Title: Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
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Christmas Music Guru
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(Date Posted:10/11/2008 19:59)


For those who are lovers of The Yule Log and of Christmas music in general, this man needs no musical introduction.

However, for those who may not be familiar with Percy Faith -- especially younger folks, then this one song would be a perfect introduction -- and it would say more musically than I could ever say verbally in mere mortal words. The song is Mr. Faith's rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful," which was originally released in 1954 on his classic and legendary Columbia Records LP, "Music of Christmas." The version that you're about to listen to is the one that was released on the re-recorded Stereo LP in 1959.

One of the many aspects of Mr. Faith's immense and incredible talent were his brilliant arrangements. In particular, his gift for being so deftly able to create beautiful counter-melodies that would complement the original melody of a song. For this song in particular, the first counter-melody begins 14 seconds into the song: the brass section plays the main melody and the string section plays the counter-melody. Then, at 3:11 into the song, comes the next significant melody/counter-melody duet between the brass and the strings.   

This song, like every song from "Music of Christmas" and his second Christmas album, "Hallelujah" (originally released in 1958 and renamed "Music of Christmas" Vol. 2 in 1965), sounds like it was piped down from heaven. His music projected simultaneously a power, majesty and reverence like nobody who came before him, or anybody who has come after him. He had the unique ability to emit with his music heart-wrenchingly poignant emotion and feeling. I am not at all ashamed to admit that I cannot listen to his music without an occasional tear welling up in my eye. 

Here now without further ado is the great master and maestro, Percy Faith.
(Don't forget to turn up the volume!)








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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/11/2008 23:59)

Hear, hear.

Not only were Faith's own Christmas albums terrific, but he was responsible for the arrangements on one of the greatest *vocal* Christmas LPs ever: Johnny Mathis' Merry Christmas, from 1958.


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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/12/2008 03:46)


That's absolutely correct, Mike.

This was one of the greatest collaborations ever, and certainly one of the greatest Christmas albums ever. Mr. Faith not only did the arrangements, but he backed up Johnny's beautiful vocals with his great orchestra as well -- a great, great album and without a doubt in the Top 10 of my "Top Play." It was the single greatest oversight of the Yule Log that music from this LP was never used on the soundtrack.
 
As for Percy Faith's music on the Yule Log, here is an excerpt from a post I filed previously on the message board:


Percy Faith, who is the undisputed King of the Yule Log by virtue of his 10 songs that appear on the original classic 3-hour presentation, always led the way at the beginning, and closed the program at the end with his rendition of "Joy To The World."

His statistics on the Yule Log are impressive:

*He is the only artist who has songs represented from 3 different albums.

*He is the only artist to have a song reprised in the show ("Joy To The World" -- always the first and last song).

*He is the only artist who has music represented in all 6 of the 30-minute tracks that made up the original 3-hour broadcast: In 4 of the tracks he had 2 songs, and in 2 of the tracks he had 1 song.

In my entire collection, there are only two albums that I do not have the audacity to rate on my scale of 1-10, as they are beyond my ability to apply such an arbitrary number due to the sheer perfection that was achieved in their majesty and reverence of arranging, conducting and performance. They are: "Music of Christmas," originally released in 1954 in mono, then re-recorded and re-released in 1959 in stereo; and "Hallelujah," originally released in 1958, then later reissued in 1965 as "Music of Christmas Vol. 2." To rate these two albums in my opinion, would be like putting a price on the Mona Lisa -- which of course, is priceless. Mr. Faith's third Christmas album was "Christmas Is" from 1966, and I rate this album at 8 on my scale of 1-10.



(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 10/12/2008 03:56)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/12/2008 16:06)

MY TOP 10  PERCY FAITH SONGS:

1.  Angels We Have Heard on High  (Music of Christmas Vol. 2 )
2.  Gesu Bambino  (Music of Christmas Vol. 2 ?)
3.  Fascination  (?)
4.  Deck the Halls  (Music of Christmas)
5.  I'm in the Mood for Love   (?)
6.  Windy  (?)
7.  As Long As She Needs Me (?)
8.  Theme from A Summer Place  (?)
9.  First Light (?)
10. Autumn Leaves (?)



