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Title: Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
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Christmas Music Guru
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(Date Posted: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.


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persimmon
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/01/2017 19:37)

Wow... just WOW!
...and a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too! I am just sorry I can't order NOW! Waiting for Nov will be tough. Thanks for all you do, Chip.
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RichD
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/01/2017 20:14)

Can't wait to hear the Percy Faith CD - I'll also be getting the Fred Waring and Robert Shaw CD's !!!
I'm not familiar with Connie Smith -- how's the album Chip? Is she more "Lynn Anderson country" or "Anne Murray country"?
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rsteven
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/01/2017 21:27)


Hello Chip,

What a terrific slate of truly iconic CD releases this year.  If you had just secured the Holy Grail of all Christmas albums, Music Of Christmas by Percy Faith with extra bonus tracks as well as the great twofer collection from Fred Waring featuring that amazing album cover by Norman Rockwell, we would have considered it an absolutely blockbuster year, but you added some other rare and sought after Christmas gems as well.

I am particularly excited about the legendary Connie Smith Christmas album from 1975 featuring her amazing voice and a stupendous song selection and some of the greatest Nashville musicians ever to grace a studio, like blind piano legend Hargus "Pig" Robbins, who played on so many records over the years like "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller, who wrote and sang the original and definitive version of "Little Toy Trains" as well as the iconic intro to "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich.  Connie's great album also features Elvis Presley's legendary back-up group, The Jordanaires, as well.

The Robert Shaw Christmas album helps complete his amazing and iconic Christmas collection that you and Real Gone Music started last year with that great stereo release of Volume One with extras.

Once again, Chip, you have done what I was beginning to think would not get done in my lifetime, scoring the greatest Christmas instrumental album in history, Music Of Christmas by the legendary Percy Faith, properly remastered for the very first time and with eight bonus songs as well as the iconic and long sought after early masterpieces by Fred Waring on Decca Records, thought by many to never have a chance to be properly restored and remastered in their original configurations.

Bravo, Chip, we cannot say thank you enough for all you have done to preserve, protect and promote our beloved music from the Golden Age of Christmas!

Best regards,

Steven


(Message edited by rsteven On 09/01/2017 21:32)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted: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.




Rich:

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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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/04/2017 00:33)


Hello Chip,

I was just wondering about the Robert Shaw Christmas Hymns And Carols Volume 2 CD release by Real Gone Music this year and which album cover they plan to use.  If I understood a previous thread you had on Robert Shaw, the original cover was a painting like picture that featured a couple walking and a sled in a very magical and snowy scene.  I believe that when they re-issued the album two years later they put the more modern art work on the cover that featured the bulb ornaments and a sort of pink or red background.  I was hoping that they would use the original, but rarer cover that is like a great painting, but both are beautiful in their own right.

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 09/04/2017 00:37)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/04/2017 02:05)





Steve,

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]

(Message edited by Christmas Music Guru On 09/10/2017 10:30)
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rsteven
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/04/2017 08:34)


Chip,

Indeed, great choice and great reasoning.  The more I thought about it being the original cover of Volume One, the more I realized you would probably have to go with the second cover, which really is quite festive and beautiful.  You really could not lose either way ascetically, but you definitely made the right choice for the very reason you mentioned.

Thanks,

Steve
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RickHolland
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/04/2017 12:34)

Can not wait to put up my christmas tree and put the cd music of christmas on and bathe in that fantastic music. Maybe some hot cocoa and a slice of apple pie and then slide on the couch. And then i will thank mr Faith for that beautiful music and also i will thank mr Arcuri for making this possible...
Forever grateful, good wishes from the Netherlands!
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/04/2017 21:07)


Sounds like a great plan, Rick.


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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/10/2017 10:25)


Steve,

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.





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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/10/2017 16:56)


Hello Chip.

I could not be more thrilled about Real Gone Music going with that older traditional cover with that magnificent snow scene and the RCA label shifted to the middle of the record.  I just love these iconic images that they used on these masterful releases like Robert Shaw. Of course, the cover with the bulbs would have made more sense given your original idea for a twofer as to not to mix it up with the first album.  The second cover was beautiful as well. It was a win either way for us traditional music lovers.

