Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Best From July Of 2006

Here's a little treat for those of you who might be new to Christmas in July. Each year I try to put together a best-of, for the folks who don't want to download everything, or for those who like to have a nice little collection to play all at once. Either way, it's a nice way to summarize all of the great music I shared out in July of 2006. Big thanks to Captain OT for the cover art!

1. Clebanoff-Bobsled
2. Ted Heath/Edmundo Ros-Baby It's Cold Outside
3. Lionel Hampton-Gin For Christmas
4. Marty Gold-High On A Windy Hill
5. Eastman-Rochester Pops-Brazilian Sleigh Bells
6. Dinah Washington-I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
7. Henry Mancini-Latin Snowfall
8. Yuji Takizawa & His Blue Bones Orchestra-White X-mas
9. Will Glahé-The Skater's Waltz
10. Esquivel-Sun Valley Ski Run
11. Billy Vaughn-The Chipmunk Song
12. Percy Faith-Little Bells And Big Bells (Glocke Und Glockchen)
13. Lawrence Welk-The Merry Christmas Polka
14. Jerry Murad's Electronic Harmonicats-March Of The Toys
15. Richard Hayman & His Harmonica Orchestra-Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
16. Ian Fraser & His Orchestra-Sleigh Ride
17. Eddie Layton-Winter Wonderland
18. The Smothers Brothers-Swiss Christmas
19. David Rose-Christmas Tree
20. Eydie Gormé-Winter Night
21. Bernie Green With The Stereo Mad-Men-The Skater And His Dog
22. Enoch Light & The Brass Menagerie-My Favorite Things
23. The Four Freshmen-Santa Claus Is Flat Gonna Come To Town
24. David Carroll-The Ski Song (Slalom)
25. The Monterey Brass-We Need A Little Christmas
26. The Three Suns-Busy Holiday
27. Six Fat Dutchmen-Sleigh Bell
28. Billy May-Snowfall Cha-Cha
29. Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble-Holiday In A Hurry
30. Armengol-Ave Maria
31. The Crew-Cuts-Auld Lang Syne

I went through and linked each track to the original day I shared out that track, so you can find out more info about it if you're interested. I've been meaning to add those links each time I've posted this comp, but never gotten around to it until tonight. I'm a lot lazier than you might think. (Esquivel doesn't have a link because I didn't actually share that one on any day. Think of it as a bonus track.) Here's the download link, enjoy!

The Little Lighthouse

This is a view of the little lighthouse that stands at the spot where the Cuyahoga River empties into Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. I've taken plenty of pictures of it, but this was the closest I've ever gotten to it without being on a boat.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Eleventh

Day number eleven, and another hodgepodge of track with no real rhyme nor reason. Well, I suppose some of these do rhyme, at least the vocal ones. Wait, did I include any vocal tracks today? Just one, looks like. Let's start with that one.

Track one, the vocal one, is Winter Sky by Billy Edd Wheeler from the LP Memories Of America (Kapp KS-3425). I recorded this one because of the title mainly, but when I listened to the lyrics, he does talk about the birth of Jesus, so maybe it's closer to being a Christmas song than I realized. And that's it for the songs that have any rhyme. Come back tomorrow and maybe I'll have some more. Now, on to the tracks with no reason...

Track two is something I tried to record last year, but the copy I found was in terrible shape. It looked OK, but the vinyl was nothing but noise. I finally scored another copy, so that means I get to share a version of Greensleeves (or, if you prefer, What Child Is This) with you by Ferrante & Teicher from one of their earliest prepared piano LPs, Soundproof-The Sound Of Tomorrow Today (Westminster WP 6014). Not as crazy as the stuff they did on their prepared piano Christmas album, but still nice to have.

Track three is a version of Swingin' Shepherd Blues by blog favorite Ethel Smith. This is from her LP Bouquet Of The Blues-Ethel Smith At The Organ (Decca DL 8955). To tell the truth, I like the individual tracks of hers that I find much better than the tracks from her full Christmas LP. And I know that this track isn't really Christmassy, but I like to include it, and I'm going to use the excuse that shepherds came to see the baby Jesus. So there!