You can listen to the whole Percy Faith 'Music of Christmas ' CD on Rhapsody, I think:

http://www.rhapsody.com/percyfaith/22830525_musicofchristmas


Of course, the great Angels on High, and Gesu Bambino are missing from that one

Sniffle.

Does anyone know who has a similar version of Gesu Bambino (instrumental) to Percy's ??

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/12/2008 21:30)


Hi Maxine, and welcome back to the board!

Here are the Percy Faith LPs the songs you listed came from:


1.  Angels We Have Heard On High (2 LPs: Hallelujah & Music of Christmas Vol. 2)
2.  Gesu Bambino (2 LPs: Hallelujah & Music of Christmas Vol. 2)
3.  Fascination (Tara's Theme And Other Themes)
4.  Deck The Halls (Music of Christmas)
5.  I'm In The Mood For Love (Percy Faith never recorded this song)
6.  Windy (Today's Themes For Young Lovers)
7.  As Long As He Needs Me (2 LPs: Broadway Bouquet & Windmills of Your Mind)
8.  Theme From A Summer Place (Tara's Theme And Other Themes)
9.  First Light (Corazon)
10. Autumn Leaves (Bouquet)

As I indicated above, Percy Faith never recorded "I'm In The Mood For Love." You were probably thinking of Jackie Gleason's version.

By the way, I totally agree with you on "Angels We Have Heard On High" and "Gesu Bambino." They are 2 of my all-time favorites of Mr. Faith as well.

Also, "Theme From A Summer Place" was first released as a single in 1960. It became the top-selling single for all of 1960 and stayed at #1 on the Billboard charts for an incredible 9 weeks -- the longest all-time run of any instrumental song in the history of the Billboard charts, a record that still stands to this day. The song that year also won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It is yet another lasting legacy of this man's greatness.

Here it is now for your listening enjoyment; it was posted on YouTube by a fan in Japan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSsiS-v6_6M


(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 10/12/2008 21:44)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 04:51)

This is a topic I definetly had to comment on briefly. When I first started enjoying the YL and started to wonder who did some of those songs, the first one I wondered about mostly was the opening of Mr. Faith's Joy To The World. i was always impressed up this day of the lively brass section and the overall appeal of this version...but at one time I never knew who did it. Luckily one day while Xmas shopping in Crazy Eddie, the folks who worked there decided to pop in a Percy Faith CD for the customers to hear and that song was on there. I wasted no time asking who it was and needless to say I had the CD in my collection ever since. The CD is titled Percy Faith Christmas Melodies and has a nice piece of artwork on the cover. That's when i realized how many OTHER songs he did on the YL which also appeared on the same CD
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 11:20)

Chip, thanks so much !  You know, I wondered where all those songs came from.  I have a confession:  I wasn't completely sure they were Percy Faith, but , you know, he's got such a distinctive sound, with the strings and all.....I always think everytime I hear an instrumental in that style....it must be Percy Faith !!!

Chip---will you do me a favor and listen to this one song, off an old YouTube video, and tell me if this, also,  is Percy Faith:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFwlooZRKVc

The song starts at about 1:45 .  It sounds very Percy Faith, but I don't know.  Do you know the title and who it's by?    Maybe it's Mantovani? 

I'd been thinking about that wonderful  song since 1981.....but never knew what it was or who it was by.

Thanks, I really appreciate it.
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 14:20)


Maxine,

This beautiful song is "My Cup Runneth Over," and it was performed by the incomparable Mantovani, who is the second greatest easy-listening artist ever -- second only to the great maestro, Percy Faith.

Monty (as he was affectionately known by his friends and fans) recorded the song in 1968; it was released on the London Records LP, "The Mantovani Touch" (catalog #PS526).

The song was originally a Top 10 hit for Ed Ames in 1967; it made it to #8 on the Billboard charts that year.

Here is that recording now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMdLagFLe24

And for good measure, here is a great Christmas song Ed Ames did later that year on his 1967 LP, "Christmas With Ed Ames."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayh6og49uDo
 
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 17:22)

My Cup Runneth Over !   I might have guessed Mantovani.....but had no idea what the title was.   Mantovani and Percy Faith are nearly interchangeable.

Chip you've been a great help.  I can't tell you how long I'd been looking, just for the title of that song.  You know, I think I like Ray Coniff's version of  'Cup'  a bit better.  But it seems Ed Ames had the greatest success with that song.