I also want to pass on to you and the board members how thrilled I am that it looks like Vic Anesini is handling the remaster for the magnificent and glorious Music Of Christmas Extended version by the one and only Percy Faith.  I know that you and I were following this closely as well as your board members as we knew this remaster is the most anticipated one in decades with regard to getting Percy's great stereo version done properly for the first time.

I know you are fully aware, Chip, but some of your board members might not be, but Vic Anesini is one of the most highly regarded remastering engineers in the world having not only been in charge of most of Elvis Presley's premier catalogue for the last couple of decades, but also has remastered artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, George Jones, Tammy Wynette and Jeff Buckley.  Mr. Anesini is known for his determination to get the original sound of the vinyl replicated as close as possible with the cleanest of sound without mucking around with the original sound intended by the original music engineer.  He is beloved and revered in the music world and there is not a better choice than to have someone with Mr. Anesini's unsurpassed credentials associated with such an iconic artist and such a once in a lifetime record as Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas.

We are so fortunate to have you Chip as Real Gone Music's most important and respected consultant getting these important details done in such a classy and dedicated fashion.   It would be cheaper and easier to re-produce these masterpieces without taking the time and effort that Real Gone Music does with your wise and irreplaceable counsel!

Best regards,

Steve
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted: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 cover, 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.





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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/11/2017 14:14)


Hello again, Chip,

I was just ordering the full slate of Real Gone Music releases that were just posted for pre-order on Amazon and I was awestruck to see that magnificent cover that Real Gone came up with for the Fred Waring twofer Cd collection.  They blow up that great Fred Waring first album cover featuring that awesome Norman Rockwell artwork and put the second album down below in the left side in a miniaturized version, which fully lets that first cover for Twas The Night Before Christmas really shine.  Great heading on top to let you know your getting both albums and of course that great Decca label as well.

I also love seeing the Percy Faith Music Of Christmas poinsettia cover in all its original glory with the great Columbia eye logo on top and unblemished in any way. Wow, these albums are worth buying for the covers alone, forgetting the majestic and long sought after music that lies within these iconic album covers.

I don't know who came up with that idea for the Fred Waring cover, probably you or Gordon or a combination there of, but it was a stroke of sheer brilliance and I know that without your efforts over the years we would have never seen these iconic albums remastered and released on CD in any form let alone in the magnificent way that they are being released by Real Gone Music.

Congratulations all around to you and Gordon!

Best Wishes,

Steve
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/11/2017 18:18)





That 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.

So 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.

And voil
à!



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:09/13/2017 10:14)


Hi Chip,


Thanks for letting us know the upcoming Christmas Releases from Real Gone Music!  Will be adding several to my collection!  On another note, I thought I read somewhere that Jim Reeves Christmas Album was going to be remastered and released this year?


Thanks,


Jim

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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted: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 please.

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



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/07/2017 21:51)

November 3 can't get here soon enough. And Jim Reeves next year? I'm very excited to hear that. Any chance we'll see A Jack Jones Christmas as a companion to the stellar release of The Jack Jones Christmas Album from last year? I'd love an excuse to get rid of the low budget Laserlight CD I have now.

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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/08/2017 00:14)


Not right now, John. Maybe in the future.

Glad you're looking forward to the new releases.


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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/11/2017 15:08)


Hello Chip,

Starting to get really excited about the upcoming Christmas releases by Real Gone Music.  Wow, just three weeks from Friday we will get to have these beauties in our hot little hands. We only waited about 35 years for a proper remaster of Music Of Christmas by the one and only Percy Faith and it was well worth the wait to have no less than remastering legend Vic Anesini at the helm and you getting those splendid bonus songs added as well.

Almost equally exciting is the anticipation of the Fred Waring Twas The Night Before Christmas twofer with that great Norman Rockwell cover art. By the way Chip, I happened to order Frank Sinatra's new compilation Ultimate Christmas and I was particularly impressed with the three collaborations he did with Fred Waring on An Old Fashioned Christmas, Little Drummer Boy and I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.  

Its interesting because I have read your thoughts on Frank Sinatra's Jolly Christmas album on another thread and agree wholeheartedly in your basic supposition that although it is a fine album on its own merits, it does not live up to the high expectations given Frank's genius on other albums from this time period especially with regard to the great American Songbook.  I like the album, but it does not have that warm holiday feeling that Johnny Mathis or Andy Williams legendary Christmas albums convey.