Track four is my first version of Sleigh Ride for the year (I think), but it's not going to be the last. Oh, no, nowhere near the last. This one is by Werner Müller And His Orchestra from their LP Werner Müller Plays Leroy Anderson (London Phase 4 SP 44057). Gotta love those Phase 4 records, they have such great sound. This is the second track from the label I've brought you this year, I believe.

Track five, and the final entry for tonight, is by Joe "Finger" Carr and is something I wish I'd had when I shared out my toy related tracks the other day. The song is The Wooden Sailor And The China Doll, and it's from the Stereo Showcase (Capitol SKAO 1268), a fancy demo LP from Capitol that showed off some of their new stereo catalog. Got some more tracks, or at least one more track from this LP to share with you later on this month.

And that's the whole ball of wax. Here's the download link, thanks for your patronage. If you're bored, click a random link at right, you never know where you might end up...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who Are These People?

So, there's a blog out there that seems to be reposting my stuff. Well, it's not really a blog, I guess, but an aggregator. They collect and repost stuff from several places that they think is about Sarasota. The problem is, they aren't crediting me, in fact, they aren't even linking their copy of my stuff back to me. They only list me among a long list of contributors, none of whom I recognize. Seems to be a lot of stuff in there about Sarasota real estate, so it's probably being done by some sales company. I sent them an email to see what's up, we'll see what they come back with.

Here are links (1, 2, 3) to the last three posts of mine that they re-posted, all from tonight. Take a look and tell me what you think. Should I get aggressive with these folks?

Funny thing is, I bet a few minutes from now this post about them will show up on their site...


I meant to share this guy with you a while back, as I shot him right before I went to Ohio, but I forgot. I shot him in the shallow water at Quick Point Nature Preserve on Longboat Key. I like to go out there at low tide and see what I can see in the water and on the sandbars. This night I found this cool looking crab. He really didn't like me, after I pushed him out of the seagrass with my feet and tried to take his picture. Right after this shot, he tried to burrow backwards into the sand, but I wouldn't let him. When I finally felt I had enough pictures, I let him go and he scuttled off sideways back into the grass, lickety-split.

To The Left

One of my favorite places to go in Ohio is Brandywine Falls, a large waterfall down in the Cuyahoga Valley. It's just a small stream that flows over the top, not the mighty Cuyhoga, but it's still a hundred foot drop, so it looks pretty neat. I'm sure you're looking at this picture and wondering what I'm talking about, because it sure doesn't look like the picture. Well, when I was there this year, the sunlight wasn't on the actual falls, it was just to the left, and it was really lighting up an area of water seepage that was leaching some iron out of the rocks. So I got some nice orange color alongside the leafy summer greenery. I thought it was a nice picture.


While waiting for the flight home from Washington, DC, I took the bus over to the Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. One of the more impressive planes they have there is this SR-71. For a plane that didn't exist for an awful long time, it seemed awful real to me. They said that when the Air Force decided to give this one to the Smithsonian, it flew from California to Washington in some insanely short period of time, breaking all sorts of speed records, taxied over to near the hanger where you see it now, and it's been there ever since.

I wonder how the decals stayed stuck to it at the incredibly speeds it reached. I still don't know, but there they are.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Tenth

Ten days in, that's means we're almost one third of the way through. Still a long way to go, though. No big theme tonight, just some tracks that I've been looking forward to sharing with you for one reason or another. Let's jump right in, shall we?

Track one is another song by Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. You got another track from this LP, Hometown Almanac (Spring Branch Productions SB-2, 1977), earlier in the month.

Track two is my first and maybe only celebrity vocal of the month. It's Let There Be Peace on Earth from the LP High Upon A Mountain (Dot DLP 25109, 1960). Who sings this, I hear you asking? Why it's Eddie Arnold! No, wait, that's not right. How about Eddie Albert! That's better. Yes, all the way from Petticoat Junction to your ears.

