmas with Gisele:

Side 1:
1. Silent Night; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; The Coventry Carol
2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
3. Dans Cette Etable (In This Stable); Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (The Angels in Our Fields); La Marche Des Rois (The March of the Kings)
4. White Christmas
5. We Three Kings of Orient Are; Good King Wenceslas; Gesu Bambino
6. The Christmas Song

Side 2:
1. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
2. Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
3. The Night Before Christmas Song
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. Too Fat for the Chimney
6. Jingle Bells

Click here to go see a video of Gisele singing "White Christmas"! (It wouldn't let me embed the video.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Percy Faith - Music of Christmas (1959)

Christmas just would not be Christmas without listening to one of my mom's Christmas albums. My mother was an elementary school teacher for 48 years (she retired in 1985) and was either in charge of or helped with her school's annual Christmas pageant. (Are public schools even allowed to have Christmas pageants anymore???) So, she had a nice collection of Christmas albums which she would use for the pageants. I only have one memory - and it's pretty vague - of one of the pageants and it is of a little girl lip-syncing to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". I was probably only 5 or 6 years old at the time, and I thought she was really singing and was very impressed. The only other thing I remember is that it was cold (December in South Texas can be 70 degrees or 50 degrees), and that my father and I had to stand at the back of the auditorium because there were no available chairs. Oh, and my mom also played the piano for some of the Christmas carols. Anyway, this is one of the few Christmas albums that I have that belonged to my mom because some were destroyed in Hurricane Beulah (1967) and some others were stolen from her classroom. I'm glad this one has survived all these years because it's by Percy Faith and his orchestra, which is probably the orchestra that most reminds me of my mom. Enjoy!

Track listing for Percy Faith - Music of Christmas:

Side 1:
1. Joy to the World
2. Silent Night, Holy Night
3. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
4. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
5. Good King Wenceslas
6. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Side 2:
1. The First Noel
2. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming; O Little Town of Bethlehem
3. O Holy Night
4. The Holly and The Ivy; Here We Go A-Caroling
5. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
6. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bert Kaempfert - Christmas Wonderland (1963)

Today's Christmas album is a thrift store find, bought for 50 cents at my favorite little resale/thrift store down the street. I think Bert Kaempfert's music is very danceable, and I think this album is great to play at your holiday party! Interesting cover, too. Enjoy!

Track listing for Bert Kaempfert - Christmas Wonderland:

Side 1:
1. The Little Drummer Boy
2. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
3. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
4. Holiday for Bells
5. Winter Wonderland
6. Children's Christmas Dream

Side 2:
1. Sleigh Ride
2. White Christmas
3. Toy Parade
4. Christmas Wonderland
5. Jingo Jango
6. Jumpin' Jiminy Christmas

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Ray Charles Singers - Winter Wonderland (1956)

The second Christmas album offering this year is an album I found in the HPB bargain bin earlier this year - for only 50 cents! I bought it for two reasons - the cover and the Ray Charles Singers. I love choral groups like this, especially the vocal arrangements. This album has some of the usual holiday songs, plus a couple I had never heard before. Here's some info from the liner notes as to who the singers and musicians are:
The Ray Charles Singers heard in this recording are Lillian Clark, Kathleen Wallace, Lois Winter, Miriam Workman, Robert Bollinger, Jerry Duane, Edwin Lindstrom, Eugene Lowell, Arthur Malvin, Alan Sokoloff, Michael Stewart, and Eugene Steck. Mr.Charles himself is heard in the solo in WHEN WINTER COMES. The outstanding musicians who accompany the vocal group are Dick Hyman, piano (especially notable are his solos in WHEN WINTER COMES A-CALLIN' and SNOWFALL); Nick Perito, accordion; Tony Mottola, guitar; Robert Rosengarden, drums; John Zimmermann, bass; and Pearl Chertock, harp. (My note - I'm sure you see some familiar names there!)

Track listing for The Ray Charles Singers - Winter Wonderland:

Side 1:
1. Winter Wonderland
2. Button Up Your Overcoat
3. June in January
4. When Winter Comes
5. Snowfall
6. I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Side 2:
1. Winter & Theme for Indoor Sports
2. Moonlight in Vermont
3. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
4. When Winter Comes A-Callin'
5. Jingle Bells
6. By the Fireside