I also agree with you that Nelson Riddle, who did produce several of the tracks that are stellar would have been a superior choice to do the whole album or perhaps Billy May, who could really bring out the jazzy swing side of Sinatra.  You also correctly point out the somber nature of the song choices and the fact that Sinatra would have been better served by doing less traditional Christmas carols and more pop oriented secular standards of the day that could bring out his unique phrasing.  I always think that Michael Buble's Christmas album was the album that Sinatra should have made as far as song choice and arrangements.

Back to the Fred Waring assisted songs on the Ultimate collection.  Jack Halloran and Dick Reynolds did the brilliant arrangement on Little Drummer Boy.  Could there be a better choice for that song?  Nelson Riddle did the arrangements for both An Old Fashioned Christmas and I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day and Sinatra's vocal on the latter is just majestic as is Riddle's gorgeous strings and brass orchestrations.  Sinatra clearly believed in the sentiment of that song and his vocal power and conviction come through loud and clear.  Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians are magnificent on all three songs as well which brings me right back to the excitement and anticipation for his iconic twofer collection coming in less than a month from Real Gone Music.

Best regards,

Steve



(Message edited by rsteven On 10/11/2017 15:19)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/11/2017 19:37)


Steve,

Just an FYI: the entire original 12-song album of Sinatra's A Jolly Christmas was (unfortunately) arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins. Only the two bonus tracks (that were later added beginning with the 1987 Capitol Records CD reissue release of the album) were arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle.



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/11/2017 19:56)


Oh gosh, Chip, I haven't played A Jolly Christmas in so long I forgot that Gordon Jenkins arranged the whole original album by himself.  Funny thing is I love Jenkins arrangements on Frank's other standards and he did some perfectly fine arrangements on the Christmas album, but as you previously suggested the song choice was probably the biggest factor in making the album less than the iconic classic it could have been considering his talent as a vocalist. I do still think Nelson Riddle, Billy May or Don Costa might have been a better match with less emphasis on traditional Christmas hymns and more upbeat Christmas songs that could show off his signature iconic phrasing better.

Steve
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/11/2017 21:08)


Yes, I like Gordy Jenkins' arrangements for Frank's non-Christmas music too. And the irony is that the Christmas album started off spectacularly with a fine rendition of "Jingle Bells." But then the album sadly proceeded to fail to live up to the standard set by its opening number.

The album was far from being, as Frank would sometimes say, "cuckoo-groovy."



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/11/2017 21:28)


Oh yes indeed, I love that J-i-n-g-l-e Bells version to start the album and then it gets a little somber from there as if Frank was in a little bit of a funk when he records most of the rest of the album. He wasn't feeling "Cuckoo-groovy" as you so well quoted the "Chairman Of The Board."

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 10/11/2017 21:29)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/13/2017 14:45)

Actually, Frank Sinatra was in "a funk" while recording this album. 

Nancy Sinatra has often said that she believes the reason for the albums somber feel was because her father's divorce with Ava Gardner happened to coincide with the album's May-July 1957 recording sessions. During the making of the album (as well as the recording sessions for the WHERE ARE YOU album before it) both Nancy and Tina Sinatra remembered their father "being in a very dark place, emotionally." They also recalled Capitol offering to reschedule the Christmas sessions and pushing its release to the fall of 1958 if necessary.  

Despite the melodrama that surrounded the making of this album, time has been kind to A JOLLY CHRISTMAS. Sixty years later, all of the tracks from the album are still played and heard on the radio throughout the entire holiday season.                                                                                               

Thanks so much Chip for all your help in getting Percy Faith's MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS released this holiday season. Even my 14 year old son is excited about finally hearing this true musical masterpiece the way it deserves to be heard! I plan on pre-ordering a few copies this weekend.

 



     

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rsteven
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/13/2017 16:37)


Hello Anthony and Chip,

That is quite interesting, after my exchange with Chip on the subject of Frank and his melancholy vocals on the album, I read our thoughts to my gal and remarked, "I bet Frank was going through one of his break-ups when he recorded that Christmas album, maybe even with Ava."  I love the Rat Pack movie that HBO did that I think really shows the complete side of Frank and more positive than negative with regard to his loyalty and his passion in the studio and out.