Say, did Ed Ames do a version of "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day"  ????  Although, I like Frank's version of that the best.

Anyway, because, you been so helpful, Chip.....here's my playlist from Last FM---I don't know if it works, or if you have to register.....but anyway....it's just a mish-mash of songs I've collected, a lot of Christmas, but non-Christmas too.

I've got a few Billy Vaughn Christmas instrumentals, on there  that are very hard to find.  See if this works:

http://www.last.fm/user/YuleMaxine/tracks?page=1


Percy Faith -vs- Billy Vaughn -vs- Mantovani   !!!!

Hey, what about Felix Slatkin and Raymond Lefevre ?  YouTube has a little bit of Raymond Lefevre, but nothing Christmas.

Felix Slatkin has a version of Deck the Halls, that's I'd love to get my hands on, although it's nothing like Percy Faith's Deck the Halls....which is legendary.

Slatkin's compositions seem extremely uptempo and chirpy---at least the ones I've heard.

 

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 20:40)


Maxine,

Yes, Ed Ames did indeed record a version of "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day." It was released on his first Christmas album in 1967, "Christmas With Ed Ames."

With regard to Raymond Lefevre, his Christmas album is available as a Japanese import:
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=6676674

As for Felix Slatkin, EMI was set to release his Christmas album on CD in 2006, but then dropped the idea because of a downturn in overall music sales.

The Raymond Lefevre and Felix Slatkin albums, along with both of Billy Vaughn's Christmas albums, are in the 2nd Tier of my "Top Play" (albums 126-250 in my collection).   

And yes, Ray Conniff had a terrific version of "My Cup Runneth Over" as well. As for his Christmas music (which was absolutely spectacular), all three of his Christmas albums are in the 1st Tier of my "Top Play" (albums 1-125 in my collection) In fact, his first two are in my Top 10, and his third is located within my Top 25. He is one of the Christmas music legends. 

Sadly, Mr. Conniff passed away just a few years ago at age 85.



    RAY
CONNIFF
           1916-2002



*[Edited 06/29/11 to restore jpeg photo that was deleted after conversion to new server]



(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 06/29/2011 11:56)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 22:29)

Johnny Mathis' recording of "O Holy Night", with arrangement and accompaniment by Percy Faith and his orchestra:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0inp9eRMovM

My favorite rendition of my favorite carol.



(Message edited by Motown Mike On 10/13/2008 22:30)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/13/2008 23:33)


I didn't see that one on YouTube; otherwise I would have posted it in my first message of October 12th when I addressed this LP. Good find Mike and thanks for posting it!  

Just to let folks know out there: the second song included on the YouTube post (The Little Drummer Boy) was not from the 1958 LP; it was from Johnny's 1969 LP, "Give Me Your Love For Christmas," which cannot hold a candle to the 1958 album. He was just a more disciplined singer when he was younger, plus he had the arrangements and backing of Percy Faith.

While I was on YouTube, I found three more postings of songs from the 1958 LP for those who may not be familiar with this legendary recording:

Winter Wonderland & Silent Night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3mlNafPCRw
Sleigh Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBFXAEhWsio
Silver Bells: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mo4yGvaIA


 
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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:10/14/2008 11:13)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (10/13/2008 23:33:50)
Just to let folks know out there: the second song included on the YouTube post (The Little Drummer Boy) was not from the 1958 LP; it was from Johnny's 1969 LP, "Give Me Your Love For Christmas," which cannot hold a candle to the 1958 album. He was just a more disciplined singer when he was younger, plus he had the arrangements and backing of Percy Faith.



Indeed, that's not even Johnny's best recording of that song!  I much prefer the version he did with Don Costa on his 1963 Mercury LP, Sounds of Christmas (an album that unfortunately has never been reissued on CD its entirety).




(Message edited by Motown Mike On 10/14/2008 11:17)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/14/2008 16:06)


That's exactly right Mike, but I have a theory as to why the original version of "The Little Drummer Boy" was not used by Columbia when they reissued the Mercury LP on their label.

