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Christmas Music Guru
Rank: Honorary Member  
Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Score: 3384
Posts: 3384
From: USA
Joined: 09/07/2005

Posted on 09/20/2017 04:00

Ed Sullivan didn't appear on the actual album, but he picked the songs that were recorded. Ray Bloch served as a Music Consultant for the overall project. The album was conducted by John Gregory and he arranged 12 of the 15 songs. The other 3 songs were arranged by Teo Macero and he produced the album as well.

This great album resides in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, coming in at #62. It was the first in a series of 'Ed Sullivan Presents' recorded productions for Columbia Records.

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Posted on 09/15/2017 00:41

Of course, and that is the very first thing that I indeed checked when I got the new digital remaster.

Posted on 09/14/2017 00:11

I received the new digital remaster of Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas from Battery Studios here in New York that will be available for retail purchase on CD this coming November 3rd and, needless to say, it's absolutely stupendous.

I wish I could have gotten this done a long time ago; but alas, better late than never.

Mastering Engineer Vic Anesini has graced this classic and legendary
recording with a resplendent digital remastering job that befits the
#1 album in my Top 500.

Thank you Vic and God bless.

     Vic Anesini

Posted on 09/13/2017 14:38

Next year in 2018 for the Jim Reeves, with bonus tracks (yet to be determined) and a new Battery Studios remastering.

If you're referring to that UK box set coming out this year with four other Christmas albums, that is not a remaster. Keep in mind that all of those albums are now all out
of copyright in the UK, so they can do with them as they damn well

By the way, all of the 2017 Real Gone
Christmas releases are now on Amazon and available
for pre-order.

Posted on 09/11/2017 18:18

great front cover design for the Fred Waring CD was done by my good
friend and collaborator Tom Pickles, who is an avid collector and
passionate fan of these Christmas albums as I am. Tom also wrote the
liner notes for the CD booklet -- and he did a magnificent job. He consulted with me on them and I arranged interviews with several members of the Pennsylvanians that I know personally.

Tom and I really wanted the cover of the 'Twas The Night Before Christmas LP with Norman Rockwell's great "Caught Napping" artwork to be the main
focal point of the CD cover. So we actually did an end-run around
Gordon's usual layout art designers, who, by the way, usually do an
outstanding job. However, their usual policy with 2fer CD releases is to
show both album covers equally, as well as a picture of the recording
artist. But in this case, that just wasn't acceptable to us.

Tom worked his brilliant magic and proposed a layout design to me. It
was so damn good that I couldn't find anything I wanted to change. I
immediately gave it my thumbs-up. And then later, Gordon did too.


Posted on 09/10/2017 19:50

Yes, as I said to you in an email earlier today, and for the edification of those reading this post, because of the
magnitude of the Percy Faith release, Sony gave the remastering assignment to
Vic (Anesini).


Sony is very protective
of Percy's Christmas material, and this album in particular (which has
never been out-of-print in the 58 years since its original release in 1959).
This is why it took so long for them to finally cede over the printing rights to
the album.


And as much as Gordon and
I love Maria (Triana), we know that Sony made the right decision. Vic is one of the two
senior engineers at Battery Studios along with Mark (Wilder). And in Vic's
hands, nothing was left to chance. So like Gordon said to me last month when he
told me of Sony's decision, "this is a very good thing for us."

As for the Robert Shaw release, I'm glad that you're delighted; but for me personally, I'm somewhat crestfallen. There are very rare circumstances where I ever recommend the use of reissue artwork for the front of a CD release. But this album (like the Ralph Hunter
Choir/Living Voices Christmas album that I got released in 2015) is one of them. As I said in my earlier post of September 4, 2017 on this thread,
Volume II was much more widely known by its second
, as this was
the cover that was used for the bulk of the time the album was in print.

And RCA Records fully knew that as well, which is why in 1994 when they released Volume II on a 2-CD set (along with Volume I and the Britten album,) they indeed used its more well-known cover.

Posted on 09/10/2017 10:25


The cover that ended up being used this year for the Robert Shaw Volume II CD was in the end the one that you wanted.

Last year when I last discussed this release with Gordon, I advised him which cover to use for the front of the CD. But because I've been so busy this year with the Percy Faith and Fred Waring releases, I never thought to remind him which one to use. So as a result, the cover that I pictured below was indeed the one used.

By the way, Sony thinks that the later cover was from 1957, and not 1954. But this has happened before where the record companies have gotten information wrong about one of their own albums. The most egregious example of this was just last year when UMG erroneously told Gordon that Mantovani's re-recorded version of his Christmas Carols LP was from 1959, and not 1958, as was the case. Needless to say, I was furious. I actually sent Gordon proof (not that he needed it) by sending him a link to a Billboard article from November 10, 1958, announcing the new release for that year. It just goes to show that you can't always rely on the record companies to get information right about one of their own albums. It's one of the reasons that this business can be very frustrating at times.