And yes, Anthony, I do think that A Jolly Christmas Album has helped up pretty well over the years.  I saw Frank Sinatra perform live in Las Vegas in the early 1980's at the Golden Nugget with a 40 piece orchestra and he was magnificent.  One of the greatest performers I have ever seen.  He closed the evening on a bar stool singing One For My Baby and I felt that Frank and I were the only ones in the room and he was singing to me like I was that bartender.  One of my greatest memories ever and no contrary to what some critics said, he still had a remarkable voice and amazing command of the stage.  Milton Berle and Telly Savalas were both seated next to us during the performance.

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 10/13/2017 22:42)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/13/2017 18:27)


Yes guys, but as well as this album arguably has held up over the years, notwithstanding, it boggles the mind as to how great it could have been. It's one of the most quintessential examples in my collection of an album that just did not live up to expectations.

Sadly, it's probably just a case of incredibly bad timing. And the difference in that timing was the difference between this album residing in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, as opposed to the 2nd Tier, where it decidedly belongs.


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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/13/2017 22:07)

First let me say that it's always great to read your comments, opinions, and observations Chip. I don't remember you ever mentioning A JOLLY CHRISTMAS before, but I'm sure you did at some point over the years. Regardless, I pretty much agree with you - especially about the bad timing. Perhaps Capitol should have rescheduled the Christmas sessions and planned for a later 1958 release. I always knew the album sounded "different" and had a "sad" feel to it, but I never gave it much thought or consideration when I was younger.

It's still one of my favorite Christmas albums - but more for sentimental reasons. Like many Italian-Americans his age, my father loved Frank Sinatra ("The Patron Saint of Hoboken") and he loved this album. Growing up, it was always the first Christmas album my sisters and I would hear every Thanksgiving.  With my father passing away in July, I expect this album will have even more personal meaning for me.

I know it's nowhere near a first tier Christmas album, but for me it will always be the most special.  



(Message edited by anthonyv On 10/14/2017 01:05)
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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/14/2017 01:00)


I'm so very sorry to hear about your father, Anthony. Please accept my deepest heartfelt condolences.

Regarding the '57 Sinatra LP, I've talked about it many times on the board before, including with you. In fact, in 2011, I mentioned to you
that it was only for the 1957 A Jolly Christmas LP that Frank asked composer Hugh Martin to write a more upbeat line to replace "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" for the song Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. I had also mentioned that Frank's 1950 Columbia Records version, as well as his later 1963 Reprise Records version, were both recorded with the original 1944 lyrics.

In addition, in both 2009 and 2010, I posted that all of
Frank's Christmas albums reside in the 2nd Tier of my Top 500 (albums 126-250), and that none of them ever hit a complete home run. In fact, regarding 1957's A Jolly Christmas in particular, that it couldn't have been said any better than in the one paragraph that music reviewer Jim Smith wrote on AllMusic.com; click here.

But yes, Anthony, I fully understand your sentimental attachment to the album -- especially considering the poignant recollections you related in your Yule Log story that you submitted to me many years ago about your father and Christmas Eve 1966 when the Yule Log premiered on WPIX and your grandfather died. For those who'd like to read it, click here and scroll down to the last story on the thread.



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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
29# 



Rank:Silver

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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/14/2017 09:32)



Anthony,

Let me too express my most sincere condolences for the passing of your father as well.  Your story of your grandfather's passing as referenced in the stories of the YuleLog that Chip sited touched me deeply.

My father too had an absolutely indelible mark on my Christmas music preferences to this day.  His two favorite go to Christmas albums were Johnny Mathis's Merry Christmas and John Klein's A Christmas Sound Spectacular, which features a great orchestra along with the worlds largest Carillon bell system that features almost 1500 perfectly tuned bronze bells.  Of course that Johnny Mathis album featured the amazing and heavenly arrangements of the one and only Percy Faith, which would eventually lead me on my own to discovering his equally spellbinding Music Of Christmas, which of course is finally getting released in remastered glory thanks to our host, Mr. Lawrence "Chip" Arcuri.

My very best to you and your family this upcoming holiday season. 
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anthonyv
30# 



Rank:Gold

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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/14/2017 11:21)

Chip,

Thank you for your kind words.

