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rsteven
Topic :   It's Christmas Time In May In Phoenix, Arizona On The Radio


Hello Chip,

I have recently traveled to Mesa, Arizona to attend my youngest daughter's wedding this weekend and while driving around in my rent a car I thought I was listening to a top 40 radio station on the FM dial that had been playing a variety of current top 40 hits, when suddenly it seemed to flip to an all Christmas format for several uninterrupted hours. I mean everything from Bing Crosby's White Christmas to Perry Como's There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays and Burl Ives among so many others.

My middle age daughter was in the car with my gal and I and her mouth just about dropped to the floor. I have been referred to as Mr. Christmas around my loved ones on more than one occasion due to my love of Christmas music and the season in general, but this switch to all Christmas music in the middle of the Mesa, Arizona dessert with temperatures hovering near 100 was a fantastic and splendid surprise to say the least. My daughter remarked, "Dad I have never heard Christmas music played this time of year on the radio, leave it to you to bring Christmas music with your arrival in town. I don't know how you did it, but you managed to do it somehow!"

I mean this was not a satellite radio station, but a regular top 40 pop station. We drove around for nearly two hours as we went to eat at a restaurant and visited the local Barnes & Noble book store and each time the very vintage Christmas music remained on the radio station air waves until we came back to the car for the last time. We heard no explanation other than some talk of a "Christmas promotion" or something that seemed taped ahead of time.

Now there was one time a year or two ago I heard a country radio station play one Christmas song in July as a sort of joke because of the hot weather or something, but it was one song only and they quickly returned to playing the hit singles of the time, and I believe the song was Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. It was definitely a one off so to speak.

Chip, I know you know my family has been involved in the ownership and management of several television and radio stations over the years, but I have never heard of or witnessed such a splendid and dedicated effort towards the continuous playing of Christmas music by a major market radio station this early in the year.

My question for you Chip as the greatest authority in the world on the popular Christmas music from the Golden Age and beyond is the following; Have you ever heard of such a planned and continuous display of Christmas music this early in the year or do you think someone "fell Asleep at the controls" so to speak and this was some sort of pre-taped mistake where an engineer hit the wrong switch or playlist by mistake? Either way, it just wetted my appetite for your impending announcement of the Real Gone Music Christmas releases for this year that I am sure is not too many months or even weeks away from being released on this great forum.

Best regards.

Steve


05/25/2018 23:46


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (Local Coverage)

Thank you Chip,
From what I was told, Tribune is no longer offering the Superstation package to Cable, Satellite or Fiber Optic Television providers.  I have read several complaints that say something that even if Charlie Ergen, the President of Dish Network had changed his equipment or services, that he couldn't get the Superstation Package back either. (Yeah Right) lol

I can't get a distant CW network because we have a local CW network station.

It isn't right, even if I go to one of those Pick and Choose Streaming Channel Services, I can't get WPIX, unless it was in my Direct Marketing area.  So why even offer a Pick and Choose Service?  If I am willing to pay for a specific channel, it shouldn't matter where I am located.

As you know, I love the Classic Television Movies and Programs, and yes we get some shows like I've Got A Secret and What's My Line, but our Local station that gives us Retro TV or MeTV, Get TV, Grit TV etc, they don't give us all the programs that the actual Networks are, and they fill in with a local talk show or a local bowling show.  So even it I were watching, Hazel and then they advertises that Leave It To Beaver is "coming up next on most of these stations", I will get the local bowling show instead.

It is good to know that Antenna TV will continue to broadcast The Yule Log.

I will miss not being able to have a backup network though for when WPIX airs it, since I could get a few changes at different times to DVR it. and if there was bad weather, it might not last long enough to affect both channels being they broadcast The Yule Log at different times.


04/19/2018 06:56


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (Local Coverage)


That's such a shame, Susan, that you lost your Superstation package. Dish Network really did you a disservice.

You should write them a strong letter of complaint for doing that to you.

If it's any consolation, yes, Sean (Compton) will continue to air the Yule Log on his Antenna TV network. He made that pledge to me several years ago and has kept it. So as long as he's in charge at Tribune Broadcasting, rest assured it will air on Antenna TV.





04/19/2018 02:26


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (Local Coverage)

Chip,
I'm not sure which section this should go to, so please if it is in the wrong one, could you move it for me?

Well, I can no longer get WPIX or the other Superstations.    Last week we have very high wind gust for 2 days straight, and it knocked over my satellite dish and broke the mounting bracket for the LNB to the arm of my dish.

I had to go to Cleveland Clinic yesterday and there was a change that I would be there for a few days or more if they were going to do some surgery.  So being I didn't know how long I was going to be in the hospital, and that I couldn't actually pick up any signal from Dish Network, I called them to see if there was a way I could get a credit for the number of days I would be in the hospital, since I wouldn't be home to let a technician in and they told me that I could put my account on "Vacation" and only pay $10.00 a month until I get back from the hospital.  So i said that would be fine and wehn I get back from the hospital I could just call to have them take it off "Vacation"

Well I didn't need the surgery yet because they had to do an X-Ray with contrast and because I still have swelling from the previous surgery, they are going to wait at least a few more weeks.

I came home lat evening, and I was able to get the mounting bracket for the LNB, and got the dish re-aimed.  I called Dish Network to have my service taken off of "Vacation" and then they asked me to check and make sure all my stations where there, and unfortunately WPIX, WWOR, WSBK, KWGN and KTLA were gone. 

When I told the customer service rep that they were gone, she told me that I couldn't get them back because they stopped offering the Superstation package in 2013 and because I had my service put on vacation for even just 3 days, that voided me being grandfathered in.  They have no way of even overriding that.

I was on the phone for over an hour trying to find a way to get that package back because I was NOT told that if I put my service on Vacation, that I would lose that package.  Even if I were to upgrade my receivers to their Hopper system, I would lose that package.

So now I can only hope that Antenna TV will continue to broadcast it each year, and the full 5-hours.  Also that they might put a commercial in between the 3rd and 4th hour like they did a few years ago.

I won't get The Honeymooners anymore.  Yes they are available on DVD as well as other programs that WPIX airs, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is so much better to actually watch them when they air on WPIX


04/18/2018 17:08


CluelessIn
Re :   Christmas Vinyl Internet radio

Out of curiosity I tried the URL in the starter message of this thread, and my Norton Security Suite started popping up warnings like this:

4/5/2018 7:45:39 PM,
Severity: High,
An intrusion attempt by www.christmasvinyl.com was blocked.,
No Action Required,
Web Attack: Malicious Redirection 21,
No Action Required,


04/05/2018 21:00


CluelessIn
Topic :   First Noel - Organ & Orchestra - Unknown Artist

I've been sorting through my boxes of old home recorded audio cassettes and came across an unidentified recording of The First Noel played on a pipe organ and chimes accompanied by an orchestra.  I'm not certain where I got it, but I think I copied it from a set of home recorded cassettes of Christmas music a former neighbor gave me years ago.  She had received them as a gift from a former boyfriend, but she was one of those people who hated Christmas so she gave them to me. 

I copied it from one of those compilation cassettes onto a 5 minute cassette and then eventually transferred it to an MP3, but the quality is really poor, to the point of being unlistenable.. 

I'd be grateful for some help in trying to identify the source of the original recording so I could track down a high quality recording of it.

Can someone remind me how I could post the MP3 here to the message board so you folks could give it a listen? 




04/05/2018 20:03


RayClaus
Topic :   Hallmark Movies this Friday 4-6

Christmas in April?

This Friday April 6th. the Hallmark Channel is airing 4 Christmas Movies between 2PM and 10PM from its Merry Madness Christmas Bracket contest.

A Very MerryMix-Up - 2/1c
A Royal Christmas- 4/3c
A December Bride- 6/5c
Switched forChristmas - 8/7c

Enjoy!


04/05/2018 11:16


RichD
Topic :   Mike Douglas - My Kind Of Christmas LP

Was wondering if anyone out there was able to send me nice scans of the front and back of the Mike Douglas "My Kind Of Christmas" LP ?
Rich


03/18/2018 09:36


CluelessIn
Re :   'The Snowman' w/ sax solo instead of singer?

Edit: Never Mind!  I found it!

It just occurred to me that perhaps I was using the wrong search term.  I had been searching for "Snowman."  So just now I tried searching for "Walking," and Bingo!  Up it popped.

So, now I'm trying to figure out how to delete my message from a few minutes ago:

Hey Chip, remember that MP3 that I linked to in this thread many years ago -- the one with "Walking in the Air" played as a sax solo instead of being sung?

Well yesterday I decided to finally get around to sorting through the remainder of my old audio cassettes and try to winnow them down to what what is truly irreplaceable.  I came across the audio cassette of that sax version of "Walking in the Air" and that reminded me that I had once transferred it to an MP3. 

But when I searched my hard drive, that MP3 didn't turn up.  I suspect that it resides on the hard drive of an old PC that I junked when I moved a couple of years ago. 

So I Googled for this thread and tried the link from my initial post.  But I got this error message:
 
 Server not found

 Firefox can’t find the server at www.freedrive.com.

Oh well, I thought, that's ok, I'll just have to transfer it again.  But when I tried to play the cassette in my old dusty stereo cassette deck, the tape deck turned out to have died on me sometime in the last few years.  I can't even remember the last time I used it.  I moved a couple of years ago, and can't remember if I've ever used it since the move.

So, I'm wondering if you (or anyone reading this) bothered to save that MP3 when you listened to it back in 2011.  If you did, I'd sure be grateful to you if you could email a copy of it to me.



03/16/2018 09:34


Christmas
Re :   Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged

Yes, it is sad that the cast members are all gone now.  IT might be interesting to know if any of the "Extras" who were very young at the time the film was done remember anything about what might have been deleted from the original movie that was first shown in theaters.  I am sure it would be hard to tack them down and possibly the only way might be financial records of the production company who most likely paid them their fee for being an extra in the move.
I know I mentioned this elsewhere on the board, but my mother told me that she saw the movie when it first came out and when Kris was on trial for lunacy, there were parents and children picketing/protesting outside the courthouse with signs about releasing Santa Claus.  But the movie I first saw on TV in the 1960's didn't have those scenes.