First a little history: 

Columbia Records first acquired the rights to the original 1963 Mercury Records LP, "Sounds of Christmas," in 1971. At that time, they reissued the LP on their budget label, Harmony Records. Harmony Records was to Columbia, like Camden Records was to RCA. Anyway, in 1971, when it was reissued, it included 2 less songs: "The Little Drummer Boy," and a delightful original song, "Have Reindeer Will Travel." The former was the last song on side 1, and the latter was the first song on side 2. Therefore, that meant that these 2 songs were consecutive songs on the Mercury master. It is my theory that the master must have gotten damaged. So when Columbia Records reissued the LP on their Harmony label in 1971 as "Christmas With Johnny Mathis," they had no choice but to delete these 2 songs from the album. There could be no other explanation as to why Columbia would not have used these 2 great songs, none. Further proof of this is that they had Johnny go to the trouble of re-recording "The Little Drummer Boy" in 1969 for his LP, "Give Me Your Love For Christmas." But sadly, as we know, this recording was inferior to the version that was on the 1963 Mercury LP, which was arranged by the great Don Costa and conducted by Jack Feirman.

By the way, aside from 1958's "Merry Christmas" LP, this 1963 Mercury album is the only other Johnny Mathis Christmas album that is in my "Top Play." However, unlike "Merry Christmas," it is not in my 1st Tier; it resides in my 2nd Tier (albums 126-250 in my collection). Musically speaking, one of the greatest disappointments is that all subsequent Johnny Mathis Christmas albums just paled in comparison to that first great original album he did in 1958. His voice in the 1950s (when he had his greatest commercial success) was so much more poised and disciplined, and it showed in his music. 
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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:10/14/2008 21:24)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (10/14/2008 16:06:37)


Anyway, in 1971, when it was reissued, it included 2 less songs: "The Little Drummer Boy," and a delightful original song, "Have Reindeer Will Travel." The former was the last song on side 1, and the latter was the first song on side 2. Therefore, that meant that these 2 songs were consecutive songs on the Mercury master. It is my theory that the master must have gotten damaged. So when Columbia Records reissued the LP on their Harmony label in 1971 as "Christmas With Johnny Mathis," they had no choice but to delete these 2 songs from the album. There could be no other explanation as to why Columbia would not have used these 2 great songs, none. 

But, even if the master were damaged, surely the original session multi-track recordings would have still been around for Columbia to do a remix from, right?  I mean, the album was less than a decade old at that point, Johnny was a top-selling vocal star, and Mercury was no fly-by-night operation.

As you point out, when Columbia first reissued the album it was on their budget Harmony Records imprint. So my theory is that omitting two tracks was a way of keeping the "price point" down for consumers.  When Columbia later reissued the album on CD in the '80s, they just grabbed the second-generation LP master from their reissue rather than going back to the original Mercury master, or the session tapes.

Of course, this begs the question of why Columbia/Sony/Legacy or whoever has never seen fit to remaster the album since that first CD came out.  Again, I can't believe that the multi-tracks aren't still extant even if the original LP master isn't.
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/15/2008 04:25)


No Mike, I disagree.

First: Not all of the Harmony reissues were abridged LPs. Although, I completely understand that you are too young to have known that, since most of these Harmony reissues were released before you were born.

Second: Given the magnitude of the kind of star Johnny Mathis was at that time, do you really believe Columbia Records would have been that stupid not to take full advantage of offering this album in its entirety if they could have when they first reissued it in 1971?

Third: For what other possible reason would Columbia have had when they had Johnny re-record "The Little Drummer Boy" in 1969 if it weren't for the reason that the original master had been damaged -- much in the same way that Bing Crosby had to re-record "White Christmas" in 1947 because the original master had become damaged. And the age of the master has nothing to do with it. In fact, the "White Christmas" master was only 5 years old when Decca Records had to replace it. I used to think at one time that perhaps the reason Columbia didn't use "The Little Drummer Boy" track on the reissue was because they didn't get the rights to the Mercury LP until 1971, and since Johnny had recorded a version for their own label in 1969, they didn't need it. But that can't be the case because simply speaking, there is no big deal with having the same song on two different albums -- especially if they are two different versions as they are here.

Fourth: Why would Columbia voluntarily leave off the reissue LP (and today the CD) one of the two original songs that were written exclusively for this album by Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster -- that song being, "Have Reindeer Will Travel." I used to think that it might possibly be because Columbia didn't want to pay the royalties to use the song, but since they use the other original song by Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster, "The Sounds of Christmas," I really don't think that is the case.