Track three is Vaughn Monroe and his iconic Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! in yet another re-recording for yet another label. This time is from His Greatest Hits (Dot DLP 3431). I think I brought you an early stereo rerecording of this last year. Nope, it was three years ago. How time flies when it's always Christmas.

Track four. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) by The Mike Curb Congregation from Softly Whispering I Love You (MGM SE-4821, 1972). I miss seeing this Coke commercial every Christmas.

Track five, and the one I like best from this batch, is the old Percy Faith classic Brazilian Sleigh Bells, this time as performed by The Duluth Accordionaires, Directed By John Copiskey. The Album is Jeno's Pizza Presents Music To Eat Pizza By (Northland Foods-RCA Victor Custom Records 812I-9323, 1967). That's right, it's an all-accordion album given away by a pizza parlor! You just don't get any better than that! And it's really a great track!

There you go. Five more. Follow this download link and have at it. See ya again tomorrow.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Little Birdie

I spotted this bird in a flower garden near the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC. At first I thought it was fake, just an ornament for the garden, but she watched me as I got closer, and eventually flew away. I don't know if she thought she was well hidden or if she was trying to draw me away from a nearby nest or what, but it made for a nice picture. No idea what kind of bird it is. Anybody recognize it and want to clue me in?

Unfortunately, this reminds me. I'm running out of space in my online Picasa account, so I'm going to have to do something soon to share more pictures. I know I can double that space for only a small fee, but then I have to pay that fee for the rest of eternity or the blog goes away. I guess they really sucker you in, don't they? Four and a half years of free posts, and then they hit you up with the recurring charge for the rest of your life. Oh well, I enjoy the blogging and the sharing, so it's probably worth it.

The Highest Court

Here it is, the Supreme Court, the last say when it comes to the law of the land. I stumbled on it almost by accident during my time in DC. I wasn't going by the map, I was just wandering from site to site, trying to take it all in. I remember it wasn't far from the US Capitol, on the way to Union Station. Or something like that, it's been almost two months since I was there for two days, so I don't have much memory to go on. Pretty impressive place, too, but oddly deserted when I was there. I guess it's off the beaten tourist path somewhat, and not as glamorous as Air And Space, or the Washington Monument.

Just for the record, there is not a statue of a lady out front wearing a blindfold and carrying some scales to weigh out equal justice. I was a bit disappointed by that.

D.C. Pei

I promised a long time ago to bring you more pictures of this building, and here they are. When I was in Washington DC, I didn't realize that the National Gallery Of Art-East Building was designed by I.M. Pei. If I'd been aware of that, I would have taken more and better shots. I might even have walked around to the other side. But I didn't know, so these are all you get. I believe these views are all from 4th street, just off Mall, which makes this the west side.

Mr. Jefferson

I thought I'd share some pictures of the Jefferson Memorial with you tonight. This monument is on the other side of the tidal basin from the rest of everything, so it's a bit of a hike. I walked all the way around, and it's a pretty boring trip most of the way. You get to pass through the FDR Memorial on the trip, but I screwed up and went through it backwards, but that's a story for a different post.

And here's Mr. Jefferson himself, from a rather unique angle. He's a big guy, probably ten feet tall, maybe more. I was in a play about him back in elementary school, and I don't remember him being that tall, but we were all pretty short at that age.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Ninth

Day Nine! And awaaaaaaay we go!

Track one is Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming by the St. Louis A Cappella Choir and the album The Lutheran Hour (RCA Victor LSP-1863, 1958).

Track two is Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring by Jerry Read Smith & Tom Fellenbaum from their album The Strayaway Girl (Song Of The Wood 7811, 1981).

Track three is also Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring, but this time it's by The Glasgow Orpheus Choir, Conducted By Sir Hugh Robertson. The album is Glasgow Orpheus Choir (Capitol T6003).

Track four is In Dulci Jubilo by Virgil Fox and his LP Heavy Organ-Bach Live In San Francisco (Decca DL 75323, 1972). I think I may have labelled the LP 'Back Live In San Francisco', but I'm pretty sure it was Bach. Sorry...