02/26/2018 11:36


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

Johnny it is just so strange that the production numbers could be so far out of sequence on some of the episodes.  A few go into another season or they are several numbers apart.
For instance in Season 5, Episode 144 is 5784-119 and is is the last episode of Season 5 but the first episode of season 5 is episode 119 5784-121

In Season 3,  Episode 63 starts with 5784-65 and Episode 78 is 5784-62.  The season ends with episode 92  5784.73

Then in Season 6, they added another number to the production numbers starting with Episode 151  35784-149 ending with Episode 168 35784-156

I don't know how many episodes were taped before their actual broadcast on TV, but it does seem odd that they would have them so far out of sequence.

I do vaguely remember at the end of each episode in the 1960's that they had a preview of the next episode.  It would be interesting to know if these ending credits still exist.

I have watched the complete series of Car 54 Where on Shout TV on ROKU, are and in their end credits, it shows the "Sponsored By"  But when it was airing on MeTV or Antenna TV a couple years ago, those graphics weren't in the ending credits.


02/26/2018 11:29


RickHollan
Re :   ***Coming in 2017 the Holy Grail of all Christmas albums***

Oh sorry i thought it would be out of print. Sorry for the confusion made.
Greetings Rick


02/26/2018 10:03


johnnyelec
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

Funny that you should mention this Susan, as it's one of the very few TV shows that I always looked for the episode number during the ending credits, and always noticed it was very prominent compared to any other show I've ever seen. And of course I always like the Bing Crosby Productions logo at the end of each show. As far as out of order, I'm not sure about that  - perhaps there's a ME-TV site where you can ask that question?
"I see NUUUTHING"


02/25/2018 00:28


Christmas
Re :   ***Coming in 2017 the Holy Grail of all Christmas albums***


It's neither out of print with Real Gone Music or with Sony Music: another pressing is coming from RGM of our newly remastered expanded edition with my liner notes and bonus tracks; and Sony is still printing their unremastered version.




02/25/2018 00:02


Christmas
Re :   Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged


There were several great scenes that were deleted from the film, Susan. It's a shame they can't be found. More than likely they were discarded after they hit the cutting room floor.

On a personal note, it's also a shame that when Alvin Greenman died a couple of years ago, there went the film's last surviving member. It was through my research for this thread about the Books Memorial Home in 2010 that I first became acquainted with him. We talked pretty regularly after that up to the time of his death. I miss him and the conversations we used to have, which were mostly about the Golden Age of Hollywood. His daughter, Grace, is still active in the business.




02/25/2018 00:00


RickHollan
Re :   ***Coming in 2017 the Holy Grail of all Christmas albums***

Just wondering about this release...
Will there for sure be a second pressing?
What if this cd will be out of print will sony release it again themselves?
Since i thought this album has never been out of print since release?
Thank you


02/24/2018 17:04


snow miser
Re :   WPAT - The Spirit of Christmas marathon

Hi Rich,
Thanks for this.  I tried contacting you offline but I don't think you got my message.  I wanted to know if the 6 hours you recorded from WPATs Spirit of Christmas included the once in a while voice heard saying " Our Holiday gift to you, 36 hours of the Spirit of Christmas, from WPAT, Easy 93".  There were variations to the message and sometimes he would read the sponsors that made this possible.  I would love to hear those again.  If you could let me know and if yes, I would like a copy of your recording.  Let me know, thanks.

Graig


02/24/2018 17:04


Christmas
Re :   Miracle on 34th Street - Location of Brooks Memorial Home For The Aged

I'm not sure if this is the correct topic to post this, but another member here who also has a Facebook account posted a still that was seen on eBay from the movie.  It is from a deleted scene were Kris purposely fails his mental examination and ends up at Bellevue.

It would be interesting to find out if any more stills or actual footage could be found, maybe in the vault at Twentieth Century Fox/20th Century Fox.
Still from a deleted scene of Mriadcle on 34th Street
EDITED 2/24/2018 because the link wouldn't work correctly so I am trying to insert the image I "borrowed"




02/24/2018 14:39


Damfino
Re :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974

Thank you Gene for letting us know about this. It definitely brings back memories of blue light specials and lay-away Christmas gifts.
"Those were the Days" :)


02/11/2018 17:49


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

 I don't know if this was intentional or a mistake but in the pilot, Carter / Larry Hovis rank was Lieutenant and in of the rest of episodes he was a Sargent.  I believe Hockstetter and Burkhalter had different ranks too.


02/07/2018 20:02


Christmas
Re :   Best Buy Will Stop Selling CDs This Summer

This makes me wonder if any store won't go back into selling Vinyl because record companies are releasing current artists on Vinyl, and I believe re-releasing other albums on vinyl.

I realize that Vinyl takes up more space than CD's, but it was nice to be able to buy a 45 by some artists, if you didn't care for the rest of the songs that might be on an album.

I remember when CD's and Cassettes took up a lot of space in the stores because they tried to make them more theft resistant.



02/07/2018 11:22


Christmas
Re :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974

This is really nice, brings me back to my teens, and when the stores weren't being pushed out of business by Wal-Mart.  K-Mart always had great sales.  Too bad most of them are closed now.  Not to mention their parent company Sears.


02/07/2018 11:18


rsteven
Re :   Best Buy Will Stop Selling CDs This Summer


Hello Chip,

Yes indeed, cheers to Real Gone Music and their belief and success in the CD format. The death of the CD has been greatly exaggerated for many years as consumers simply get their music in a number of different ways, but according to Billboard Magazine, the Bible of the recording industry, the CD format is still the number one way consumers purchase albums across the spectrum. Almost half a billion dollars in revenue on almost 100 million physical sales in 2017 are not small numbers.

Yes, the young whippersnappers  tend to stream, but I remember when the industry thought digital downloads were going to be the future salvation of the industry. The good news is that the large labels, including most recently Sony Music, are reporting large profits again because of their diversified income and their death was greatly predicted several years ago. 

I think the demand for CD's will remain with a dedicated, but significant fan base and there will always be people that want a physical product with artwork and liner notes for their very favorite artists and albums. The resurgence of vinyl, though I think is close to reaching its apex, has demonstrated that in spades. I think CD's will eventually be perceived like vinyl is today as a superior audio format that is sought out by dedicated collectors in surprisingly significant numbers even though the market will be greatly fragmented with streaming and possibly a new a new digital format that we cannot even predict what form it will take.

Best regards,

Steve


02/06/2018 23:59


Christmas
Re :   Best Buy Will Stop Selling CDs This Summer


It won't affect the Christmas releases from Real Gone Music; Gordon and I will always be a champion of the CD format.




02/06/2018 14:05


Christmas
Re :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974


Definitely, Gene. And yes, the '60s were the ultimate time for classic Christmas music. We were both lucky to have grown up during that time.




02/06/2018 13:50


CluelessIn
Topic :   Best Buy Will Stop Selling CDs This Summer

I imagine that most of us now buy nearly all our Christmas CDs online, so this may have little or no effect on upcoming Christmas CD releases, but it is a sad sign of the times, isn't it?  BTW, it's interesting to note that "Revenues from shipments of CDs were down 3% to $431 million, while vinyl albums were up 3% to $182 million."

http://fortune.com/2018/02/05/best-buy-target-cds/


02/06/2018 12:42


Genoman
Re :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974

Ah!!! I knew if anyone had any corrections to whoever wrote that list that it would be you!!! Thank you!!!!
Yes...the good old days!!! If they could take me back to the 60's, that would be great!! But I'll take the Christmas shopping experience from 1974!

It really sets the mood, doesn't it?


02/06/2018 05:44


Christmas
Re :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974


Ah, the good old days.

By the way, there's a lot of info that is wrong on this discography, but the fourth to last song is "Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers" by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops from 1959.





02/05/2018 19:52


Genoman
Topic :   K-Mart In-Store Holiday Music from December 1974

Anyone feel like taking a trip back to 1974? This site has a lot of audio that was played in K-Mart stores. In particular, this audio from a reel to reel specifically made for the Christmas Shopping Season including announcements and jingles. The audio is two hours long and is downloadable.
https://archive.org/details/KmartDecember1974ReelToReel


The playlist, copied and pasted from the above link:


0:03 K Mart jingle
1:03 
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas – Billy Vaughn (1958, Christmas Carols album)
3:55 
Happy Holiday – Eddie Dunstedter (1963, The Bells of Christmas Chime Again album)
6:11 
March of the Toys/Toyland Medley – Andre Kostelanetz (1959, Joy to the World album)
8:53 
The Christmas Waltz – Ronnie Aldrich (1964, Christmas with Ronnie Aldrich & The London Festival Orchestra album)
11:28 
Jingle Bells – Mantovani Orchestra (1963, Christmas Greetings from Mantovani & His Orchestra album)
13:24 
Will Security please report to Section 3?
13:30 
I'll Be Home for Christmas – Jackie Gleason Orchestra (1969, All I Want For Christmas album)
15:52 
Silver Bells – The Living Strings (1963, The Spirit of Christmas album)
19:02 
Snowbound - Wayne King Orchestra (1963, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas album)
20:58 
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - Ferrante & Teicher (1962, Christmas Is So Special album)
23:31 
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops (1959, Pops Christmas Party album)
25:37 
Jingo Jango - Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra (1963, Christmas Wonderland album)
27:38 
Attention please: if you plan to pay with your purchase with a personal check...
27:48 
Jingle Bell Bossa Nova - Eddie Dunstedter (1965, Christmas Candy album)
30:02 
Pine Cones & Holly Berries/It's Beginning to Look a LotLikeChristmas–The Living Strings(1963, NewFromBroadway)
33:07 
Santa Claus is Coming to Town/March of the Toys/Rudolph medley – ("The Twenty-Two Best Loved Christmas Piano Concertos" (1959))
35:41 
Sleigh Ride – Hugo Winterhalter (1959, Wish You Were Here album)
38:19 
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas – Frank Chacksfield (1959, Music for a Merry Christmas album)
41:15 
There is no smoking allowed on the sales floor, only in the Snack Bar...
42:15 
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – George Melachrino & His Strings (1959, Christmas Joy album)
43:29 
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – The Three Suns (1961, The Sound of Christmas album)
46:06 
Jingle Bells – Domenico Savino & His Orchestra (1959, Hi-Fi Christmas Party album)
47:26 
Christmas Bells – Mantovani Orchestra (1963, Christmas Greetings from Mantovani & His Orchestra album)
49:36 
Frosty the Snowman – John Klein (1959, A Christmas Sound Spectacular album)
52:01 
Christmas Candy - Eddie Dunstedter (1965, Christmas Candy album)
54:11 
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Hollyridge Strings (1965, Christmas Favorites album)
57:01 
Snow in Hawaii - The Waikikis (1973, Merry Christmas in Hawaii album)
59:16 
Snowfall – Tex Beneke (1965, Christmas Serenade in the Glenn Miller Style album)
59:54 
K Mart jingle
1:00:52 
Jingle Bell Rock – Pete Fountain (1967, Candy Clarinet album)
1:03:03 
Santa Claus is Coming to Town/Here Comes Santa Claus – Liberace (1952, A Liberace Christmas)
1:04:56 
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – ?piano and orchestra
1:07:44 
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Andre Kostelanetz (1972, Wonderland of Christmas album)
1:09:38 
Parade of the Wooden (Tin) Soldiers – Living Voices (1962, Living Voices Sing Christmas Music album)
1:11:33 
All Around the Christmas Tree - John Klein (1964, Lets Ring the Bells All Around the Christmas Tree album)
1:14:31 
Will Security please report to Section 10...
1:14:37 
I'll Be Home for Christmas – Lawrence Welk (1961, Silent Night album)
1:16:39 
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Hollyridge Strings (1963, Christmas Favorites by the Hollyridge Strings album)
1:19:15 
Under the Christmas Mistletoe - Dick Leibert (1963, The Happy Hits of Christmas album)
1:20:37 
Sleigh Ride – Tex Beneke (1965, Christmas Serenade in the Glenn Miller Style album)
1:23:32 
Sleigh Ride – Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops (1959, Pops Christmas Party album)
1:26:17 
Attention please: if you plan to pay with your purchase with a personal check...
1:26:29 
Ring, Christmas Bells (Ukrainian Bell Carol) – Eddie Dunstedter (1963, The Bells of Christmas Chime Again album)
1:28:40 
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - The Wayne King Orchestra
1:30:51 
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – The Living Strings (1963, The Spirit of Christmas album)
1:33:31 
Happy Holiday – Jackie Gleason Orchestra (1956, Merry Christmas album or possibly a later recording)
1:35:56 
Toy Parade - Bert Kaempfert (1963, Christmas Wonderland album)
1:38:24 
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Three Suns (1959, A Ding Dong Dandy Christmas album)
1:40:35 
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas – Hollyridge Strings (1963, ChristmasFavorites by the HollyridgeStrings album)
1:43:02 
There is no smoking allowed on the sales floor, only in the Snack Bar...
1:43:14 
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Lawrence Welk (1956, Merry Christmas from Lawrence Welk album)
1:45:09 
I'll be Home for Christmas – Eddie Dunstedter (1965, Christmas Candy album)
1:48:02 
March of the Wooden (Tin) Soldiers – ?orchestra
1:51:44 
Silver Bells – Al Hirt (1965, The Sound of Christmas album)
1:54:11 
I'll be Home For Christmas – Hollyridge Strings (1963, Christmas Favorites by the Hollyridge Strings album)
1:56:42 
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – Wayne King & His Orchestra (1963, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas album) 



02/05/2018 16:01


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes


That's makes no sense to me too, Susan. I can see showing a holiday-themed episode out of the sequence that episodes for that season were filmed, but not the others.





01/28/2018 00:07


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


I hate when stations do that. I know they have to make their money, so I don't care how many damn commercials they show, but don't cut the doggone movie. They should either show it correctly or don't show it at all.





01/28/2018 00:04


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Hi Chip!
Totally agree!    One of the biggest sins this past holiday was committed by This TV they aired The Bishop's Wife a few time but showed it in a 2 hour spot - the film runs 109 minutes - they literally butchered the film - thankfully TCM did show it uncut.   Suggested to WPIX contacts they show the film again like they used too!


01/27/2018 08:36


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

Well this is getting more and more confusing.

I am up to Season 3 and Episode 86 of the entire series, and the production numbers that are missing 5784-73 and 5784-77.

Episode 86 is 5794-87.

What I see online, even though the production numbers are out of sequence, they list the episodes in order and the dates they originally aired.

It just seems odd that they would have the production numbers out of sequence, especially when they taped them, I believe they were numbered in order of production, therefore they should have aired on TV in the order they were produced.  I don't believe they taped an entire season in a few weeks, especially when nobody could predict how long the series would last.


01/27/2018 08:13


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


I agree, Bob, they are both indeed masterpieces. I do think 49th Parallel is the better film, though.

As for The Way Ahead, as big as TCM is at showing movies in their original form uncut, I just can't understand why they choose to air the American edited version of the film known as The Immortal Battalion. In fact, TCM is so big on showing the originals, that they thankfully show Laurel and Hardy's 1934 holiday classic under its original title of Babes In Toyland, not the later re-release title of March Of The Wooden Soldiers.





01/26/2018 19:38


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Thanks Chip!

On The Way Ahead VCI's did a great job on the release Interestingly TCM shows the american cut we discussed.    On One Of Our Aircraft is Missing it is a flip of Powell and Pressburgers The 49th Parallel!    In the first film Brits land in Nazi territory and in the second Nazis arrive via the ocean into Canada - two masterpieces! 


01/26/2018 15:23


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


Oh boy, Bob, yes, another great U.K. war film with yet another great director, Sir Carol Reed, and yet another auspicious movie debut, this time the terrific Trevor Howard.
Gee willikers, you're definitely a movie fanatic like me.

And you're absolutely correct; this film is an under seen and underrated gem. For some godforsaken reason it does not get as much exposure as the two previous U.K. war films we discussed, One Of Our Aircraft Is Mussing and In Which We Serve. I really don't know why, but again, it might be a licensing issue. Whatever it is, it's too bad.

Oh, and thanks for the link to those pieces you did for WPIX. Good job!




01/25/2018 14:35


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Thanks Chip!   If you really want to see a great and underrated Brit war film grab a copy of "The Way Ahead" starring David Niven - Peter Ustinov appears in this too - one of his first roles.     The film as released by VCI is the original Brit version NOT the American edited version titled "The Immortal Battalion" a really under seen gem!!!

Best and warmest regards,
Bob 


Also check out the piece on did on Miracle On 34th Street this past Christmas and other clips I shared with PIX! http://pix11.com/?s=grippo


01/25/2018 12:14


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

I usually didn't pay attention to the Special Features in this DVD set but in in going through and keeping track of the production numbers.  I started watching the special features and noticed that there was a gag reel   Bob's wedding to Sigrid Valdis otherwise known as Patricia Crane and there was the Jell-o commercial so they did include these things


01/24/2018 20:23


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


You're picking up some fine films here, Bob. Those two 1942 U.K. motion pictures sported two of the most celebrated filmmaker collaborations in British cinema. They also provided feature film debuts for two of the greats of British cinema.

For the movie One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing, you have filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (known together as The Archers). And Peter Ustinov made his feature film debut in this movie.

For the movie In Which We Serve, you have filmmakers David Lean and No
el Coward. And Richard Attenborough made his feature film debut in this movie.

Good picks!





01/23/2018 12:20


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Hi Chip!

I don't think Sim ever made a bad film!   He always made each film better for his taking a role in it!    Love the Brit war films from the 1940's too just got "One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing" and also "In Which We Serve" too, amazing how even during the war with all the huge sacrifices they made the Brits were making masterpieces of cinema!  Thanks for the info on your Christmas release Quest for this year on Harry Simeone always drove me nuts thatUniversals release on CD dropped songs from the album! 




Best and warmest regards,
Bob 


01/23/2018 08:01


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


Bob,

That first film in the St. Trinians series, The Belles Of St. Trinian's, was a reunion of sorts for A Christmas Carol cast members Alastair Sim, George Cole (a prot
égé of Sim), and the always delightful Hermione Baddeley. Sim did two films in the Trinians series, and Cole did four. Hopefully The Belles Of St. Trinian's will be in circulation someday, as it was the best in the series. Sim was a hoot in drag.

As for Bush Christmas, it's too bad that it isn't more widely known today. But thankfully, TCM does show it from time to time.

And regarding the new Christmas CD releases that I proposed and are being negotiated for this year are Jim Reeves, Leroy Anderson, Jack Halloran and Harry Simeone; but for the Simeone, I have to locate the original masters. I also have a proposed John Klein 2-fer CD package that's cooking. And in addition to all that, there's also a good possibility of 2-CD set package releases coming for Andre Kostelanetz, Ferrante & Teicher, Arthur Fiedler and Eugene Ormandy.
The 2-CD sets for Andre Kostelantz and Ferrante & Teicher will hopefully contain all three of each artist's Christmas albums; and the 2-CD set for Eugene Ormandy might possibly contain all four of his Christmas albums (the original two with Columbia, and the later two with RCA).

There is even more beyond this, and I will post updates in the future accordingly.





