I found this record on Christmas Eve at a local thrift store and, even though it is now after Christmas, I decided to go ahead and share it because it is very good. The choir is full and very well directed by J Williams Jones. The selections are some of the most interesting ones that I have found on my LP purchases lately. There are familiar songs and less-familiar songs, all of a religious nature. So if you are looking for beautiful choral Christmas music, you will want to download both sides 1 and 2. I have also included a CD insert that you can print on regular printer paper, cut out, and fold and put in the front of a CD case.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
If this is a fair sampling of the Yuletide spirit in Calypso territory, then it must be a fine time indeed. Christmas and merriment have long been associated in our part of the world, but when the fascinating beat of Calypso rhythm is put underneath it, something very special is the result – an innocent and joyous Christmas music that can even be danced to!
Leonard De Paur and his much applauded Chorus have grouped together here twelve Christmas songs that reflect this yearly Joy to the World in terms of the warmer regions of the globe. In doing so he has also compounded a moving revelation of the universal appeal of this holy day, the deeper meaning of which is clear, in warm weather or cold, all over the world.
Christmas In the Tropics -- Lyrics and music by Jester Hairston. Solo: Hamilton Grandison.
It’s always fun to make comparisons, though, and Christmas in the Tropics does just that. To us, a Christmas Eve when, instead of an evergreen, the whole house is decorated “with trinkets and tropical fruits” is amusing in itself as are fireworks in the afternoon and the idea of spending the day “in a panama hat and white linen suit”.
De Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy (Trinidad Calypso). From the Edric Connor Collection – by Max Saunders and Hal Evans. Solo: Herbert Stubbs
This is, of course, the story of the Nativity told in Calypso style, and if there is a more appropriate and pithy description of the essence of this tale than the line “He come from the Glory” it would be hard to find.
Sweet Little Jesus Boy – By Robert MacGimsey Arranged by Leonard De Paur. Solo: Luther Saxon.
This is surely one of the most affecting pieces of music of its kind, an apology, in effect, to the “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” for His troubles, with the simple and somehow very moving explanation: “We didn’t know who you was.”
Mary Had a Baby – Negro Spiritual arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.
This is a question-and-answer type Spiritual: Mary had a baby; What did she name him? Where was he born? etc. A solo tenor helps give the answers. The music is marked with the instructions “Rhymically; Sweetly,” and that’s how it is.
La Virgen Lava Panales – Mexican traditional arranged by Leonard De Paur. Solo: Joseph Crawford.
An imitation of guitar strumming by the de Paur voices underlies this beautiful Mexican melody, sung in Spanish and English. It presents a simple picture of the Virgin washing the swaddling clothes of the holy infant near the manger to which the shepherds come to worship.
Christmas Present for Sallie (Calypso derived from Barbados Folk Lore) by Leonard De Paur. Solo: Hamilton Grandison.
This is the sad, comic story of a man made “a victim of hospitality”. Starting home on Christmas Eve with a present for his wife, Sallie, he is assailed by friends and relatives insisting he share their holiday spirits. In the course of drinking toasts to his wife and others, he loses the present, his wits, and his Christmas Eve with Sallie. When Sallie catches up with him she gives him twelve empty rum bottles around the head. But when he gets out of the hospital he will buy her a new present and make the best of “a very bad situation”.
Mary’s Little Holy Chile – Calypso by Jester Hairston, arranged by Leonard De Paur. Solo: Hamilton Grandison.
What a jumping-for-joy retelling of the Christmas story this is! There is even something wonderful about the slightly anachronistic idea that Christ was born “on Chris’-a-mus day”, as the song says. And at the end, it’s “Joy roun’ de worl’” indeed.
Oh Poor Little Jesus -- traditional, arranged by Leonard De Paur.
This is another touching expression of sympathy for the Christ Child, in anticipation of the trial that lay ahead. Who can help feeling that the words “Dis world gonna break your heart” speak for the humble all over the world as the Saviour?
Mary, Mary, Where Is Your Baby? (Spiritual) – by Jester Hairston. Arranged by Leonard de Paur.
This is again a question-and-answer tune, the questions being put to the Virgin as she tends her new-born on Christmas morning. To the question: “Mary, Mary, what you call your baby?” the answer comes: “I think I’ll call my little baby Jesus.”
Roun’ de Glory Manger – traditional arranged by Leonard de Paur.
“Dey turn ‘way Mary an’-a Joseph ‘way from de inn, an dat’s what made de Glory Manger!” says the song. Then it goes on to such playful details as: “An’ all His pretty little fingers played in de straw.”
What You Gonna Call Yo’ Pretty Little Baby? – Traditional Christmas Spiritual, arranged by Noah F. Ryder.
The naming of the Christ Child is again the subject. Then the suggestions come: “Some say one thing, I’ll say Emmanuel” and “I’ll call him Jesus.” But most of the piece is given over to the repetition of the question.
Ring de Christmas Bells – Lyrics and music by Jester Hairston. Solo: Grady Menefield.
A fitting climax to this Calypso Yule, a recounting of the three rich kings that brought gifts to the holy Child. First came Gaspar bringing Frankincense, then old Melchior with myrrh, finally Balthasar with a gift of gold . . . “and He shall be King of Kings!”
Notes by Charles Burr
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Christmas With Patti Page was originally released in 1955, so it fits right in the time frame that I like for this blog.
This is one of my favorites Christmas LP finds for this year. I really love Patti Page's voice, but I also enjoy the mix of less-known songs with traditional songs. Christmas Choir, Christmas Bells, Pretty Snowflakes, and Where Did My Snowman Go are all included. Even the traditional Christmas songs are lovely. So I decided to put it here for all my internet friends to enjoy. Hope you do!