Fifth
: You say that you just can't believe that Columbia still couldn't do a remix even if the original master is not available, but you would really be surprised at what goes on in the recording industry sometimes. You naively give the record companies more credit than they really deserve, much more. Take the case of '60s pop group, The Vanilla Fudge for example. From what I understand, in 1986 they had to go back into the recording studio to re-record one of the albums they originally did in the late '60s for Atco Records because the original master had become damaged -- and this Atco album was issued several years after the Johnny Mathis Christmas LP for Mercury. Furthermore, here is an excerpt from an email I received from Norma Camby (the daughter of maestro Johnny Douglas of The Living Strings & Voices). This was in reference to possibly reissuing The Living Strings 1963 LP, "The Spirit of Christmas" and The Living Voices 1974 LP, "A Christmas Songbook":   


"As yet we cannot say which of the JD Christmas albums we will use.  It depends on whether RCA can locate the original masters and what condition they are in for re-mastering.  It took 6 months for them to find the tracks for “Where Did the Night Go”!!!!  Naturally we are hoping that “The Spirit of Christmas” will be acceptable as well as the Living Voices album.  We will of course notify you when we have a release date later next year."

And let me stress the point that this was for one album that was recorded in 1963 (the same year as the Mathis LP) and the other for an album recorded in 1974 (11 years after the Mathis LP). So you see, you really don't know.

Of course, I have a much different perspective on this from most people because I have family in the recording industry. My cousin Frank DeCaro was a member of the Baja Marimba Band back in the late '60s and early '70s, and then later became a record producer/arranger. And my late cousin Nick DeCaro was also a Singer/Musician who later became a record producer/arranger. Between them, they have produced, arranged and performed on albums for Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Glenn Frey, Dolly Parton, B.J. Thomas, Martin Denny, among many others.

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/15/2008 21:34)

 I always wondered why it seemed you had an inside track to the music biz, Chip.  I didn't think just being the Guru was enough.  That must have been weird for Vanilla Fudge to re-record stuff almost 20 years old....
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/16/2008 00:09)


Yes, it sure was. And from what I understand, the sound they achieved was incredibly close to the original.

 

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/18/2008 13:03)

I've been looking for an instrumental version of 'Make It Easy On Yourself'......the one that has the piano running through it.

I'm wondering if it's Percy Faith's version, off the album 'Themes for the in-crowd' ...that I'm thinking of.

There's only two copies left of that on Amazon, and I'd be disappointed if I bought the album and it wasn't the version I remembered.

Chip, do you know if Percy Faith's instrumental 'Make It Easy On Yourself' was the one that had a bit of piano in it ?

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/18/2008 21:41)


No Maxine, there is no piano on Percy Faith's version of "Make It Easy On Yourself."

Here is a link to the CD on the Barnes & Noble's website where you can listen to a sample of the song:

http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Bim-Bam-Boom-Theme-from-the-In-Crowd/Percy-Faith/e/090431648322/?itm=1

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/18/2008 22:47)

 For those who want the two "missing" Johnny Mathis tracks, Ernie(not Bert) has them on his blog.  I just got them a couple days ago.  Just search the blog for Johnny Mathis.

While we're in a Percy Faith mode, I have to say that my favorite track is his "The First Noel" from "Music of Christmas".  If I could only have one version of that song, that's the ONE.
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/18/2008 23:57)


Right on, brother; it's yet another great selection from his masterpiece.

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/20/2008 15:35)

What I should love to see is a CD containing both versions of "Music for Christmas".

They would both fit, I'm all but certain (the timing for the stereo version being some 39 minutes long), and would make a glorious 2-for-1, original artwork , original notes + new notes, the whole bit.

How about it, Sony??? I pledge to buy 10 copies for my friends, just for starters :)
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/20/2008 18:30)


That is something we've discussed many times here on the board before. My advice for everyone out there is to contact Sony Music expressing your desire to see this happen. The recent success of the write-in campaign for the Hollyridge Strings CD proves that your voices can make a difference.