By the way, both Volume I and Volume II were originally supposed to be released together last year. But when Gordon realized that the albums were too long to be released together on a single 2fer CD, and instead would have to be released as a double CD, he then proposed releasing them separately in consecutive years: 2016 for Volume I and 2017 for Volume II. And I was perfectly fine with that; however, if they had indeed been released together as was originally suggested by me, the correct artwork would have been used for Volume II. But no worries, as this will still be a great release.

Posted on 09/04/2017 21:10

No, we have never been able to find the complete soundtrack for the 1966 Yule Log premiere.
some of the songs that aired on the show that year were "Christmas
Carousel" by Peggy Lee, "Winter Wonderland" by The Living Voices and "Do
You Hear What I Hear" by the Regency Choir. Skitch Henderson also
appeared on the 1966 broadcast as well.

As for Andy Williams, his
first known appearance on the Yule Log was in 1968, with his rendition
of "Do You Hear What I Hear." Andy also appeared on the 1972 broadcast
with his rendition of "Silent Night."

Posted on 09/04/2017 21:07

Sounds like a great plan, Rick.

Posted on 09/04/2017 02:05


I chose the '54 version of Volume 2's LP cover for the upcoming CD because the original '52 version was the exact same cover that was used two years earlier in 1950 for the first release on LP of Volume 1. And I didn't want Volume 2 to be confused in any way with Volume 1. In addition, Volume 2 is much more widely known by the '54 cover, as this was the cover that was used for the bulk of the time that the record was in print.

 See my new post below dated 09/10/17 for an update.

*[Edited 09/10/17 to add update notation]

Posted on 09/02/2017 13:26

Yes, this is a big one, Steve. Jim's Christmas album ranks #11 in my all-time
Top 500, just missing my Ultra Top 10.

I included two of the stellar songs from this album in my new 5th hour of the Yule Log that I produced last year for Tribune Broadcasting and WPIX-TV.

It is those two songs that I also featured in my 2009 In The Spotlight tribute to Jim.

Posted on 09/02/2017 11:30

Even though it's early and we're still embroiled in this year's releases, I spoke to Gordon again about "Gentleman Jim" (as he was called), and I'm pretty confident that it will be my first conquest for 2018 as I think I sold him on the idea of using Jim's gospel/spiritual material as bonus tracks.

If Gordon should use everything that I originally proposed, then the CD would sport 8 bonus tracks. But in the end, he'll probably give me 6 of the 8; so between my top 5 gospel/spiritual songs and the seasonal winter song, I think that'll do it.

Posted on 09/02/2017 02:09

Barry and Steve:

Thanks for the kind words and I'm glad to hear how much you guys are looking forward to the new CDs.


Connie Smith was more in the style of Tammy Wynette, but she really had a style all her own. Connie is often overlooked today
when the great ladies of country music are mentioned, and it's probably
because she had no crossover pop hits. But she was a very
prolific recording artist and had a bunch of great country hits (one
of her best is posted below). Connie has been a member of the Grand Ole
Opry since 1965 and was deservedly inducted into the Country Music Hall
of Fame in 2012.

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src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqS3iROQC04?rel=0" frameborder="0"

Posted on 09/01/2017 18:32

This is another Yule Log.com exclusive: I have announced the complete list of the upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD releases and their corresponding street (release) dates in my "Chip's Tips" Edition #17: Click Here.

Posted on 09/01/2017 18:30

This 17th edition of "Chip's Tips" announces the upcoming 2017 Christmas CD releases from Real Gone Music.

This spectacular new batch of Christmas CD releases for 2017, while not as big as last year, includes three albums that I have been working on the longest -- many, many years -- to get back into print and/or properly released.

First among these is the #1 album in my Top 500: Percy Faith's definitive 1959 stereo re-recording of his classic and legendary Christmas album Music Of Christmas. This album has never been out-of-print since it was first released in 1959 (first on LP and now on CD), but it has never had a proper digital remastering. With this glorious new release, that injustice has now finally been corrected. Also, for this special release I added eight magnificent Christmas bonus tracks that I took from several non-Christmas music Percy Faith LPs. In addition, I also personally wrote the liner notes for the CD booklet. For my original earlier announcement from last year of this long-awaited release, and to see the added bonus tracks as well as hear a sampling of some of the standout songs from the album, please click here.

Second on the list is a 2fer CD containing the #5 and #6 albums in my Top 500: Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians' classic and legendary 1955 Christmas albums 'Twas The Night Before Christmas and its companion album Christmas Time. This, unbelievably, is the very first time that these two albums have ever been released on CD. And it wasn't easy, as it was fraught with many obstacles that we had to face along the way; chief among them, dealing with UMG (Universal Music Group), which is never an easy proposition. For my original announcement from earlier this year of this long-awaited release, as well as to hear the complete Side 1 of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, please click here.