You're right...I should have remembered those discussions about that '57 album and other Sinatra albums more clearly. Now that you've mentioned them, I have a better recollection of our exchanges. Thanks for clearing up the cobwebs that seem to cloud my memory these days. I can assure you it was not necessarily laziness on my part, just a residual effect of getting older....LOL 

You might like to know that my 14 year old son is a huge fan of Christmas music - not the new stuff, mostly the older classic Yule Log and WPAT stuff we grew up with. Not only does he check this message board every morning before he goes to school, but when I ask him if there's any classic Christmas albums he might be interested in, he automatically goes to your lists to see where you have a particular album ranked.


rsteven,

Thanks to you as well for your kind words. I guess we all have our favorite records that come to represent the special times and special people in our lives. As long as music touches our soul, that's really all that matters in my opinion. And, without a doubt, no music can touch the soul better than Christmas music.

I know the John Klein album you're talking about - at least I should since the cover scared the hell out of me as a kid. Is it a red RCA Victor LP with Santa sitting in a rocking chair behind a stream of open curtains? My grandmother worked for RCA and she used to bring home complimentary albums all the time. If it's the same album (not sure if it was ever re-issued with a different cover) she had it. Santa's face terrified me so much that my mother had to lock it away in a storage trunk in our attic. In fact I had to watch and make sure the trunk was secured with a padlock. When this topic was posted on the message board once before, I think Chip provided a photo of the cover and it still gave me chills.

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rsteven
31# 



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/14/2017 12:22)


Anthony,

Yes, indeed that is the one and only cover of the John Klein album with the Santa behind the red curtain with the presents.  That's a funny story about you being scared of the album cover.  Its funny how things like that can make such an impression on us when we were kids.

Yes, I too have three daughters all in their twenties with one in her early 30's and they all have the Johnny Mathis Christmas album and a mono version of the John Klein album in their collection.  They all are excited about the Percy Faith album as well and each will be receiving a copy from me when it comes out in November. My eldest daughter is a huge fan of Frank Sinatra as well so we keep that fire burning as well.  She is also the one that will not let us open any presents until the Johnny Mathis album is playing on the Stereo.

My daughters are fully aware of the giant contribution that Chip has made to the preservation of this iconic music that I think would have just about disappeared completely without the singular efforts of Mr. Arcuri and his good friend Gordon Anderson.  We are all lucky to have them in our world!

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 10/14/2017 12:26)
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Christmas Music Guru
32# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3444

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/14/2017 20:46)


Anthony:

I'm quite familiar with those senior moments.

And I'm glad to hear how much your son loves our classic Christmas music. Part of my mission is perpetuate the legacy of this legendary Christmas music by exposing it to young folks via the Yule Log telecast, as well as in the Christmas CD releases that I help to get out via Real Gone Music in Hollywood. This is my way of paying back the great recording artists who blessed us with it and have given me so much pleasure over the years.



Steve:

Glad to hear that your kids also appreciate classic Christmas music. My hope is that these young folks will pass it down to their kids as well.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
33# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:83

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/26/2017 16:22)



Hello Chip,

The anticipation for Friday, November 3, when Real Gone Music releases their most historically iconic albums yet from the Golden Age of Christmas, is starting to really hit me. I have ordered their entire slate of releases, some in multiple numbers, but to say that Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas is the standout is like saying the Hope Diamond is a rather large diamond. It does not begin to describe the importance and beauty of getting this iconic album in remastered fashion by the legendary Vic Anesini, known for the incredible remastering job he has done on Elvis Presley's priceless music catalogue over the last decade or so.

Of course, getting the Fred Waring twofer Decca Christmas album collection would have been the absolute highlight of any other year, particularly with that great Norman Rockwell album cover from "Twas The Night Before Christmas," but this was an unusual year after so many years of waiting for a proper remaster of the Percy album.  The rest of the Real Gone slate is pretty amazing as well, with the Connie Smith Christmas album getting its first release ever on cd being a real highlight too.

This brings me to the release by Sony Music of the Dean Martin Christmas album which apparently has became available recently for the first time with its original front and back cover.  Joe Marchese of the Second Disc site notes properly that the front and back covers are aproximate replicas of the original vinyl covers. Sony for some reason decided to cut off part of Dean's hair at the top and not include the reprise label and stereo heading near the top of the album.  Perhaps the omission of the Reprise label is understandable given Sony's unusual acquisition of Dean's Reprise material through the Dean Martin Family Trust, but why they couldn't get the front cover shown completely is another question. They did more or less use the actual back cover of the original vinyl album, but alas no liner notes or booklet included according to Mr. Marchese.