01/23/2018 02:37


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Chip again spot on!    I rec'vd The Holly And the Ivy on dvdr along with another great brit film missing in action here in the states Alastair Sims classic "The Belles Of St Trinians" from a firm in CA I reviewed them on my FB page, according to my sources Trinians is owned here in the states by Paramount!   It was shown last here in the states on WPIX around 1975 in fact it was a New Years Day!
Been trying to encourage Olive Films to release it here on dvd but so far no luck!    Have you seen "Bush Christmas" 1947 a real gem, VCI has it!!!!    Know it is way early but what Christmas re releases would you like to see this year?  I did grab the GREAT Percy Faith release you and Real Gone made happen!!!!!


01/22/2018 08:20


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


Yes, it's a shame about the lack of exposure for the 1952 film The Holly And The Ivy; it must be a licensing issue, as it's not currently in circulation. The film not only boasts in its cast the great Ralph Richardson, but also the great Celia Johnson who, like Richardson, is totally underappreciated these days. She was particularly good in director David Lean's classic 1945 film Brief Encounter. And as for Richardson, good Lord, he was exceptional in The Fallen Idol, The Heiress (which he did for the great director Willy Wyler), and Long Day's Journey Into Night (which he starred with the great Kate Hepburn).

I hope to God that VCI or someone else picks up the option for 1951's A Christmas Carol, I'd really hate to see that movie fall out circulation. It is by far the
#1 film in my list of all-time favorite Christmas movies.





01/21/2018 12:16


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Hi Chip!

Sorry for the double post!    Spot on comments about IAWL,   Love You Can't Take It With You!   McCarey had the same problem with pacing his films of the 40's Going My Way and Bells Of St Mary's are great films but the pacing is horrible on both films.   Capra's Pocketful Of Miracles is another long haul to watch - just got the chance to see "The Holly And The Ivy" starring Ralph Richardson used to air on WOR I think up till the 1970's then vanished and it really is a sadly missing from Christmas here in the states gem. thought provoking and has a real feel of a old fashioned family Christmas!   A heads up VCI might have lost the rights at the end of 2017 to 1951's Scrooge starring Alastair Sim, not privy to if they will be able to renew their contract so my advice to others here grab a copy while it is still in circulation! Just in case!


01/21/2018 09:10


Christmas
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life


I concur, Bob. And it's refreshing that someone else has views on this film similar to mine.

As you know I am an ardent classic movie buff, but I have never understood why some people are so goo-goo over this film. And that's exactly right: it is too long and too dark. I also never liked the way it portrayed the great actor Lionel Barrymore in such an unflattering light as the evil Mr. Potter. I didn't like that bald piece they put on his head either. It's such a shame that most people today only know Mr. Barrymore from this film. I'm so happy that I was able to expose and enlighten people to some of his other work when TCM (Turner Classic Movies) finally went with my suggestion to showcase (via their "Star Of The Month" franchise) the work of the great Barrymores: Lionel, Ethel and John (known affectionately to his fans and friends as Jack).

By the way, a much better precursor to this 1946 film was Mr. Capra's classic 1938 film You Can't Take It With You, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. It starred Lionel Barrymore as the lovable patriarch of an oddball but wonderfully endearing family that included the superb actress Jean Arthur. This film also starred Jimmy Stewart, along with the marvelous Spring Byington, Ann Miller and Edward Arnold. The profound message of this great film is as relevant today as it was back in 1938. It ranks #7 in my list of my all-time favorite regular (non-Christmas) movies. Frank Capra always used top-notch actors and actresses in his films -- including It's A Wonderful Life, which had amongst its cast the great Thomas Mitchell, Beulah Bondi, Gloria Grahame and Henry Travers. It's A Wonderful Life is a good film, but it has flaws and is just overrated. The Academy Award winner for Best Picture that year in 1946 was the movie that I believe (and many others too, including actress Bette Davis) to be the greatest movie ever made of all-time, The Best Years Of Our Lives.

And lastly, regarding Holiday Affair, I'm a big fan too, as you can tell by the fact that it's in my list of my favorite
Top Dozen Christmas movies of all-time.







01/21/2018 02:02


maxx151
Re :   It's A Wonderful Life

Used to Like IAFL (It's A Wonderful Life) but really have no interest in it any longer, I find it a very mean film, over long by a good 20 minutes Capra and McCarey were very good at dragging out films!  In the 40's the Motion Picture code still insisted crooks were not to get away with crimes so it still irks me that Mr Potter got away with stealing the money from Uncle Billy.  And the topper is that Clarence the Angel could have easily showed or told George about Potter finding the money and not turning it over to the Bailey family!   

01-20-18 @ 14:56 PM
Follow-up to above message:

Been a fan of "A Holiday Affair" 1949 since I first watched it on WOR the old channel 9 here in NY when RKO General owned the station and the film library, saw it in july I think one afternoon on the 1 O'clock film!   The film was shredded by the NYT's when it was released on Christmas Eve 1949 but it really is a charmer and a serious topic -probably taking a cue from Miracle On 34th Street which dealt with a divorced lady raising a child.   TCM has really gotten the film exposure and every year it gains more fans!



*Message edited by the Yule Log.com Message Board Administrator on 01/20/18 to combine two consecutive reply posts by the same member. Also, double-post was deleted.


01/20/2018 13:51


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes

Thanks Chip,
It would be nice if they would re-release the series again with the episodes in the correct order.and include outtakes and ending credits where they show previews of the next episode and sponsored by.   Also  Commercials such as the Jello one when Carol Channing was in it.


01/18/2018 19:51


Christmas
Re :   Hogan's Heroes


Don't know for sure whether they are correct or not, Susan. But my guess is that CBS/Paramount just screwed up when issuing the DVD set. And I agree with you that they should have done a better job on this.




01/18/2018 16:39


Christmas
Topic :   Hogan's Heroes

Chip,
I know you like Classic TV Programs, so you may have more information on this series.

I have all 6 seasons on DVD, but have a question about the episode order.  I have watched them several times, and finally decided to keep track of the number at the beginning of the end credits.

I have noticed that for every season that some numbers are missing and some are not in sequence.

I have only started to keep track of these numbers since yesterday, and for Season 1, they are as follows:

Episode   1 5784-01
Episode   2 5784-03
Episode   3 5784-04
Episode   4 5784-02
Episode   5 5784-09
Episode   6 5784-06
Episode   7 5784-07
Episode   8 5784-12
Episode   9 5784-10
Episode 10 5784-14
Episode 11 5784-15
Episode 12 5784-13
Episode 13 5784-16
Episode 14 5784-18

5784-05
5784-08
5784-11
5784-17  are all missing from this sequence,   Do you know if these numbers are incorrect?  Or, are the episodes out of order on the DVD set?  I do remember from watching all episodes that they number sequence continues out of order and has missing numbers.

One would think that CBS and Paramount would have done a better job at putting them in the correct order.


01/18/2018 08:51


Christmas
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


That's a great story, Steve. And yes, music -- especially Percy's Christmas music, is indeed quite therapeutic; it's very uplifting, inspirational and, as you said, healing and soothing as well. I'm so glad that it brought your bank manager some much needed joy in an otherwise sad time in her life. Percy, who was such a gentle creature, would be so happy to hear that. And I'm so glad that on his behalf I have helped keep the mission of his music alive. It's a privilege. And yes, all this is definitely a labor of love for Gordon as well.







01/10/2018 01:58


rsteven
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


Chip, 

It is my absolute privilege and honor to promote the great maestro, Percy Faith, and his iconic Christmas album, Music Of Christmas, as well as your fantastic liner notes for this historic release by Real Gone Music. We have all waited so long for this masterpiece to get released on CD properly and the fact that it got done in such grand fashion with such beautiful artwork, absolutely stellar remastering by Mr. Vic Anesini and with your splendid liner notes was beyond our wildest expectations.

It has been such a thrill and pleasure to share this special release by Percy with family and friends. The manager at my bank is going through some serious health issues with her eldest adult son and she is a very sweet person and a true professional when it comes to her job. I brought her a copy of Music Of Christmas after finding out that she loves Christmas music. I told her about your key role in getting this the greatest of all Christmas albums released and how Vic Anesini, who has been in charge of remastering Elvis Presley's catalogue of albums the last several decades, did such an amazing job restoring this album to its true sonic glory.

She told me that she had a long drive to a nearby city during the holidays and she played Percy's Music Of Christmas the whole way there and back and it gave her great pleasure and comfort during such a difficult time for the family. Her son is hanging in there, but it has been tough. I know another board member has mentioned a similar experience for himself and how soothing and comforting Mr. Faith's Christmas album is to him as well.

I know you are acutely aware of the healing and soothing powers of music and particularly Percy's Music Of Christmas. I hope that Gordon Anderson at Real Gone Music realizes how important and significant his Christmas releases are to the fans who buy these great albums. I hope like you and Mr. Anesini feel that it is a "true labor of love" for him as well.

Best regards,

Steve


01/10/2018 00:12


Christmas
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


Thanks for promoting the Percy Faith CD with your friends, Steve, and for your ringing endorsement of my liner notes.

And that is correct what you said about the old Hollywood studio system. It is very easy for some folks today to decry the controlling nature of the old studio system and the powerful movie moguls that ran the studios like Louis B. Mayer, Sam Goldwyn, Jack Warner, William Fox, David O. Selznick, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn, Adolph Zukor, Carl Laemmle, Herbert J. Yates, Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, but the fact of the matter is that these men were responsible for making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever known. And it is because of the genius of these men that this period became known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Sadly, the end of the studio system -- and hence the Golden Age of Hollywood, came primarily at the hands of the federal government when they ordered the movie studios to divest themselves of their company owned movie theaters. The major studios could probably have continued the fight in the courts for years if RKO chief Howard Hughes hadn't sold out and made an agreement with the feds; but once he did, the writing was on the wall and the era sadly came to an end.