In the mean time, for those who don't already have it, there is another copy of "Music of Christmas, Vol. 2" currently up for auction on eBay. This one is not used and is still sealed. If you bid, hopefully you can get it for a reasonable price. Good luck!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Percy-Faith-Music-of-Christmas-Volume-2-CD-SEALED-OOP_W0QQitemZ370100637856QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item370100637856&_trkparms=72%3A570%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

By the way, Columbia Records in the past had already released these two masterpiece albums together; they did it twice in the 1960s. What they did, curiously, is that they released this 2-record set with the original 1954 mono version of "Music of Christmas," not the re-recorded 1959 stereo version. Here are the covers that Columbia used for this 2-record set:


 




(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 10/21/2008 00:28)
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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:10/21/2008 19:36)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (10/20/2008 18:30:22)

By the way, Columbia Records in the past had already released these two masterpiece albums together; they did it twice in the 1960s. What they did, curiously, is that they released this 2-record set with the original 1954 mono version of "Music of Christmas," not the re-recorded 1959 stereo version.


That is very odd, indeed.

Incidentally, was the 1959 recording itself ever released in a mono mix?

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:10/21/2008 20:55)


Yes Mike, and that's what's so strange.

In 1959, after Mr. Faith re-recorded "Music of Christmas" in stereo, Columbia released a mono version of the stereo recording. The catalog number for the Mono LP was CL-1381; and the Stereo LP was CS-8176. That's why it was so strange when they used, not only a mono recording, but the original 1954 mono recording for this 2-record set. It was very, very odd, and none of us who are knowledgeable about Percy Faith's music have ever been able to ascertain why Columbia did this.  

By the way, for those who are not aware, back in the late 1950s and up to the mid-1960s, many people did not yet own stereophonic equipment, so it was customary of the record companies to offer LPs in both mono and stereo.

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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:11/24/2008 10:34)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (10/15/2008 04:25:43)



Fifth
: You say that you just can't believe that Columbia still couldn't do a remix even if the original master is not available, but you would really be surprised at what goes on in the recording industry sometimes. You naively give the record companies more credit than they really deserve, much more. Take the case of '60s pop group, The Vanilla Fudge for example. From what I understand, in 1986 they had to go back into the recording studio to re-record one of the albums they originally did in the late '60s for Atco Records because the original master had become damaged -- and this Atco album was issued several years after the Johnny Mathis Christmas LP for Mercury. Furthermore, here is an excerpt from an email I received from Norma Camby (the daughter of maestro Johnny Douglas of The Living Strings & Voices). This was in reference to possibly reissuing The Living Strings 1963 LP, "The Spirit of Christmas" and The Living Voices 1974 LP, "A Christmas Songbook":   


"As yet we cannot say which of the JD Christmas albums we will use.  It depends on whether RCA can locate the original masters and what condition they are in for re-mastering.  It took 6 months for them to find the tracks for “Where Did the Night Go”!!!!  Naturally we are hoping that “The Spirit of Christmas” will be acceptable as well as the Living Voices album.  We will of course notify you when we have a release date later next year."

And let me stress the point that this was for one album that was recorded in 1963 (the same year as the Mathis LP) and the other for an album recorded in 1974 (11 years after the Mathis LP). So you see, you really don't know.

Of course, I have a much different perspective on this from most people because I have family in the recording industry. My cousin Frank DeCaro was a member of the Baja Marimba Band back in the late '60s and early '70s, and then later became a record producer/arranger. And my late cousin Nick DeCaro was also a Singer/Musician who later became a record producer/arranger. Between them, they have produced, arranged and performed on albums for Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Glenn Frey, Dolly Parton, B.J. Thomas, Martin Denny, among many others.



I think the most likely thing that happened was the master tapes probably got lost.  Quite often things will be reissued with inferior sound due to use of backup or safety copies that don't sound as good as the original master.  Also, multi-track tapes very often get lost.  With digital surround sound technologies (dts audio CD, SACD, DVD-A), many older albums got remixed in 5.1 surround sound.  Many that would've been great albums to be remixed did not.  In some cases, albums were announced or scheduled for 5.1 surround remix, and didn't happen, because they couldn't find the multi-track masters for all songs on the albums.  I know this was the case for Steely Dan - Aja, Yes - Close to the Edge, and Todd Rundgren - Something/Anything.  I really wish the labels would keep better track of their tapes, these things will only last a certain amount of time before disintegrating, and someday many of these masters will be lost forever.