Track five is a version of Greensleeves, but you know it as What Child Is This. It's by The Cascading Strings, Conducted by Johnny Gregory, from the album called Cascading Strings (Fontana SRF 67584).

And that's it. Short, sweet, to the point. None of my meaningless blather. Here's the download link, enjoy yourselves.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All Hale

Another of the new places I visited in Ohio this past June was Hale Farm down in the Cuyahoga Valley. I didn't actually stop and take the tour, but as I drove by, this old Church caught my eye, so I had to stop and shoot it. It involved parking a quarter mile down the road, then hiking back up the hill and finding a hole in the weeds to crawl through, but I think I got the shot. I'll have to make it a point to go back next time and do some more exploring.

More Edgewater

Also in Edgewater Park (which I didn't even know was there until this last trip to Ohio), I spotted quite a few cool flowers growing among the rocks on the banks of Lake Erie. I don't know the names of any of them, but they sure were impressive to me. I guess the people fishing down there see them all the time and thus don't pay any attention, but I thought some of these were spectacular.

The orchid-like flowers above were actually on a large tree, and it was covered in them. That was probably the coolest of the flowers there. Not at all what I expected to be growing alongside one of the great lakes in a windswept and often wave-overtopped spot.

Stone Tower

I was walking along a breakwater in Edgewater Park near downtown Cleveland (Ohio City, actually) recently when I saw something carved on one of the massive stones that front Lake Erie. Looking closer, I realized it was a fairly decent likeness of Terminal Tower, one of the tallest and oldest buildings in Cleveland. After taking the picture above, I pointed the camera towards the real Terminal Tower across the Cuyahoga River and took the picture below. I'm sure you'll have no trouble telling which building it is in the skyline.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Eighth

Entering the second week of Christmas In July fun, and I'm bending the rules a little bit. All of the tracks today are from the same artist and the same album, but it's not the whole album. Back during the 1982-83 school year, the Lockhart Cougar Chorus recorded an album, and tonight you're getting most of the tracks from side two. I'm not normally a big fan of little kids singing, much less random schoolkids, but the songs on here are not bad, and some of them are quite unique. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. This was a private pressing, no label info on the record or the sleeve, just a cougar and name on the front cover. Oh, there was a mimeographed list inside showing the names of all the kids in the chorus, as well as the principal and the director. The track titles are as follows:

Twelve Days After Christmas (This is great, if a bit disturbing)
White Christmas (Sorry, no smart comment for this one)
As Long As He Needs Me (Is this even a Christmas song?)
Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up (Eminem was around in 1982?)
Griselda (Another of Santa's unknown reindeer!)
Ding Dong Merrily On High (Some of those Gloria's go on for way too long...)
Christmas Is For Kids (Yes, yes it is)

Trust me, you're gonna love this one. Here's the download link, go get it.

No idea where this Lockhart school is. There's a Lockhart Elementary near here in Tampa, but it's tough to tell. There are probably dozens of them around the country.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tiny Sunset

Here's a shot of the sunset over Lake Erie when I was in Ohio a couple of weeks ago. This is actually a very tiny crop of a much larger picture, but I wanted to show you the mirage effect that occurred out over the lake. That's not a cloud in front of the sun creating that line, it's layers of different air temperature over the water, creating odd reflections and refractions (same things that cause the not-mythical Green Flash!). I wish I'd been able to get better pictures of it, but there was a train going by behind me, and I wanted to get pictures of that, too. So this was about the best I got of the sunset. This was shot with that fancy lens I rented, and it's cropped to well within an inch of it's life and it still doesn't look too bad.