01/09/2018 20:47


rsteven
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


Hello Chip,

That is such a great comparison you make between the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Christmas music in the 1950's and 1960's. My father was a television director for a period of time before the family got in the radio business and he and my mother would always talk about the old Hollywood system whereby the studios would nurture the stars and train and educate them in multiple skills like singing and dancing as well as acting. The writing was so incredible and the directors were not the slaves to CGI and computers like they are now.

Yes indeed, I remember back many years ago when I use to get really excited about the latest country music or pop Christmas album coming out, and now even though I do buy some of those albums, my real excitement and joy is finding out what absolute gems from the Golden Age of Christmas you are going to get released through Real Gone Music. Everything from this truly iconic time is better; bigger orchestra's, almost always far better voices and more natural sound. The new millennium just cannot hold a candle to the albums released during the Golden Age of Christmas.

In particular, I think the quote I borrow most from you when trying to describe the great Percy's Faith's magnum opus, Music Of Christmas, is where you say it sounds like his music is "piped down from heaven" and that it has a "heavenly, celestial" feel to it. As you so well say, its hard to put the beauty and passion of Percy's music into mere words but you articulate it better than anybody and I really treasure those liner notes you wrote for the Expanded Music Of Christmas release for RGM. I tell all my friends to read your liner notes first before they actually listen to the album.

I feel the same way about this Golden Age of Christmas. It just seems magical and unmatchable no matter how hard anybody tries. I thank God that you and Gordon have rescued this iconic music from being lost forever!

Best regards,

Steve


01/09/2018 01:29


Christmas
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


That's correct, Steve; the reason why the albums from Christmas music's Golden Age tower over anything that came before or after, and their enduring legacy as iconic, classic and legendary, goes far beyond the myopic theory and/or simple-minded concept of mere nostalgia. The best way to explain it -- or better yet, the best analogy that I can give is something that the great Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in 1964 about defining the word obscenity: he didn't even try to define the word, but instead just laconically and intuitively said "I know it when I see it." Well, that's exactly how it is with albums from the Golden Age of Christmas music. A person might not be able to fully explain why they sound so different and so much better -- aside, of course, from the unassailable and prodigious talent of the recording artists who made them, but they just know they do. It's the same thing that has been said for many years about the superiority of MGM musicals over the musicals of any other movie studio during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The MGM musical just had a certain look, feel and sound to them that the other studios -- try as they might -- could never quite duplicate. There were so many reasons for this, not the least of which were the great MGM musical producers Arthur Freed and Joe Pasternak. As well as the roster of incredibly talented directors, actors and actresses that were contracted to MGM.

Anyway, going back to the superiority of Christmas music from its Golden Age, you wisely cited one of the many reasons yourself in the third paragraph of your previous post.

The difference with me and everyone else is that I have an incredibly huge collection. My
Top 500 is not my entire collection, but rather the best of thousands of Christmas albums that I have accumulated over the years. And while it's nice to have all this wonderful music, the dilemma for me is that I cannot play all the classic Christmas albums in my collection. So I wouldn't even begin to dedicate any precious listening time to contemporary Christmas music.

But yes, there is some very pleasant new/contemporary Christmas music out there today -- some of which you alluded to in your post; but as I've
said on the board in the past, there are periods of time in history when certain things just seem hit their artistic peak and are never equaled thereafter. For example: classical music (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), painters/sculptors (Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.), Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s and '40s, Television's Golden Age of the 1950s and '60s, and, of course, easy-listening and Christmas music's Golden Age which also was of the 1950s and '60s. Nothing that has come since, or will come in the future, will ever hold a candle to the artistic peaks in these respective arts. They are eras that will never be repeated or duplicated.

To quote a famous movie line from that legendary 1939 movie: "Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A civilization gone with the wind."









01/09/2018 00:30


rsteven
Re :   Newest Album in Top 300


Hello Chip,

This was such a great question proposed by Tom and one that I have been curious about myself. Do any albums released after the Golden Age of Christmas qualify to make your top 300 or 500 list? You have pretty much answered that question, but let me say that I for one find the fact that your list almost exclusively concentrates on the Golden Age Of Christmas during the 1950's till the early seventies to be one of its best qualities, but like yourself Chip, I would hate to rule a great album out just because it was not recorded in that very iconic time period.

There is just something totally special and sonically unique about these albums. I do not think our love for them is merely for nostalgic reasons as I know many of these albums that I came to love, in fact most, were not albums that I grew up listening to as a youngster. Oh sure, there is a component of that as I grew up listening to Johnny Mathis Merry Christmas album and that of course brings back great memories and feelings of long ago, but I did not grow up on Mantovani, John Gary and of course the Maestro himself's masterpiece, Music Of Christmas and its spectacular follow-up, Hallelujah, yet these are some of the albums that I treasure the most. Yes indeed, surely Percy's great arranging on the Mathis album was burned into my brain early, but clearly I have sought out other albums by Frank DeVol, Jack Jones, and the Hollyridge Strings that I had no real prior experience listening to as a child.

I read a brilliant analysis by someone who speculated that part of the splendor of these albums is the way they were recorded themselves. He said that instead of the microphones being placed individually on each instrument, one microphone was on each section of the orchestra, like one for the saxes and one for the trombones and one for the violins etc. He said the sound you got by recording this way was a beautiful blend where one instrument might slightly stand out or disappear altogether, but it was richer and more like the natural sound you would hear if you were in front of the orchestra live.  A truly brilliant analysis of one of the many reasons that these fantastic albums from the Golden Age cannot be matched by modern recording engineers in my humble opinion.

Now having said the above and strongly believing that music geniuses like Percy and Monty only come along once in a lifetime or so I am going to go out on another limb and admit there are several albums that fall well outside the Golden Age Of Christmas that I think are splendid examples of having some of the great components that these albums had, great sound, great arrangers and truly great vocalists.

The first one is Michael Bublè's Christmas album from 2011, the only album in the history of the Billboard album chart to make the top ten every year for seven years in a row since its release. It is now sold almost 12 million copies worldwide and more importantly than its commercial prowess is the fact that it was cut "live on the floor" at the Capital Records Tower in Hollywood with the singer, rhythm section, orchestra and arranger all there in person at once, something that is almost never done anymore. Secondly, great arrangers like Patrick Williams, William Ross, and Chris Walden, who have worked with people like Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and Herb Alpert respectively, produced great arrangements harkening back to the Golden Age of Christmas. Just listen to Mr. Walden's fantastic brass charts on Jingle Bells with the Puppini Sisters doing their very best to spur on Mr. Bublè to do his best version of Bing's classic arrangement. Terrific stuff.

The second more "modern" classic, and God I hate to even use that word, would be Kenny Rogers Christmas album from 1981. The truly fantastic arranger Gene Page, who did both the iconic string and horn arrangements on You've Lost That Loving Feeling by the Righteous Brothers as well as Kenny Rogers own number one, Lady, is known for his intricate arranging style with strings and particularly French horns. People often forget that Kenny was once a well regarded jazz singer with a three octave vocal range and his version of O Holy Night shows his voice off to amazing effect with Mr. Page's truly stellar orchestral arrangement. There are a couple fantastic original songs on this classic album as well, Christmas Everyday, which is a beautifully written and melodically gorgeous song that you will have on repeat once you hear it. Kentucky Homemade Christmas is a sad song with a slightly upbeat melody that ends on a slightly hopeful note. Best country Christmas song since Merle Haggard's If We Make It Through December.

The last album is really a hidden gem from one of country music's best vocalists, Collin Raye. The Gift also features a 60 piece orchestra and was also recorded "live on the floor" in Nashville with the great piano player, John Hobbs producing and the brilliant arranger, Ron Huff, doing much of the orchestral work. His version of White Christmas features the seldom recorded opening verse about "being in Beverly Hills L.A." I love that opening verse and wish that more artists would include it in their respective versions of Irving Berlin's masterpiece. He has a couple of beautiful duets with his daughter on Away In A Manger and Silent Night, but the true highlights are a stellar vocal and separate instrumental version of The First Noel and one of the greatest versions of O Holy Night I have ever heard. I believe that only Johnny Mathis's iconic version with the great Percy Faith arrangement equals or surpasses this magnificent and glorious version by Collin Raye!

Please let me know what you think, Chip, as your taste and opinion on all such matters is always impeccable and without question.

Best regards,

Steve




01/08/2018 15:09


rsteven
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale


Hello Chip,

Thanks so much for sharing with the board your incredible knowledge and insight into the legendary Percy Faith and his magnificent Music Of Christmas album. My first exposure to Mr. faith's brilliance was with Johnny Mathis's Merry Christmas album, which I still believe without a doubt is the greatest vocal Christmas album with orchestra ever recorded as that is the one my parents worshipped and the one I grew up listening to along with the John Klein album.

The thing that always struck me about Johnny's Merry Christmas album, besides his fantastic voice and vocal range as well as the stellar arrangements of the strings by Percy, was the fact that sonically the album was so incredibly recorded and the sound so pristine. I could never understand why the sound on that album was so unique and rich until I started learning about the importance of recording engineers and particular recording studios like 30th St. in New York.

I learned of course as a huge Elvis fan the importance of certain recording studios, like Studio B in Nashville, and the fact that they had a certain signature sound and great engineers like Bill Porter that made their records really stand out for their sonic beauty. The Tower Recording Studio at Capital Records in Hollywood is another great one with its signature reverb chambers built below the building and designed by Les Paul I believe. Of course as we all know, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra made some of their greatest recordings at that facility.

Percy was such a musical genius as well as a very smart man to know that "Chappie" was a very important element of his great sound. As a huge Roy Orbison fan I have learned that many music historians trace his rather sharp decline in record sells after the middle sixties to his new record contract that left both his producer, the great Fred Foster, and Fred's fantastic engineer, the previously mentioned Bill Porter, out of the recording process. Many experts say that Roy recorded some great songs after this period with even some of the same musicians, but his signature sound with Bill Porter's great engineering and Foster's stellar production was lost.