I am a big fan of Vanilla Fudge, and I know nothing about any album being re-recorded due to tape damage.  All of their original 60's albums are available on CD as they were originally recorded.  I also know nothing of any remixing from the multi-track.  The only things I know of that could have gotten confused with this are, their 5th album "Rock and Roll" has 2 different mixes, but they were both released around the same time and no one with the band can explain why there were 2 mixes, in the 90s a live album was put out that Carmine was behind that the rest of the band wouldn't sign off on, so he took the multi-tracks of the live recording, muted Mark, Timmy, and Vince's parts and had other people overdub parts in the studio to his drums and called that a Vanilla Fudge live album, which Mark Stein sued him over and won, and in 2002 a reunited Vanilla Fudge put out an album called "The Return" which consisted mainly of them performing their old material.


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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:11/24/2008 22:02)


Jon,

Thanks for the input. And yes, it is very possible that the master just simply could have gotten lost. It's amazing how this kind of stuff actually happens, but sadly, it does.

As for the Vanilla Fudge, all I know is what I remember being told by someone several years ago. But since I am not a particular fan of the group and don't have as much knowledge about them as you, I gladly defer to you on this one; although, he was quite specific on this.

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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:11/25/2008 00:57)

Hmmm.....that is really interesting then, that you would've been given that specific information about that.  They had a best of come out in '82 which didn't involve and re-recording, a reunion album in '84, and a reunion in '87 which I believe is when the tapes that were used for the overdubbed live album in '91 were originally recorded....I just can't think what they would've been re-recording in '86.  But that is the type of things that I've heard of other bands doing.  I know the entire Buckner and Garcia Pac-Man Fever album got re-recorded, due to them being unable to obtain the rights of the original recording.  I also recently picked up a ? and the myserians album really cheap, only to find out that was also the whole album re-recorded, also due to recording rights issues.  This has me curious what the real story is on the Vanilla Fudge re-recording, but I have vinyl and CD of all 5 60s albums, and the CDs, and I can vouch for them all matching.  Although the CDs did come out long after '86, so I suppose it is possible there was re-recording done, and then the tapes showed up.  But now I think I've steered this way off topic, so I'll stop now.
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Re:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:11/28/2008 17:53)

Hello Chip,

After reading the posts regarding the great Percy Faith and Johnny Mathis, a question comes to mind that you may have answered already. If that is the case, please forgive my lack of memory. My question is this, with all the excellent technology that we have available today, why would a record company go through the trouble of having an artist come back to the studio to re-record a track or an entire album in which the master was damaged when they could grab a copy of the album and re-record that and run it through the re-digitalizing process? Maybe, I don't entirely understand how the re-mastering and re-digitalizing process works, but that would seem like a more simple solution. What do you think?

Armando
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:11/28/2008 22:13)


Armando,

I'm sure if it were that simple, they would do just that. But there must be a reason why that's not a viable solution, and I don't have the expertise in that area to say as to why.

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Re:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:11/30/2008 22:30)

Hello Chip,

Love that new avatar!

You're right, it's too easy of an answer. There must be some reason why that approach is not used. Thanks for the follow up!

Armando
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/01/2008 03:08)


Sure thing, buddy.

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Re:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/02/2008 16:45)

For those of us who listen to live365, there's a great channel called "Christmas & Then Some", playing traditional holiday music and featuring among others, the Christmas classics of Percy Faith.  They just played Percy Faith's rendition of "The First Noel".  I remember having that on a Columbia 45 Extended Play.  It was likely a shortened version of an LP, probably released in the mid-1950s.  Don't recall the exact title of the album.  It may have been "Music of Christmas" as there were several volumes released over the years.  The cover showed Santa cradling a sleeping little girl.  She'd likely be an AARP member by now! 

Percy Faith's music was often heard on "The Yule Log" broadcasts and was a staple of WPAT's "Spirit of Christmas".  In fact, I'm listening to "Christmas & Then Some" as I'm typing this and they're playing another Percy Faith selection, "Lo, How A Rose 'Er Blooming/O Little Town of Bethlehem".
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/03/2008 02:00)


Frank,

What you described was the original picture on the cover of  "Music of Christmas."

