Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas To All

Before the season slips away entirely, I wanted to sneak in here and wish all of my visitors, both loyal and new, a very merry Christmas!  I know I've been MIA for the whole season, but the traffic logs tell me that plenty of folks are still stopping by and finding something or other of interest.  Thank you to those who've left comments or sent me personal notes.  I haven't had time to answer many of you, but all of your notes have been heartwarming.  Yes, Jennifer and I are still together.  We've been busy creating our first Christmas together, trying to make it from one busy day to the next while taking the time to enjoy the season, a little bit more even than I've had the chance to do in the past.  Since 2005 or so, I've been so busy with the blog at Christmas that I haven't had time to do some of the things I should have during the holiday season.  This year I've been shopping until late at night, listened to high school kids play The Nutcracker on the marimbas (and Jingle Bells on bagpipe!), gone to the office Christmas party, saw Santa Claus come riding in on a green '57 Thunderbird, ate soggy chicken while listening to Christmas madrigals and occasionally gotten to listen to some Christmas music.  And I wouldn't trade any of it for all the vinyl in Florida.

Some months ago I asked Jen if maybe she'd like to put together some sort of audio Christmas card that we could send to friends and family in lieu of the usual holiday card that gets tossed after the season ends.  She liked the idea, so we dove into my deep archives of Christmas music from vinyl, listening to hundreds of tracks some nights to sift through and find a CDs worth of music that we liked.  It took a while, and went through a few edits, but we finally came up with the list you see below, all pulled from vinyl in my own collection and spanning the entire history of my blogging life.  The bitrates on some of the older stuff may be low, but I don't think there is anything here that's unlistenable.  Put it on and I think it will bring a little bit of joy to your holiday for many years to come.  There are also a few surprises in here, things that I've never shared, and probably shouldn't share, but I'm not too worried about getting shut down at this point.

1. Pete Rugolo-Jingle Bells Mambo

A new track, something I'd never had before this year.  Would have made a great Christmas-In-July track, but I never got the chance to share it then.  Enjoy it now!

2. Kelly Schoppa-Merry Texas Christmas

Jen is from Texas, and this was the best version I could find.  It bothered her that they say 'You All' in there instead of Y'all.

3. Wayne King-Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling
4. The Surfers-Here Comes Santa In A Red Canoe
5. Vincent Lopez-Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town
6. Elvis Presley-Santa Claus Is Back In Town

From my copy of the original 1957 gatefold with all the pretty pictures of Elvis that have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Just imagine hearing this for the first time...

7. Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine-I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

I shared this out in a mono version a long time ago, but stumbled across a stereo copy this summer. Jen wondered why I was so excited until I played it for her, so this one had to go on here.  Not sure when this came out since the music was recorded in 1957 before stereo records.  They must have gone back to the 3-tracks for this one. I know there were fewer songs on the LP than the mono version.

8. Hugo Winterhalter-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Cha Cha
9. The Three Suns-Ding Dong Dandy Christmas
10. George Melachrino-Fairy On The Christmas Tree
11. Georgia Gibbs-Looks Like A Cold Cold Winter
12. Bing Crosby-Christmas Dinner Country Style
13. Margret Jonsson-Snögrubben Froste

I like to think of this as a little Easter Egg, which is the wrong holiday, but you get the idea...

14. Blue Barron-Red Cheeks And White Whiskers
15. The McGuire Sisters-The Cactus Christmas Tree
16. Russ Morgan-The Mistletoe Kiss
17. Ruby Wright-Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Xmas
18. The Town Pipers-Santa’s On His Way
19. The Sun Tones-The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
20. Dean Martin-The Christmas Blues

Another track I probably shouldn't share out, so pretend it's not here...(But it's so good!)

21. The Davis Sisters-The Christmas Boogie
22. Mimi Hines-I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
23. Lawrence Welk’s Little Band-Outer Space Santa
24. Benny Martin-Santa Claus Is From The South
25. Louis Prima-Senor Santa Claus
26. Les Paul and Mary Ford-Jungle Bells
27. Tony Martin-Christmas In Rio
28. The Ames Brothers-Ting-A-Ling-A Jingle
29. Cicero Pig-December

This is for Sophie, Jen's daughter, who you see on the front cover spotting my giant lens in the audience.  Her birthday comes in December, so we had to make sure she got plenty of birthday-not-Christmas presents.  Oh, and a giant chocolate cake from PF Changs.  And vinyl.  I got her a record.  She seemed to like it. :)

30. Eydie Gormé-Winter Night
31. Poppa John Gordy-Santa Plays The Trombone (In The North Pole Band)
32. IBM 7090 Computer-Joy To The World

And there you have it, a whole lot of oldies but goodies.  That's what this blog has always been about, I suppose.  I hope you enjoy it.