Best regards,

Steve


01/03/2018 10:58


Christmas
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale


Yes indeed Steve, Percy Faith was a brilliant contrapuntist; and it's his magnificent counter-melodies in his arrangements that gave his Christmas music such an ethereal, celestial and angelic quality to it. So much so, in fact, that it sounds like it was phoned in from God -- or as I said in my CD liner notes, like it was literally piped down from heaven. There was an otherworldly quality to his Christmas music that no other recording artist has ever come close to in duplicating. And this from a man who was Jewish, which in my opinion, made it all the more special, as let's not forget that Christ was Jewish.

As for the great recording engineer Harold "Chappie" Chapman, he and Percy were close friends. He did all of Percy's albums up to 1970, when sadly, he retired. Regarding Johnny Mathis, in 1957, after Columbia A&R chief Mitch Miller asked Percy to help Johnny with his fledgling recording career, Percy acted as a guide and mentor, as well as arranger and conductor on some of Johnny's most important early albums -- including the biggest and greatest album that Johnny ever recorded (Christmas or otherwise): 1958's Merry Christmas. And yes, to answer your question, Chappie was the recording engineer for this legendary album as well. Johnny became very fond of Chappie through Percy, and whenever was possible, was the recording engineer for Johnny's albums as well. And you are correct that all this incredible music magic that Percy, Johnny and other Columbia recording artists created with Chappie was done right here in New York at Columbia's legendary 30th Street Studios, also known as "The Church" because it originally was a Presbyterian church from 1875 until 1948.

By the way, later on, after Percy relocated his home to Encino, Ca, and his recording operations to downtown Los Angeles, Chappie did the same and went with him. And unfortunately for us, they left "The Church" behind. As a result, nothing was ever like the acoustics they had achieved with that spectacular 30th Street Studio.

Oh well, we just have to be very thankful that Percy's first two Christmas albums (his greatest), and Johnny's first Christmas album (his greatest) were recorded here in New York at what in my opinion -- and many others as well -- was the greatest recording studio the world has ever known -- the Columbia 30th Street Studios.



                     Chappie Chapman





01/03/2018 03:22


Motown Mik
Re :   Christmas albums available as Digital Downloads

After further research, I've discovered all those Muzak titles are available from iTunes as well.


01/02/2018 20:55


rsteven
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale


Hello Chip,

I am very excited at the prospect of "The Harry Simeone Lost Christmas Album" by Real Gone Music for 2018. Hopefully you can tract down those master recordings, but I am sure it will not be an easy task.

Meanwhile, I am still basking in the glory of your iconic releases for this year, particularly that glorious release of Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas Expanded Edition with the maestro himself's brilliant use of counter melody and Mr. Vic Anesini's phenomenal remastering of this masterpiece. I have well over 100 albums that Mr. Anesini has remastered including some deluxe box sets by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Ronnie Milsap and I have got to tell you that his remaster of Music Of Christmas is my favorite one he has ever done.

I know Chip that you and Vic would be the first to acknowledge Percy's favorite recording engineer, Harold "Chappie" Chapman, who did such a fantastic job as the original recording engineer on that magnum opus by Mr. Faith if I am correct. I know this was part of the frustration with that original lousy remaster by Sony in the early eighties was the fact that the original vinyl recording was a sonic splendor to behold as Columbia was known for their great recording facility in New York and their fine recording engineers like Chappie.

A question for you Chip that I have never been able to verify but assumed was true. Did Chappie also engineer that great Merry Christmas album by Johnny Mathis with the magnificent Percy Faith arrangements too? The sound on that album is fantastic, particularly on that great remaster by Vic's associate at Sony Battery, Mike Piacentini for the fantastic Complete Christmas Album Collection that RGM did a few years ago and for Johnny's current The Voice Of Romance box set this year. I read a quote from Mr. Mathis where he said that the 30th Street Studio where he cut that album and many others had a fantastic recording quality and reverb that he could never find anywhere else when he recorded at other studios later in his career.

Again, the fantastic RGM releases that you got out this year including Percy, Fred Waring, Connie Smith, Robert Shaw, Ames Brothers and the Supremes have just made me so excited for the 2018 Christmas releases. Wow, we might get Jim Reeves, Harry Simeone and that great John Klein A Christmas Sound Spectacular album in Living Stereo for the very first time on CD. I am sure you will have a few more gems up your sleeve as well as you always seem to surprise us with something we did not even see coming.

Happy New Year, Chip, and thanks again for all you do to get the greatest music ever recorded back out to us in such splendid and glorious fashion!

Best regards,

Steve


01/02/2018 12:49


Christmas
Re :   What's The Most Collectable Christmas Record


I'd certainly like to get it released, Rodney, but it will be a tough one since it belongs to UMG.




01/01/2018 13:55


Damfino
Re :   Christmas albums available as Digital Downloads

Thanks for the Muzak links, Mike! Looks like Amazon has a lot of Muzak albums available. I'll need to check this out.


01/01/2018 12:11


Damfino
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale

That is wonderful news! I hope you are successful in finding the original masters. It is only January 1st yet I am already excited about Real Gone Christmas re-issues for this year!


01/01/2018 12:09


Damfino
Re :   What's The Most Collectable Christmas Record

Chip:
With the success of Percy Faith: Music Of Christmas (The definitive 1959 stereo re-recording, Expanded Edition) can we look forward in 2018 to a release of #27 on your All-time Top 50 Christmas Albums list, “Christmas Is A-Comin’ by the Jack Halloran Singers?

 I would love to have it in Stereo, but with the original mono artwork.



01/01/2018 12:03


Motown Mik
Re :   Christmas albums available as Digital Downloads

Muzak has made three of its vintage Christmas albums available via download at Amazon:


01/01/2018 01:30


Christmas
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale


Frank:

You're correct: that special double LP package was released in 1961 (catalog #TCF-110-2 for mono; and #TCF-110-2S for stereo).



To all members:

Update: Though I have never been able to locate the original masters, I went ahead and formally proposed to Gordon (Anderson) in Hollywood the release of Harry Simeone's fourth (and best) Christmas album from 1973,
It's Christmas Once Again. Not only has this album never been released on CD, it also had a very limited release on LP back in the 1970s. Therefore, I suggested to Gordon to promote the CD's release as "The lost Harry Simeone Christmas album classic."

Anyway, as long as I can come up with the original masters by spring, we'll be golden.





12/31/2017 02:15


log_fan
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale

Sorry about that errant release date.  I got it off Wiki.  So that means my mother purchased "O Bambino" the year it was released, 1965.  That's what I thought in the first place!  And yes, I vividly remember the album cover.  I hope the full-length album eventually gets released on CD.

I also had "Sing We Now Of Christmas" not the 1959 single album but as a double album b/w "Merry Christmas Carols" by The Radio City Organ and Chimes which IINM was released in 1961.  Sides 1 and 2 was "Sing We Now Of Christmas".  Sides 3 and 4 was "Merry Christmas Carols".  I do recall the label read "20th Fox". 


12/30/2017 11:36


Christmas
Re :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)


David,

They probably offered that mixed mono/stereo track selection for the mp3 download to differentiate it from our 2012 CD release.

As for my big 2017 release this year of the classic and legendary 1959 stereo version of Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas masterpiece -- the #1 album in my
Top 500, I'm not sure how you could have missed the announcement. You're on the group email list, and I both posted it on the message board and sent out a group email announcement way back last year in 2016; on August 8, 2016, to be exact. Perhaps it went to your spam folder. Anyway, for my official announcement from last year, click here.

And yes, Sony has always been very protective of Percy Faith's Christmas recordings -- especially the 1959 stereo masterpiece (as it has never been out of print since its release in 1959), and would not grant licensing to release it. That is, until this year when they finally acquiesced and the deal was made. I added 7 bonus tracks and wrote the CD liner notes. If you're planning on purchasing it, you better hurry as the only vendor that has stock left is Amazon; and I just checked, and they're down to just 5 copies. Once they're gone, you'll have to wait for the second pressing.




12/29/2017 01:21


Christmas
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale


Mike,

The other thing that was different about the CD reissue of Harry Simeone's O Bambino/The Little Driummer Boy LP was that the 9th and 10th songs were reversed.

As for Mr. Simeone's fourth and, yes indeed, best overall Christmas album, It's Christmas Once Again, it's a mystery. If I could ever find out what became of the masters, I'd try to get it released. I personally know Mr. Simeone's daughter, Molly, and she never knew either. I haven't talked with her in a while; so before I wrote this post, I gave her a call to catch up and revisit this subject. She's going to try and reach out to an old agent of her father's that she thinks is still alive and see what she can find out. It'd be nice to give this album the recognition that it deserves.

Ironically, the two best Christmas albums that Mr. Simeone released were the two that did not include the hit song "The Little Drummer Boy." That's the reason why they are the most rare and least known about. The record companies have treated them like second-class sisters because they don't have the song ("The Little Drummer Boy") that they feel is needed to sell the release. By the way, that other Christmas album that is the second-best after the 1973 Omnisound Records album
It's Christmas Once Again, is the 1963 Mercury Records Christmas album, The Wonderful Songs Of Christmas.




12/29/2017 01:15


Tommer
Re :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)

Thanks Chip,

I had a feeling the Sony was mixing tracks from the stereo and mono versions of the album. I am never sure how decisions like this are made. I have yet to find a consumer who prefers this sort of mash-up approach. The good new, for me at least, is I had no idea you were able to get your hands on the stereo version of the masters! I must have missed the announcement. I seem to recall Sony being unwilling to part with them a few years back. In any case, I will be picking up a copy of the "Real Gone Music" remastered release of the album to round out my collection!

Thanks again for the info and thanks for creating a truly peerless source of info.

Merry Christmas!