I have huge respect for Sony Music and I am grateful that they finally let Real Gone Music take hold of the Percy Faith album for a proper remaster with bonus songs, but I wish that rather than do a budget line release of the great Dean Martin Christmas album themselves, they would have secured an agreement with Real Gone Music to do this in their usual uncompromising fashion.  The only really good news about this budget release by Sony is that appears it may have been remastered by Vic himself as he was put in charge of some or all of the Dean Martin catalogue when they secured the rights for digital release of his other Reprise albums, this according to Mr. Marchese as well. Since apparently there are no liner notes with this release we have no real confirmation one way or the other except to listen with our own ears.

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 10/27/2017 19:52)
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Christmas Music Guru
34# 



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/27/2017 21:44)


Yes, I would have rather gotten this out myself with RGM. This 2017 Dino release was a half-assed effort on Sony's part.

Of course, that's no surprise, as CDs right now are a very low priority for the "Big Three" record companies. And as such, the big three -- UMG (Universal), SME (Sony) and WMG (Warner) -- cannot be trusted to release their own Christmas material, as they usually do a mediocre job.
This unremarkable example is proof of that.

Dino's album deserved the full RGM treatment of complete unabridged original artwork, a CD booklet, liner notes and photos. It's too bad.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
35# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:83

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/27/2017 23:31)


Hello Chip,

Yes indeed, I call that a missed opportunity by Sony to get that Dino album into Real Gone's hands as I know you and Gordon would have made it a stellar release.  Thank God, they finally turned loose of Percy's masterpiece, Music Of Christmas, and put it in Real Gone's hands.  We are really very lucky that after all these years you and Gordon managed to snatch that gem up and we are actually getting a full album cover release and a glorious remaster by Mr. Anesini. I cannot even imagine of another budget line release of Music Of Christmas like they are doing with the Dino Christmas album.  I will buy that too just to get the album cover flawed as it is.  Here's praying that Vic did actually do the uncredited remastering for the new release.  Joe Marchese and I both think thats a good possibility, but only hearing the actual cd in a few days when I get it could I even make an educated guess. 

It is such a thrill to get the new Percy release to go along with the previous two-fer with his equally splendid Hallelujah masterpiece that you guys got released a couple of years ago. If you add Montavani's Christmas Carols album and Johnny Mathis's Merry Christmas album arranged by Percy Faith, I believe you could survive on a dessert island and never tire of the awesome beauty of these albums. Wow, thats four albums for the ultimate Christmas collection so if I had to pick one more indispensable Christmas album, it would probably be Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song album with the iconic title cut and my favorite vocal version of O Tannenbaum with that great brass arrangement by Ralph Carmichael.

Okay, it would be hard to leave Elvis, Andy and Jack Jones behind, and oh shoot, what about Bing and Frank DeVol, and John Gary and that Michael Bublé guy, who sounds like he was born in the wrong century. What about the great gal singers too, Kate Smith, Brenda Lee, Lorrie Morgan and Pattie Page, who my Aunt Helen helped early in her career while being the first female GM and owner of a television station in the United States.

God, I truly love this beautiful Christmas music that you, Chip, have promoted, protected, and brought forth for the next generation to enjoy and pass down once again.  Would not have been possible without your efforts and big congratulations on Your Fifth hour of the YuleLog broadcast. I am on satellite out here in Oregon and I am still trying to figure out if Dish will broadcast it out here somehow.

Best regards,

Steve


(Message edited by rsteven On 10/27/2017 23:56)
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RichD
36# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:78

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/28/2017 21:37)

Not too impressed with the sound quality of the "new" Dean Martin release - was just listening to it today....what a shabby job by Sony - the cover insert is just a single sheet.....
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rsteven
37# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:83

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/29/2017 00:19)


Hello Rich and Chip,

That is a bummer to hear regarding the sound quality of the new Dean Martin Christmas album remaster by Sony Music considering that we have such a great previous history with Dino's iconic Winter Romance album release on CD by both Capital and Collectors Choice music labels, both of whom did a masterful job with their stellar releases in 1989 and 2005 respectively.  I'm particularly familiar with the Capital version of that great album and it is a gem with regard to the sound quality and bonus song choice.

