Friday, January 05, 2018

Twelve Drummers Drumming

Hello!  And welcome to the 12th day of Christmas!  Or Epiphany Eve as it's sometimes called.  Or Little Christmas Eve. Women's Christmas Eve?  Or January 5th, your choice.  Whatever you call it, it's cold outside!  And on the last day of Christmas, I bring you a little Eddie Lawrence, AKA The Old Philosopher.  Once you've heard one of his routines, you've pretty much heard them all.  Just in case you miss a little something in the first one here, there's another one on the flip side for you.  I think I actually shared the A-side of this single with you one time during Christmas in July, so it must have appeared on LP at some point, but this time it's from a smaller, faster record with two dissimilar sides.  Someday I should put together a whole collection of similar songs, but they might wind up all being records by Eddie...  Anyhow, here's Eddie Lawrence-That Holiday Spirit b/w The Merry Old Philosopher (Coral 7" 45 RPM 9-61915, Mono, 1957).

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As it happens, I recently traveled through the town of Tarpon Springs, a Greek community with perhaps the largest Epiphany celebration in this country.  Their tradition is to toss a cross into the local waterway, and boatloads of chosen male children jump in after it.  Whoever comes up with it is given a special blessing and gets all sorts of special chores for the next year.  This statue is out front of the sponsoring church and I happened to catch a picture as we drove by.  As it happens, Epiphany tends to fall on one of the coldest days of the year, and this year is no different.  But I don't think they've ever canceled it or moved it, or even changed the time to later in the afternoon.  I can also remember times in the past where pranksters have salted the water the night before with handfuls of duplicate crosses, leading to no end of confusion.  There have also been fights, tussles and outright unpleasantness over the cross, so it's the same as everything else.

(I just looked it up, and I guess the jumping in the water bit is tomorrow, not today.  I've never actually been, maybe I should jump in the car and head up there...)

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Eleven Pipers Piping

Nothing too exciting tonight, I'm afraid.  A 1979 single from Vic Damone, something that I shared the album version of back during Christmas In July.  But I dug up my copy of the single, and I think the A side is a studio version of the track, while the B side seems to be the same thing as found on that LP.  I think it's a nice little song, and hopefully you'll enjoy it.  This is Vic Damone, Arranged & Conducted By Norm Geller With The Sal Carson Orchestra-Christmas In San Francisco b/w Christmas In San Francisco-Live Performance (Rebecca 7" 45 RPM 715, Stereo, 1979).

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Ten Lords A'Leaping

Trying to get this up before the new X Files starts in a few minutes...  I wanted to call this an early single from Jimmie Davis, but checking out his discography, I see stuff going back into the Twenties, so 1953 is hardly early.  I was previously only aware of his two 1960's vintage Christmas albums, and a single Christmas track from the '80s, so this came as quite the surprise when I found it.  For those who don't recognize the name, Jimmie Davis was a country singer who later turned to more religious fare, in the meantime serving two non-consecutive terms as governor of Louisiana.  Not a bad CV!  I don't believe that either of these tracks turned up in his later work, though I did spot a 1957 Christmas single that appears to have been re-recorded on one of his two holiday LPs.  And the songs here are pretty good, I was quite happy about what I found when the needle hit the groove.  This is Jimmie Davis-Christmas Choo Choo b/w I Love To Ride With Santa Claus (Decca 7" 45 RPM 9-28912, Mono, 1953).  You'll notice that the Anita Kerr Singers are credited on side 1.  I guess they are the ones making the train noises... If you want more train songs for Christmas, you can visit my earlier post this year, or maybe head on over to Lee's place for one of his shares earlier this season.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Nine Ladies Dancing

Tonight's share is brought to you courtesy of Mr. Rosemary Clooney, Jose Ferrer!  As near as I can tell, this was Jose's second Christmas record.  The first he shared with Rosie, but this one seems to be all his.  Well, not all.  The flipside is ambiguously credited to "The Ferrers", which sort of implies maybe he and the Mrs. and some kiddies sing on it, but all I can hear are some generic kids.  So I'm thinking that was just a marketing gimmick.  Anyhow, this is a nice bit of Christmas music from one of my favorite labels, though it's more spoken than sung.  Ferrer was an actor, not a singer, that's why he chose a recitation here, and a famous one at that.  Nice picture sleeve, too!  Please enjoy Jose Ferrer-Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus b/w The Ferrers-Conducted By Darol Rice-Santa's Marching Song (RCA Victor 7" 45 RPM 47-7823, Mono, 1960).

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Looks like his son, Miguel, passed away in 2017. He was a regular on NCIS: Los Angeles. I wonder if he was one of The Ferrers on the flip side?

Monday, January 01, 2018

Eight Maids A'Milking

For your New Year enjoyment, here's a Christmas character you've probably never heard of before.  Sure, you've heard of Rudolph, Frosty, Uncle Mistletoe and about a million others, but Jake?  Nope.  I'm thinking maybe he's the somewhat sleazy half-brother of Suzy Snowflake, but I don't know that for a fact.  And bonus points for the Chipmunk-esque vocals here!  Welcome to 2018!  This is Bobby Star-Jake The Flake b/w Vel-Mars-Jingle Bells (Continental Arts 7" 45 RPM 575, Mono, 1964).