12/28/2017 17:39


Motown Mik
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale

Thanks for the update, Chip. Yes, I’d forgotten they’d lopped a song off for that CD.
Unfortunately, doing Harry Simeone reissues means having to deal with Universal Music, since no less than three of their major Christmas albums were originally released on labels affiliated with them: 

Sing We Now of Christmas (20th Fox, 1959) 
The Wonderful Songs of Christmas (Mercury, 1963)
O Bambino/The Little Drummer Boy (Kapp, 1965)

Only the first of these has been reissued on CD in its entirety, albeit with a different title (The Little Drummer Boy, natch) and different cover art. The Mercury album hasn’t made it to CD at all. 

Meanwhile, I’m curious as to the current status of Simeone’s fourth (and, as Chip has stated many times, best) seasonal LP, It’s Christmas Once Again, released on the independent Omnisound label in 1973. Who even owns those recordings now? Are the master tapes still extant?


12/27/2017 23:02


Christmas
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale





Frank,

Harry Simeone's Christmas album entitled O Bambino/The Little Drummer was released by Kapp Records in 1965, not 1963 as you had mentioned in the first paragraph of your post. This album resides in the 2nd Tier of my
Top 500, coming in at #190.

The original version of Harry Simeone's rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy" song was released as a 45-rpm single in 1958, and then on the full-length LP Sing We Now Of Christmas in 1959. By the way, the record label for this album was actually 20th Fox, without the word "Century" in the middle. That's how 20th Century-Fox did their record label back then.

But going back to the 1965
O Bambino/The Little Drummer LP, as Mike said in his previous post, it was indeed released on CD. However, only in an abridged form: the last song on the album, "Sing Of A Merry Christmas," was cut. Something Universal Music is notorious for.

And no, currently there are no plans to release any of Harry Simeone's Christmas albums on CD, but perhaps in the future.




12/27/2017 03:17


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (National Coverage)


Joshua,

Yes, unfortunately the new Percy Faith 1959 stereo Music Of Christmas CD is pretty much sold out everywhere, except Amazon. They got the last shipment of the new CD a couple of weeks ago. However, I just checked and there are only 12 copies left. So please order quickly!





12/27/2017 03:07


Christmas
Re :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)


David,

What they are offering for mp3 download is basically what we released in 2012, except that it has a combination of 1954 mono tracks and 1959 stereo tracks. Why they did this, who the hell knows but it's pretty darn stupid. And those three bonus tracks are the exact same ones on our 2012 release (disc one).

By the way, that group of singers is known as The Shillelagh Singers, not "Sisters" as you had said in your post.

And yes, Sony remastered all of these Percy Faith albums, and it was because of our 2012 and 2017 CD releases. The remastering was done here in New York at Sony's renowned Battery Mastering Studios: Maria Triana did the remastering for the 1954 mono version of Music Of Christmas and the 1958 album Hallelujah for our 2-CD Percy Faith release in 2012 (click here -- but view in Firefox to see the jpeg images that I posted); and Vic Anesini did the remastering for the 1959 stereo version of Music of Christmas for our 2017 release this year (click here).





12/27/2017 03:05


Motown Mik
Re :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale

MCA Special Products released this one on CD in 1995 as The Little Drummer Boy. It’s OOP now but used copies can be found on Amazon under that title.


12/27/2017 00:04


Tommer
Re :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)

Hi CluelessInSeattle,

I am guessing that the issue was that I posted a link from the google Play Subscription section of the site. So, if you don't have a subscription, the link is probably useless to you. I have updated my post to include the link below. It is from the Google Play Store. While this page will limit your ability to interact with the music it does allow for a 30 sec preview of each song. I imagine Spotify also has the full album available for streaming, for free. Sorry for the confusion.

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Percy_Faith_His_Orchestra_The_Music_of_Christmas_E?id=Byulssagewaguldntwyqaclqm5e

Your post has triggered an interesting thought though - I am wondering how many of the yule log songs are available on the streaming services these days. I tried to recreate the program on MOG (one of the early streaming services, now known as apple music) a few years ago and gave up fairly quickly, for lack of content. That said, the major labels seem to quietly introduce about a 1/2 dozen or so Christmas classics per year...  It may be time for a second kick at the can.  :)


12/26/2017 18:43


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (Local Coverage)

Steve, I am glad you were able to receive the Antenna TV Broadcast this year.  We only have one affiliate, and it is hard to pick up the few stations that we do get with an indoor antenna,


12/25/2017 11:16


Christmas
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (National Coverage)

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!
Well, we had snow overnight, so it caused a signal interruption on my Satellite Dish, so I only got about an hour of the WPIX Yule Log for this year.  Fortunately, I also was able to DVR the Antenna TV Broadcast and am watching that right now.  IT is OTA (Over The Air), so satellite signals not needed.  This is the first year that I wasn't able to get the WPIX Broadcast because of signal.  I know it is basically the same program every year, but I like to have each years broadcast.

I did get the 1-hour broadcast of the original footage last night, and was surprised that WPIX started out the 4-hour broadcast with the first hour of music with Joy To The World (Percy Faith) instead of starting our with hour 2.


12/25/2017 11:15


log_fan
Topic :   O Bambino - The Harry Simeone Chorale

Although it isn't on the Top 50 Christmas Albums of all time, I have a personal favorite that one hardly hears.  It is The Harry Simeone Chorale's 1963 release of "O Bambino".  The album also contained a new recording of "The Little Drummer Boy".  The original Little Drummer Boy was released on 20th Century Fox records in 1958.  The O Bambino album was released on Kapp Records.

O Bambino was one of my grandmother's favorite Christmas carols from her native Italy.  My mother loved that song growing up as well.  My mother purchased the Harry Simeone Chorale O Bambino album in 1965.  I always liked that album.  Apparently it's not available on CD.  Amazon offers it on vinyl only.

Any chance we might see this long lost treasure released on CD?

Merry Christmas to all!


12/25/2017 11:03


xmaslover1
Re :   A Logs Life addition???

Yeah,An One time-Only appearance isn't any good for those of Us  who'd missed it the first time around!At Least give us a Facebook version,updated.


12/25/2017 10:19


RareChrist
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (National Coverage)

AND  OF  ALL  THINGS  "MASTER-CHIP", MY  "ANTENNA-TV STATION"  LOST  COMPLETE  SIGNAL  IN  MY  AREA  ONE  HOUR  BEFORE  THE  LOG WAS TO  AIR !  I  WAS  ON  THE  PHONE  WITH  CABLE  GUYS  FOR  AN  HOUR  OR  SO  TO  SEE  WHAT  COULD  BE  DONE.
THEIR  ANSWER  ?  NOTHING!   THEY  SAID  THE  SIGNAL  WAS  ON   THE  FRITZ  FOR  MY  ENTIRE  PORTION  OF  THE  STATE !
I  WAS  BEYOND  UPSET!  AND  EVEN  TRIED  TO  BYPASS  THE  CABLE  BOX  TO  GET  IT  THROUGH  THE  DIGITAL CH.  YOU  TOLD  ME;  BUT  IT TOO  WAS ON  THE  FRITZ.  THIS  WAS  TO  BE  THE  YEAR  I  WOULD  FINALLY  BE  ABLE  TO  RECORD  THE  COMPLETE  5  HOURS  ONTO  ONE DISC!   BUT  MAYBE  I  WILL  FINALLY  GET  TO  WATCH  THE  COMPLETE  5  HOURS  IN  ONE  SETTING  "NEXT"  YEAR !
AT  LEAST  I  GOT  TO  SEE  A  70th  ANNIVERSARY  OF  "IT'S  A  WONDERFUL  LIFE"  AT  MY  LOCAL  THEATER  YESTERDAY  EVENING,  AND  WAS ABLE  TO  VIEW  A  SINGLE  SCREENING  OF  "GREMLINS"  THE  DAY  BEFORE,  AT  THE VERY  SAME  THEATER!  BOTH  FILMS  LOOKED  BETTER THAN  I  HAD  EVER  SEEN  THEM  ON  TV  BEFORE.

THE  "TRUE"  MILESTONE  OF  THE  YEAR,  HOWEVER,  WAS  "YOUR  FAITH"  CHIP!

MERRY  CHRISTMAS  MR.  LAWRENCE.

YOU  DID  IT.
YOU  REALLY  DID  IT !
I'D  SAY  "GOD  BLESS  YOU" ... BUT APPARENTLY,  YOU  BLESSED  "HIM"  FOR  ALL THESE  YEARS  WITH  "THE  QUEST"  FOR  "PERCY" ...
AND  BECAUSE  SO,  I  IMAGINE  HE  IS  MOST  PLEASED  WITH  YOU.  I  HAVE  NO DOUBT  HE  WILL CONTINUE  TO  BLESS  YOU  FOR  ALL  THAT YOU HAVE  DONE  FOR  HIM.
I  AM  HONORED  THIS  YEAR  UNLIKE  ANY  OTHER,  TO  SIMPLY  HAVE  BEEN  A  PART  OF  HISTORY.
"YOUR" HISTORY.

AND ... "HAVE  A  HAPPY !"


12/25/2017 08:34


xmaslover1
Topic :   Strange,wonky Echo effect on the Facebook feed of the show..

Once again the Yule Log was in Mono,but now comes something even stranger...Echoed,Wonky sound? Bad enough it's still in Mono rather than in Full Stereo,but now 5.1 Mono Echo? It Makes everything sound Weird,as a result.


12/24/2017 18:32


Steve_OGO
Re :   2017 Yule Log Broadcast Schedule (Local Coverage)

Here it is Christmas Eve 2017,  I have now checked my over the air antenna,  repaired a cable,  tested the signal strength.   I am overwhelmed that I can get very strong signals from two different sources of Antenna TV and their guide says  5 hrs of yule log starting at 5am eastern time even thought it is snowing pretty good out.

I am in a great euphoric state that I will be able to watch some of it finally on "live" TV.   Cannot recorded it yet but that is not the point.  After years of frustration I might be able to listen to a large portion of it  (depending on when I wake up or grand kids get me up).



