Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas at 78 RPMs

I finally have my Christmas 2008 songs ready for sharing. I got a Stanton T90 USB phonograph player so I can now put all my records on the internet. I have a nice collection of 78 rpm Christmas records. I know many of them are not available on other websites or CDs, so unless you have a record player and the record, you would not have been able to hear many of these since the days of 78 records.

Don't you think the chubby little cherub in this old Christmas Card looks like the Charmin babies? I used this pic for the front of the CD, which you will find with the download list.

To start off the Christmas sharing, I have part of a set of records made in 1939 on 78 rpm. I bought these as an incomplete set. I am missing the first 2 records, but have the last 3 records here. As you may remember (if you are approaching ancientness, like I am), 78s did not have many minutes available for recording. So this set of records has an unusual method of putting several Christmas songs on each side by making them short and with very short pauses between them. The singers are Frank Luther and Zora Layman. The set is called Christmas in Song and each side of a record is called "part". So you will be able to tell from my listing what was actually on each record. I found all of them entertaining and hope you do too.

Carmen Quinn has a lovely voice and I have included her recording of "Santa's Coming" and "Story of the Magi", both of which are very pretty and you will want to play them often this Christmas. Then Don Cornell, also with a lovely voice, sings "I've Got the Christmas Spirit" and "Let's Have an Old-Fashioned Christmas". Dennis Day is a well-known tenor who was on the Jack Benny show for many years. Listen to him with his fun version of "Christmas in Kilarney". It is a cute rendition that you will love.

Eddie Fisher was a heart-throb in his time. He also sings great. So you will really enjoy "Christmas Day" and "What Christmas Means to Me". I also have included Eddy Howard, who I was not familiar with until I got this record. He sings "Dearest Santa". Larry Green and his Orchestra plays "Our Christmas Waltz".

When I was young, my mother, who was a pianist and amateur singer, got her 4 girls together and taught us how to sing in parts. We had 4 girls, so she split us up into two parts. We were quite small when we started performing at church. I imagine that we sounded a lot like the Romine Sisters, whose "Christmas is Just Around the Corner" and "Christmas Time is Here" are included. The songs are cute, the singing only so-so, but I like them because of my singing experiences. Christmas season will have many children's groups and choirs singing for your entertainment, so it is very seasonal for that reason also.

John Jacob Niles went out into the mountains in the early 1900's and recorded many of the folk songs which he found there. He recorded many of them in his high-pitched, rather nasally voice and they were popular in the 1950's and 1960's. I have included four of them. I enjoy them especially for their historic value. So please listen to "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head", "Sing We the Virgin Mary", "The Cherry Tree", and "Lulee Lulay".

Jose Ferrer's "March of the Christmas Toys" will tickle your fancy. From the flip side, you can hear "Let's Give a Christmas Present to Santa Claus" by Rosemary Clooney.

Ruby Wright was very popular in her time. The two songs from her that I have included here are lively and very Christmas-sy. I know you will like them --"Have a Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas" and "Let's Light the Christmas Tree".

I have been waiting for the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project to put a digital copy of Tascott's "You Must Think I'm Santa Claus" on their website. I finally have it for you. There was a very bad section in it but I managed to get much of the noise reduced so that you can enjoy listening to it more. It was recorded on cylinder in 1906 as a comedic song, and although our sense of what is funny and also socially acceptable has changed since then, the song still is interesting for itself and it's historic value. So please excuse any problems it has and enjoy it.

Phil Regan's record has a Christmas song on one side and on the other side is "Leprechaun's Lullaby". Even though it is not a Christmas song, it is adorable and a song about a child's world. Christmas is very much about children, so I think it fits in this collection very nicely.

Christmas So Long Ago-N CD insert.pdf

Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song Vol2 Part 6_LONG JOYOUSLY SING 1939.mp3
Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song Vol2 Part 7_The Glad Bells All Say 1939.mp3
Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song Vol2 Part 8_MERRILY RING THE BELLS 1939.mp3
Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song Vol2 Part 9_OLD SANTA 1939.mp3
John Jacob Niles - Sing We the Virgin Mary.mp3
John Jacob Niles - Lulee Lulay.mp3
John Jacob Niles - The Cherry Tree.mp3
Jose Ferrer - March of the Christmas Toys 1954.mp3
Larry Green and his Orchestra - Our Christmas Waltz 1949.mp3
Phil Regan - Leprechaun Lullaby 1950.mp3
Phil Regan - The Christmas Story 1950.mp3
Romine Sisters - Christmas Is Just Around the Corner.mp3
Romine Sisters - Christmas Time Is Here.mp3
Rosemary Clooney - Let's Give a Christmas Present to Santa Claus 1954.mp3
Ruby Wright - Have a Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas 1957 .mp3
Ruby Wright - Let's Light the Christmas Tree 1957.mp3
John Jacob Niles - Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head.mp3
Eddie Fisher- Christmas Day 1953.mp3
Carmel Quinn - Santa's Coming 1954.mp3
Tascott - You Must Think I'm Santa Claus 1906.mp3

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