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Seven Swans A'Swimming

One that's been sitting here on my desk for literally years, waiting it's turn to be ripped and shared, is this 45 by Mike Douglas.  I shared the song on an album with you years ago, but the flipside appears to be an extended version with the background voices and some extra piano bits that's a nice addition to your collection.  (And if you don't remember that album, you might want to check the comments, just sayin'.) The label on this 45 is Image, but the LP label is Word.  That made me think this might be a re-recording until I found an article in Billboard mentioning that Image had sold the single to Word, so there you are.  Oh, and the name Lee Pockriss pops up again here, as both songwriter and arranger/conductor.  Small world.  This is Mike Douglas-Happy Birthday, Jesus b/w Mike Douglas Chorale-Happy Birthday, Jesus (Image Records, A Division Of AudioFidelity Enterprises 7" 45 RPM IM-3032, Stereo, 1979).

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Six Geese A'Laying

Another day after Christmas, another Christmas 45.  And this time, it's a typical '50s kiddie vocal, but one that you haven't heard a million times.  No idea who Paul O'Keefe was, or who he grew up to be, but the songwriter on both sides is Bob Hilliard, who I believe is a lyricist of some note. (Co-writer on the flip side is Lee Pockriss, also a writer of some note.) Everest was a minor player in the record business, though they did put out some good stuff over the years.  I don't have a whole lot to say about this one, and I'm running a little late this morning, but it's worth a download and a listen.  I say that about most all of my shares, don't I?  Well, I guess it's true.  Please download and enjoy Paul O'Keefe-(Santa Claus) What Would You Like For Christmas b/w A Baby In A Basket (Everest 7" 45 RPM 9-19322 Promotion Copy Not For Sale, Mono, 1959).

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Five Golden Rings

Some days, even I'm surprised at what I already own but don't know about.  While cleaning out a box I had to move today while getting a new A/C installed, I found a small handful of singles I'd bought at Fantasyland Records in Atlanta a few years back.  The record you see here was in that stack, and I guess I wasn't intrigued enough at the time to play it.  Well, I played it tonight, and it is great!  It's a short cocktail party hosted by Bing Crosby and his special guests are The Lennon Sisters.  All of the music played seems to be from their records, but the spoken word bits in between are great, and Bing reads a short story that I've not heard before.  They also tell us all about how great Country Beautiful magazine is, but it must not have been that great because as far as I can tell, it's no longer with us.  I dated this to 1962 based on the RCA pressing data, and that feels pretty close.  I couldn't find hide not hair of this record on the internet, which is just the sort of thing I love to share with you around here!  I'm sure this came in a sleeve way back when, and I'd love to find that, too, but in the meantime, you can listen to Christmas Party-Holiday Songs By Bing Crosby And The Lennon Sisters For Country Beautiful (RCA Victor Custom Record Dept. 7" 33 RPM NO8Q-4527/4528, Mono, 1962).  FYI, Bing sings White Christmas and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen here, while The Lennon Sisters sing Winter Wonderland.  There's lots of talking over the music, so I didn't split anything out, it's just Side 1 and Side 2.  Can anyone ID that instrumental version of White Christmas that opens the record?  It's typical late 50's-early 60's sparking Beautiful Music stuff.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Four Calling Birds

Another 45 for you, a pretty obscure one at that.  No hits on the artist, no hits on the producer/songwriter (Otis Fuller), or at least no hits other than this record.  The catalog number on the label doesn't even match anything else in the Dig discography.  Maybe it's a bootleg, but I can't imagine why anyone would fake something like this.  Is Jewel related to Guy?  If so, I couldn't find any info online.  This is another one I'm hoping someone can come along and fill me in on.  Enjoy Jewel Lombardo-Christmas Melody b/w Christmas Lullaby (Dig ZY-95006 7" 45 RPM, Mono).  Everything in the discography appears to have been released between 1955 and 1957, so this is somewhere in that period most likely.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Three French Hens

It's been a great year for singles around here, and tonight is certainly no exception to that.  I've got a huge pile of 45's that I'm always adding to, and I'm always saying I need to record more of it.  The stuff I've shared this year has made exactly no dent in the pile, but it's better than nothing.  This 45 tonight is something I didn't even know I had, but I found it tonight while trying to clean out a box of stuff  I bought a while back.  Turns out the A-side of this single is a track that wasn't on Booker T. & The M.G.'s great Christmas LP (though the B-side is from that album), and it features Isaac Hayes on piano, so I'm pretty surprised it's as obscure as it is.  Do yourself a favor and download Booker T. & The M.G.'s-Winter Snow b/w Silver Bells (Stax 7" 45 RPM 45-236, Mono, 1967). Plenty of organ here, but no chimes, sorry.

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