The picture was an artist's rendering of a father dressed as Santa holding his sleeping daughter. Columbia Records issued the LP with this poignant cover from 1954-1958. In 1959, it was replaced with the current cover.

As for Mr. Faith's Christmas music, saying as you did that "it was often heard on the Yule Log," is an understatement. He practically was the Yule Log. The soundtrack pretty much revolved around him. I talked about this in my second post on this thread dated 10/12/08 @ 04:46:34 A.M. 

He was indisputably, the King of the Yule Log.

   
(Post edited on 12/03/08 to correct the date I referenced to my second post on this thread) 



(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 12/03/2008 16:23)
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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:12/03/2008 15:53)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (12/03/2008 03:00:04)


Frank,

What you described was the original picture on the cover of  "Music of Christmas."

The picture was an artist's rendering of a father dressed as Santa holding his sleeping daughter. Columbia Records issued the LP with this poignant cover from 1954-1958. In 1959, it was replaced with the current cover.

As for Mr. Faith's Christmas music, saying as you did that "it was often heard on the Yule Log," is an understatement. He practically was the Yule Log. The soundtrack pretty much revolved around him. I talked about this in my second post on this thread dated 11/12/08 @ 04:46:34 A.M. 

He was indisputably, the King of the Yule Log.   


Chip,

I agree with you.  Sorry I didn't read your earlier post.  Percy Faith was not only King of the Yule Log, he was also king of WPAT-FM's Spirit of Christmas.  Hardly an hour went by without hearing Mr. Faith.

I fondly remember that poignant cover of "Music of Christmas".  My mom had the 45 EP.  Every year when I'd take it out to play it for the first time, the anticipation of Christmas grew within me.  I probably thought it really was Santa on the cover!

Percy Faith will always be remebered for his Christmas music, but he also had the #1 record for the year 1960, "Theme from 'A Summer Place'". 
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/03/2008 16:07)


Yes, he was indeed the King of WPAT's Christmas playlist as well.

As for "Theme From A Summer Place," I talked about this in my third post on this thread dated 10/12/08 @ 22:30:10.

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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:12/04/2008 17:21)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (12/03/2008 17:07:24)


Yes, he was indeed the King of WPAT's Christmas playlist as well.

As for "Theme From A Summer Place," I talked about this in my third post on this thread dated 10/12/08 @ 22:30:10.


I ordered my CD copy of "Music of Christmas" today from tower.com.  I didn't realize how much I missed having this Christmas masterpiece in my collection until I came upon this thread.  Remember I never had the full album, only the 45 EP.  That probably got lost many family moves ago!  It'll be great to hear it in my home again!
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RE:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/04/2008 19:08)


Good for you, Frank.

Percy Faith's "Music of Christmas" and "Hallelujah" (aka "Music of Christmas, Vol. 2") should be an absolute part of every classic Christmas music lover's collection. I only wish you could also still purchase his second Christmas album. It was remastered and released on CD by Sony Music in 1997, but was only in print for two years. Copies now go for big bucks on eBay and Amazon.
 
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Reply To Christmas%20Music%20Guru
(Date Posted:12/10/2008 17:32)

Reply to Christmas Music Guru (12/04/2008 20:08:38)


Good for you, Frank.

Percy Faith's "Music of Christmas" and "Hallelujah" (aka "Music of Christmas, Vol. 2") should be an absolute part of every classic Christmas music lover's collection. I only wish you could also still purchase his second Christmas album. It was remastered and released on CD by Sony Music in 1997, but was only in print for two years. Copies now go for big bucks on eBay and Amazon.
 

My CD of Percy Faith's "Music of Christmas" arrived today!  It was great hearing it again.  I was having memories not only of hearing the selections on WPAT, but also of hearing the original 45 EP in the basement apartment in Brooklyn we lived in when I was a youngster.

Thanks again for this thread, and thank you tower.com for being so prompt! 
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Re:Percy Faith: The Great Master and Maestro
(Date Posted:12/11/2008 01:04)

Hello again log_fan!

I'm glad you have your copy of "Music of Christmas". It is arguably the best classic Christmas album ever. I wholeheartedly agree with Chip that "Music of Christmas" and "Hallelujah" are an essential part of every classic Christmas music lover's collection. No collection would be considered complete without it.

Enjoy! 
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