It's been a long time since I've brought you any pictures from my trip to DC back in May, and I apologize for that. I got a lot of great pictures on that trip, and I meant to share more of them with you than I have. Here's one that I've been using as my desktop wallpaper for a while now that really looks great at 1680 x 1050. This is the base of the Washington Monument, looking North towards the White House. I love those flags arrayed out in a circle like that. Something I didn't notice when I was there but found out about later is the slight change in color of the blocks near the top of this picture. That's where they ran out of money to finish the structure, and it stood there uncompleted for years. Of course, those years included the Civil War, so it wasn't going to be easy to get started again at that time. Hard to believe that more than 100 years later, the color of the before and after stones are still that different.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Seventh

Looks like I'm about to make it though the first week of Christmas in July relatively unscathed. Yesterday was a pretty poor day, but other than that they've all been above board. Today is going to be a good day, too, with Christmas songs from the Great White Way. That's right, all of today's tunes came from Broadway musicals, and some of these are actually from those original cast albums. And do you know what the best part is? Nothing from The Sound Of Music!

Starting at the beginning, track one is Greenwillow Christmas (Carol) by Greenwillow Chorus from the original cast album Greenwillow (RCA Victor LSO-2001, 1960). I've always liked this song since I first heard it performed by The Browns. If it's new to you, you're in for a treat. (It shouldn't be new to you, really, since I shared a version out last year.)

Track two is Be A Santa by Sydney Chaplin & Chorus from the original cast album Subways Are For Sleeping (Columbia Masterworks KOL 5730). Again, great track if you've never heard it. I'm still looking for the Percy Faith LP that features this song. I have the MP3, but that doesn't count. With all the Percy Faith records I see every weekend, you'd think this would be a no-brainer, but no... If you like this song, you might want to hear Mitch Miller and his gang take their stab at it. They put it out on a 45, and as far as I know, it's only available here at the blog.

Track three is from the soundtrack to a movie that started out as stage play, so that's sort of keeping with our theme. It's Ribbons And Wrappings by Harry Secombe, Florence Henderson, Elizabeth Larner, Toralv Maurstad & Chorus from the soundtrack LP Song Of Norway (ABC ABCS-OC-14). Yes, you already heard one Christmas song from this LP. After I posted that track, I did a little research about the movie, and I'm afraid that no one had anything good to say about it. But the music is nice.

Track four is Pine Cones And Holly Berries (With "It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas") by The Merrill Staton Voices. On this LP, they're performing all the songs from Meredith Wilson's Here's Love (Columbia Special Products CSRP 8899, 1963) (or so the LP title tells us), but it's not an original cast album or soundtrack. I'd only ever heard this song by The Osmonds, I had no idea where it was from. Now I know.

Last but not least is a bit of a ringer. It's We Need A Little Christmas by Skitch Henderson & The Tonight Show Orchestra, from their LP Broadway Tonight! Skitch Henderson & The Tonight Show Orchestra Play Music From "Mame" (Columbia CL 2518). Again, not a soundtrack or cast album, but still a good track. I've had this one recorded for years (and even shared it out before) from one of those Columbia Records Christmas records, but this year was the first time I came across the original LP it was pulled from.

So, there you have it. Five more tracks towards the ultimate Christmas collection. Here's the download link, see you tomorrow.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Creepy Crawlies

If you spend much time at the coastline, at least here in Florida, you'll see these little critters pretty often. Whenever you approach some rocks on the waterline or maybe a dock or something, you'll see them scurry away from you so fast that you can't get a good look at them. Well, I got lucky and came across some that weren't as scared as they should have been, and I got a picture. Now, what are they? Not sure. I've heard them called different things, but I think sea roaches is the most common. I'm sure they have a real name, though. Wharf roach, maybe?

The Fourth Sunset

No, it's not the fourth sunset of the day or part of a series or anything, it's just the sunset from the fourth of July. I couldn't even see those pesky power lines from where I was at, but the long lens I was using didn't have any trouble picking them out. Oh well.

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Sixth

Hello again! Welcome back! Tonight is the first night of the month that I'm going to advise you against downloading the shares. There's nothing really good in here. It's all stuff that I thought might be decent based on the title, but nothing here has much of a Christmas feeling to it. Sorry about that. I'll do better tomorrow, I promise.