It is because of the inordinate time dedicated to these landmark releases that the total number of new Christmas CDs was smaller than usual this year; but it was well worth it and we think you'll agree.

Anyway, rounding out the list this year are expanded reissues of The Ames Brothers 1957 RCA Christmas album and The Supremes 1965 Motown Christmas album, as well as a first-ever reissue on CD of the great Connie Smith's 1975 Columbia Christmas album, and a new reissue of Robert Shaw's second RCA Christmas album from 1952.

So now, without further ado, is the complete list of the Real Gone Music Christmas CD releases for 2017; and under each listing is where the album ranks in my all-time Top 500:

Percy Faith: Music Of Christmas (The definitive 1959 stereo re-recording, Expanded Edition)

*(Top 500; 1st Tier -- Ultra Top 10; #1)*

Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas and Christmas Time (2fer CD)

*(Top 500; 1st Tier -- Ultra Top 10; #5 and #6, respectively)*

The Ames Brothers: There'll Always Be A Christmas (Expanded Edition)

*(Top 500; 1st Tier; #107)*

The Supremes: Merry Christmas (Expanded Edition, 2-CD Set)

*(Top 500; 2nd Tier; #228)*

Connie Smith: Joy To The World (Expanded Edition)

*(Top 500; 2nd Tier; #240)*

The Robert Shaw Chorale: Christmas Hymns And Carols, Volume 2

*(Top 500; 3rd Tier; #251)*

The anticipated street date for the new Real Gone Music Christmas CD releases is November 3, 2017.

Any questions or comments about the new 2017 Real Gone Music releases, please post on message board by clicking here.

Happy autumn everyone, and don't forget to keep the spirit of Christmas all year through!

Posted on 08/30/2017 19:53

Board member Steven already contacted me about these last night via a private email; and as I told him, I already know about these two songs and have already proposed them to Gordon, along with several of Jim's gospel/spiritual oriented songs.
The problem is that Gordon isn't really big on using
gospel/spiritual songs as bonus tracks on Christmas CDs. I need bona fide
Christmas bonus tracks to offer him; and regrettably, there
just aren't any.
As for the winter song "Snowflake,"
it is the only song of all that is the closest to a bona fide
Christmas carol. But
it alone will not get the project approved.

Unfortunately, Jim died
in 1964 at the very young age of 40. And he had recorded his only Christmas
album just a year before in 1963 at age 39. If he had lived longer, I'm sure that he
would have eventually recorded more Christmas music. It's still hard for Ethel to talk
about "Jimmy" because she still misses him. Ethel had kept in touch with his
wife Mary until she died of Alzheimer's in 1999.

But getting back to Jim's
gospel/spiritual songs, the one that does come the closest to a Christmas song per se would indeed be "Scarlet Ribbons." But it's still a stretch -- along the same lines as when recording artists use "My Favorite Things" as a Christmas song (something I'm against).

But beyond "Scarlet Ribbons," there are several other gospel/spiritual oriented songs that I also
thought could work as possible bonus tracks for the CD. Among

"May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You"

"Take My Hand Precious Lord"

"Have Thine Own Way Lord"

"Teach Me How To Pray"

"I'd Rather Have Jesus"

"God Be With You"

There's still a chance that the release might happen, perhaps with a smattering of these spirituals (if Gordon should agree). If not, I'm still going to try to just get it released as a straight reissue with a new digital remaster, which is the most important thing in the first place.

Posted on 08/29/2017 02:10

Peter and Steven,

Unfortunately, I couldn't get the Jim Reeves CD done this year.

reason is that Gordon ideally likes to release his Real Gone Music
reissues with bonus tracks -- especially for albums that are currently
in print by the parent record label;
in this case, SME (Sony Music Entertainment). He doesn't feel that a
new remaster of the recording alone would be enough guarantee sales
success of the CD.

The only exception to this was my Percy Faith release this year. This was by virtue of the fact that it's the #1 album in my
Top 500. I got it green-lighted by Gordon even before he knew that I had 8 stupendous bonus tracks to package with the album.

getting back to the Jim Reeves, I tried very hard to come up with just a
few bonus tracks that I could package with the album -- just two or
three would have been enough for me to get the project approved, but no

I even consulted with my friend Ethel Gabriel, the
legendary RCA Records producer who was good friends with Jim -- or as
she calls him, Jimmy. But regrettably, Ethel didn't know of any either.

no worries, it's not completely dead as I'm going to make another push
for release of the album in the future. In the meantime, I'll continue
to search for something that Jim did that I can package with the album. If
not, there's still a chance that I might be able to convince Gordon to
just release it as a straight reissue with a new digital remaster.

Posted on 08/27/2017 23:31

Yes, it's Frank DeVol.

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