I will be receiving my copy of the new release of the Dean Martin Christmas album on Tuesday and I will be able to compare the new remastering by Sony with the fantastic job that Bear Family Records did with Dino's Lay A Little Happiness On Me box set that includes the entire Christmas album from 1966, unfortunately with Marshmallow World placed out of order from the rest of the Christmas album as it was recorded at a different session or time and Bear Family often puts their sequencing of songs by order of recording date and not by what album it was attached to originally.

I will report back to you both on what my ears tell me as far as the sound being compared favorably or not with the remaster in the Bear family box set and the overall quality in general. I will try not to speculate on who did the remastering as it is apparently uncredited and there is no way to pin that down one way or the other, but I sill say this for the record. 

If the remastering of the Dean Martin Christmas album by Sony Music is anything less than stellar, than it is highly unlikely if not impossible, that Vic Anesini had anything directly to do with the remastering of this album. We also need to keep in mind that no remastering engineer on earth can turn an inferior or second generation master recording tape that has been damaged or degraded to such a point that it is no longer really a master recording at all, and make it sound fantastic. Remastering engineers like Mr Anesini or Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York are highly admired for their amazing ears, skills and talent, but they are also at the mercy of the skill and talent of the original engineers that were at the original session when these iconic albums were first recorded.

Best regards,

Steve
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Christmas Music Guru
38# 



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RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/29/2017 01:06)


Steve:

Unfortunately, as far as I know, Antenna TV is still not available via satellite service. However, no worries, as the program is streamed over PIX11.com.



Rich & Steve:

I'm not sure if Battery Mastering Studios was involved with the Dino release in any way. I'll have to check with them next week and find out.

Since CDs are such a low priority today, there really needs to be checks and balances on the major record companies when it comes to reissuing their classic Christmas material on compact disc. This is why it's really essential for these recordings to be released through a company like Real Gone Music.

One of the very important requirements/prerequisites that Gordon has with the record companies for almost all his CD reissues is that the recordings get a new digital remastering. Left to their own devices, the record companies will sometimes try to get away on the cheap. Real Gone Music will never do that.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

rsteven
39# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:83

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/29/2017 03:12)


Hello Chip,

Great news that the YuleLog Broadcast is available as a streaming program on the internet.  I just love your programing of songs and the choices you make with regard to the Golden Age of Christmas music. Great variety and I can tell a lot of work went into the selection of the different artists, styles and tempos that you chose. Most people have no idea the amount of thought and time that goes into this type of effort.  Wow, 5 hours of programming now!

Yes, Chip, I am very curious about Dino's Christmas album now and Sony's "Budget" release of this iconic album.  I would love to know if you find out whether Sony really took the time to get this properly remastered at Sony Battery Studios or just grabbed some old digital transfer that they already had in their vault or got from Reprise when they did the swap or whatever it was when they took over Dino's Reprise catalogue from Universal Music.

We are so lucky on this board to have someone like you that is so connected with the players involved in this fascinating, but sometimes baffling recording industry, who might actually be able to get to the bottom of this issue.

My Dean Martin Christmas album arrives Tuesday and I will let you know how I feel about the remaster.  I'm starting to feel like its going to be a letdown, but please let us know if you find out anything definitive.

Most importantly, I cannot agree with you more about the three major labels and their seemingly inability to get these iconic albums re-released in the stellar and magnificent way that Real Gone Music always seems to be able to do.  I now get depressed when I see a great Christmas album being released from the past and I don't see Real Gone's name connected with it.  It invariably ends up being a disappointment.  Why can't these labels just realize that you and Real Gone are now the recognized leaders of the world in the formatting and packaging of these historical Christmas albums.  As I have said before, they should have you and Gordon on speed dial!

Best regards, Always,

Steve






(Message edited by rsteven On 10/29/2017 23:33)
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Get2Me
40# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:54

RE:Upcoming 2017 Real Gone Music Christmas CD Releases
(Date Posted:10/29/2017 19:24)

According to the liner notes, the 2008 Barnes & Noble exclusive "compilation" (which was really just a straight reissue of The Dean Martin Christmas Album), titled A Very Cool Christmas, was mastered/remastered by Erick Labson at Universal Music Studios-West. Is it possible the new Sony CD (which I hope to add to my collection soon) is the same master just reissued under the Sony label? A Very Cool Christmas came out on Hip-O Records, a Universal Music Company.
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