Now for those of you who are still with me, let's take a look at what's in tonight's crappy share. I'll start out with Snow Deer (Snow Deer Rag) by Al "Spider" Dugan from the wonderfully-titled LP Please Don't Put Your Empties On The Piano (Warner Bros W 1329, 1959). I think I shared out some versions of this same track last year, and they didn't strike me as particularly Christmassy then, either.

Track two is Roses In December by Alan McGill from his LP Alan McGill Sings (Sacred LP 9040). I had high hopes for this one because there was a picture of Roy Rogers on the cover! I thought the whole record was songs that he had written, but looking closely at the credits, that appears to be the case for only two of the tracks. At least it's on red vinyl. Scratchy red vinyl, but red vinyl nonetheless.

Up next is Eileen Farrell With Percy Faith And His Orchestra doing I Never Has Seen The Snow from This Fling Called Love (Columbia Special Products-Special Archive Series CSRP 8539). Again, high hopes, but nothing special.

Number four is Will Glahe And His Orchestra doing Holiday Polka from the album The Big Polka Band Hits (London PS 344). Pretty sure they mean holiday as in vacation, not as in Christmas. Haven't I previously shared a song of the same title? I think I have.

Lastly, you get Holiday Forever (Randy Brooks' Theme Song) by, you guessed it, Randy Brooks And His Orchestra. No idea who Randy Brooks is, but he must be important to have a theme song. This is from the LP Trumpet Moods (Decca DL 8201). Again, I think it's holiday as in vacation here.

There you go. If you care, here's the download link. Better stuff tomorrow, promise.


I've tried to get some pictures of the hermit crabs down in Sarasota Bay recently, but I guess I'm not patient enough. They get about this far out of their shell, then I make a move they don't like and they crawl back in. However, looking at this guy, I'm not sure how good of a picture I want to get of one of these critters. Oh, and I have a confession. I'm always picking up shells at the beach, and I always try to look inside and make sure there's nothing living in there. I brought one home Saturday night that I thought was empty, and left it in the car overnight. When I picked it up Sunday afternoon, I realized there was a hermit crab living in there. He was dead, unfortunately. Oh, well.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Christmas In July 2009-Day The Fifth

Here it is, the fifth day, and I'm already running behind. I've been getting these posts up for you right after midnight, but now it's almost nine at night and I'm just now getting you a share for today. Sorry about that. Got too much to do around here, I guess. So what's on tap for today? How about five tracks tied together by the word Christmas in the title? Not much a theme, but it'll do.

Track one is Christmastime by The Collegians, Soloist-Craig Blair, from the album Let Freedom Ring-A Bicentennial Musical By Harry Bollback (Word Of Life Fellowship W-7606, 1976). This seems to be some sort of artifact from the US Bicentennial in 1976, but with a religious twist.

Track two is a lot more fun. The song is Christmas Is by country superstar Tom T. Hall from a whole album of songs for children called Saturday Morning Songs/The "Is" Songs (RCA AHL1-3362, 1979). This is a really nice song that I'm sure you'll enjoy over and over again.

Track three is the first of I think three we'll see from Burl Ives this month. This first one is called Christmas Cradle Hymn from the album Songs I Sang In Sunday School (Word WST-8130-LP). Singing alongside Burl on this short track are The Radio Kids Bible Club Children's Choir. Whew, say that three times fast...

Track four is a version of Blue Christmas by Robert Gordon With The Wildcats from the LP Rock Billy Boogie (RCA AFL1-3294, 1979). This isn't the first version of Blue Christmas you'll here this year, I suspect...

Fifth and last is At Christmastime by Harry Secombe, Florence Henderson, Elizabeth Larner, Toralv Maurstad & Chorus, the cast of the movie Song of Norway from the soundtrack of the same name (ABC ABCS-OC-14, 1970). I think the movie is about the life of Edvard Greig, and there is at least one other song on there that I hope to share with you later in the month. Lot's of foreshadowing going on today for some reason.

Anyhow, there's your five tracks for the day, and here's your download link. See you all again tomorrow!

Further Fourth

Here are a few more shots of the fireworks over Sarasota last night. Hope you enjoy them!