12/24/2017 15:53


CluelessIn
Re :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)

Hi Tommer!

I tried that "Music Of Christmas Radio" link this morning and again this evening but I just keep getting an error message:
 
"Playback error. Please try again."

:o(

P.S. I tried clicking on the other Google Play Music buttons at the bottom of the screen, such as 101 Strings, Mantovani, Romantic Strings, etc., and they all play just fine.  It's only the Percy Faith Music of Christmas button that gives me the "Playback error" message.


12/23/2017 19:57


Tommer
Topic :   Percy Faith: Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition)

Hi All,

I noticed that the streaming services have recently posted an expanded version of Percy Faith's "Music of Christmas", which includes the original cover art. The release is from Columbia / Legacy, which begs a couple of questions (at least for me):

- Is there an easy way to tell the 1954 mono versions of the songs from the 1959 stereo versions? What's interesting is that on google play a few of the tracks are explicitly called out as the 1959 stereo version, which might suggest the others are the 1954 mono version? (although streaming service are notoriously bad at providing accurate and complete meta-data.)

- Did Columbia / Legacy remaster the album? If yes I would consider picking up a copy on CD and/or Vinyl (assuming there was a noticeable improvement in sound quality.)

Any help would be appreciated...

By the way, here is a link to the album on google play:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Percy_Faith_His_Orchestra_The_Music_of_Christmas_E?id=Byulssagewaguldntwyqaclqm5e

For those interested in the release it includes 3 bonus tracks:
- Sleigh Ride (The 1950 78rpm Single Version)
- Christmas In My Heart (The 1950 78rpm Version, The B-side to Sleigh Ride)
- Christmas In Killarney (The 1950 78rpm Single Version, feat. The Shillelagh Sisters)

Merry Christmas!



12/23/2017 10:12


Christmas
Re :   Gene Autry


John:

Yes, it can be very confusingThis phenomenon of a Christmas album being released and then so quickly being pulled off production, repackaged and re-released happened very rarely. The other two most notable examples are with The Jack Halloran Singers and Nat King Cole.

With Jack Halloran, in 1957, Dot Records released his Christmas album called Christmas Is A-Comin'. It was recorded in stereo, but only released in mono because the Westrex cutting head, which allowed for the mass-production of stereophonic vinyl discs, was not yet available to the record companies, and wouldn't be until 1958. In addition, the album included a song that at that time was still known as "Carol Of The Drum." But then, the next year, in 1958, Harry Simeone took the song and pretty much the same arrangement, re-recorded it and released it as "The Little Drummer Boy." Well, as everyone knows, it became a gigantic hit. So, as a result, in 1959, Dot records pulled Halloran's Christmas album off production, changed the name of the song on the album from "Carol Of The Drum" to "The Little Drummer Boy," made it the first song on the album, and then re-released it with new artwork and new album title of The Little Drummer Boy (to capitalize on the popularity of the song). Oh, and the album was also finally released for the first time in stereo, now that Dot Records had finally acquired the aforementioned newly invented Westrex cutting head. 

And with Nat King Cole, in 1960, Capitol Records released his Christmas album Christmas Magic. But then, in 1961, Nat recorded in Hollywood (after three previous recorded versions) his now classic stereo version of "The Christmas Song." So, in 1962, Capitol pulled his Christmas album off production, repackaged it by deleting the song "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," adding the 1961 stereo version of "The Christmas Song," and then re-released the album with new artwork and new album title of The Christmas Song (to capitalize on the popularity of the song).

By the way, as to your question about Grand Prix Records; no, it was not a subsidiary label of Challenge, but rather Pickwick.



Brian:

Varese Sarabande has a compilation CD that they released in 1999 called Here Comes Santa Claus, but it doesn't have "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" on it; click here.




12/22/2017 23:52


BrianBrian
Re :   Gene Autry

Chip -
Has there been a legitimate CD release of the original Challenge Records "Christmastime with Gene Autry?"  I do have the CD release from Varese Sarabande of the expanded 1957 version of the album, but I miss those two songs that were cut from it!  The original version of the album is what I grew up with, so I guess those ten tracks in the original running order have something of a sentimental value to me.

I own a CD that has all the tracks from the original album, however - in my opinion - the sound quality is horrendous, one of the tracks is out of order (causing the narration between songs to be off), and the song "Sleigh Bells" is misidentified on both the CD and the back cover insert as "Sleigh Ride."  This CD is more than twenty years old and was manufactured by LDMI in Canada (CDY-9932), titled "Christmas with Gene Autry."  I have a hard time believing this could have been any kind of authorized release.

Do you know of a single collection that includes all ten of the original "Christmastime with Gene Autry" tracks in decent audio quality?  I love the sound of the Varese Sarabande release, but would really like to have the two missing tracks in comparable quality.  Then I could reconstruct my own digital version of the original Challenge Records album.

Thanks!


12/22/2017 20:13


joliom
Re :   Gene Autry

Wow. That really is confusing. So was Grand Prix a subsidiary label of Challenge?


12/22/2017 15:05


Christmas
Re :   Gene Autry


  


That Challenge Records' Christmas Time With Gene Autry 10-song LP (catalog #CHL-600) was not a compilation, but rather the original incarnation of the Grand Prix Records' repackaged and expanded 12-song LP
Gene Autry Sings Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (& other Christmas Favorites) (catalog #KX-11 for mono and #KSX-11 for stereo).

For the Grand Prix expanded edition, the four songs added were "Nine Little Reindeer," "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," "Away In A Manger," and "What Child Is This." Unfortunately, however, two songs were not kept for the repackaged LP; those songs were "Silver Bells" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."


The version of the album that is represented in my
Top 500 list (album #236) is the expanded 1957 edition. By the way, the exact release year of the original is in dispute, but my belief is that it preceded the repackaged and expanded edition by no more than one or two years. When Varese Sarabande released the album on CD in 2006, they released the 1957 expanded edition.

The Gene Autry website offers for purchase a Red vinyl LP edition of this classic 1957 album, click here.




12/22/2017 06:37


joliom
Re :   Gene Autry

What's the story with the 1957 compilation Christmastime with Gene Autry (Challenge CHL-600)? Is it a reissue of all the 1957 Grand Prix recordings found on the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Other Christmas Favorites LP? If so, what versions of "Silver Bells" and "Up on the House Top" are those?


12/22/2017 02:30


pdmddirect
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases

Percy Faith's Music of Christmas (Expanded Edition) CD is now available at Amazon.


12/09/2017 15:55


Christmas
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases


Oh sure, John. The parent record companies, in this case Sony, keep track of all the sales numbers of their recordings. It reflects on the stature of their recordings and is also used for promotional purposes.





12/05/2017 22:16


johnnyelec
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases

Thanks Chip. Wonder if RIAA will count the RGM version towards the total discs sold so that it can be certified Gold/Platinum?
Regards,
John


12/05/2017 08:34


Christmas
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases


John,

Amazon should be getting the last supply of the new Percy Faith CDs soon. And barring any unanticipated problems with Sony, there will be a second pressing; however, I just can't say when they will be available for purchase.





12/04/2017 22:01


Get2Me
Topic :   Ray Conniff Christmas LP Artwork

Because you're all as obsessive about these things as I am, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask...

Does anyone here have hi-res, original, front LP artwork scans for Ray Conniff's three Columbia Christmas albums? I'm looking for Christmas With Conniff, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and Ray Conniff's Christmas Album (Here We Come A-Caroling). Albumartexchange.com only has the 1980s-era CD reissue artwork for these albums, which have all been altered (poorly) in one way or another.

I've been enjoying Real Gone Music's The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings 2-CD set a lot recently, but I don't love the modern cover art they created as much as I love the music. These albums are so entrenched in the era of classic Christmas music that seeing something other than those iconic LP covers while listening to these songs makes my Christmas-loving heart sad. I'd like to remedy that, if I can, if only in my iTunes music library.

Thanks for your help, fellow Yule Log-ers!


12/04/2017 11:59


johnnyelec
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases

Chip, a wave of panic has set-in; how to purchase another copy (copies) of the Percy Faith masterpiece? I'm seeing 'sold out' "out of stock" and I don't want to be "out of luck" on this one.  Will there for sure be another run, and if so, purchase from R.G.M. or from Amazon??

Thanks,
John


12/04/2017 11:05


Christmas
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases


Thanks, Rich; Gordon and I appreciate the positive feedback/reviews on the CDs.




12/03/2017 04:02


RichD
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases

Chip - Been listening to some of the recent Real Gone Christmas releases the past few days while putting up the tree, decorating, and driving around Christmas shopping.
 
Perry Como - Percy Faith - Andy Williams & The Williams Brothers - Robert Goulet - Ray Conniff Singers - JIm Nabors - Glen Campbell.
 
These are all so well done - I've heard things that I've never heard on earlier CD versions - especially on the new Percy Faith (that still blows my mind).
 
The Perry Como CD set - the oldest stuff from the "Sings Merry Christmas Music" album sounds so damn good on the 3CD set !! Excellent job on those.
 
You made all these CD's happen - these are the stuff I grew up on - and to have them sound so amazing now on CD - I really can't thank you enough.
 
Hearing these in such crisp, clear, fantastic quality - I close my eyes and Christmases when I was young come back vividly........
 
Thanks for that !
Rich
 
 


12/02/2017 19:35


Christmas
Re :   Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases


Steve,

The last supply of Percy CDs is being shipped to Amazon; after that it will be sold out until a second pressing is completed. So anyone looking to buy it should get their order in now.

Also, thanks for the kind words for me and Vic; Vic echoed my sentiments by telling me that this was a labor of love.

And very glad to hear how much your daughter is enjoying the new CD. Percy would be so happy that his music is reaching a new generation of folks.




12/01/2017 22:36

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