I also have included Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, one of my favorites by Patti Page. It was not on this LP album, but since it fits so well, it is included here. Enjoy!
Patti Page Sings Christmas Favorites CD Insert.doc
Patti Page Sings Christmas Favorites Side 1 FINAL.mp3
Patti Page Sings Christmas Favorites Side 2 FINAL.mp3
Patti Page - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus 1950 FINAL.mp3
Buy my Christmas CDs at VintageMusicRoom.com. Click here.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I bought the record primary for the album cover, but when I played the records(2) I found that they are in pristine condition. And the music itself is exceptional. I really like all of the arrangements, even though I think that the songs that are not actually for Christmas could have been substituted for true Christmas songs. But the blend of them is good. If you like orchestral Christmas music, you will really enjoy these.
I have included a CD Insert page that can be printed on plain paper and then cut and folded to fit inside the front of a CD case.
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orch - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas.doc
I have recorded each side of the LPs as one file. Here they are:
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orch - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas Side 1 FINAL.mp3
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orch - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas Side 2 FINAL.mp3
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orch - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas Side 3 FINAL.mp3
Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orch - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas Side 4 FINAL.mp3
Buy my Christmas CDs at VintageMusicRoom.com. Click here.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It's time for the second CD of my 2009 Christmas So Long Ago music. This is the 6th or 7th year that I have been collecting old and mostly unknown Christmas music, with most years yielding 2-3 CD's-worth of songs. When I started this project, I was mostly getting music for my own listening (and sing-along) pleasure. But I also include some music that is not really the kind I really like but is interesting for its historic place in Christmas. I also like to mix up the music on each CD so that there are some songs that are cute, some are beautiful, some are religious, and some just something else that seems to fit the mix. The songs on this CD are no different. I hope you enjoy them! You will also notice that I include a CD insert page that can be printed on regular paper and then cut and folded. It has a list of all the songs with as many of the recording dates as I have been able to find. I also use pictures from vintage Christmas cards as the cover. You can use these inserts to give the CD's out to your friends if you wish.
The first song is one that is listed as Ernie Benedict and His Polkateers with the vocals by the Kendall Sisters, named "The Little Toy Village". It was recorded in either 1949 or 1950. I now own the 78 rpm and have taken the song from it. As I was researching the date of this recording, I found a blog (click to visit it) on which the writer mentions this song. She has pictures of a very cute toy village that she says her mother made for her. I hope she and her readers visit here and download this song. I will also be putting this song on You Tube later with some of the pictures she uses, as part of the video portion. So you can look for it there also. I am Jassnaround on You Tube, which you can find by doing a search. Or just search the song name.
Another 78 rpm record that I recently acquired is Fran Allison (of Kubla, Fran and Ollie I think) Sings Merry Xmas Songs Part2. The song is "Christmas In My Heart", one of the beautiful songs on this CD. It was recorded in 1950.
I am very excited to have found one of the last two of my missing records for Frank Luther and Zora Layman - Christmas in Song Vol 2. This record, again a 78 rpm, has been mislabeled. It is actually Part 3 and Part 4 but the labels are for Part 3 and Part 2. I found a brief listing on the internet of the songs on Part 4 and they match the songs that are on my record, but not what the label says. So I am happy to say that I am positive that this record is Part 3 and 4. I am still hoping to someday find the last missing record, which would be Parts 1 and 2 of Christmas in Song, Vol 2. Anyway, I am sure you will enjoy this record.
One of my very favorite songs here is by Gayla Peevey, "Are My Ears On Straight?" about a doll that gets broken right before Christmas. She goes to the shop to be repaired and worries whether her little girl will still love her when she is picked up from the shop on Christmas Day. (Guess they still had shops open on Christmas back then, or else the doll is confused.) I have also made a video of this one that can be found on You Tube, once I get it uploaded there. My mother left me her doll from her childhood and I used pictures of it and her doll's adopted brother doll on that video. So it will be especially interesting to my family members, I think. My mother was born in 1928, and I am not sure how old she was when she got the doll, but I would guess that dates the doll to the early 1930's. She certainly loved it and kept it all of her life. So I think it is very appropriate to the song. You are invited to check it out too.
The next song, by the Holy Trinity Male Quartette is "Christmas Eve at Grandma's". It was recorded in 1926 and is a lively, fun song. You can also find it on You Tube.
The Hoosier Hot Shots were a very comical group of musician from Indiana and the included song, "Jingle Bells" is definitely not the typical rendition of that song. Since I am/was a Hoosier, I especially enjoy this one. It was recorded in 1936 and you will dance to this one.
"If Everyday Were Christmas" by Jane Froman is a lovely song that you will want to hear. It was recorded in 1954.
In the "Cute" category is "Santa! Don't Pass Me By" by Jimmy Donley. I like to hear kid songs, especially at Christmas, and this one is a good one.
Ken Griffin made many recordings on his organ back in his day. I found this 78 rpm record of "Star of the East" by Ken Griffin. On You Tube I have the lyrics as part of the video. So if you want to sing along, look for it there.
"The St Nicholas Waltz" by Lita Roza was recorded in 1953. Then Lord Beginner's "Christmas Morning, the Rum Had Me Yawning" is next. It reflects the strange Christmas traditions in his native land of Jamaica, I think, recorded in 1939. Has a great Jamaican beat to it and adds to the CD mix very nicely. Then we are back to Cute with Lu Ann Simms' "I Just Can't Wait Til Christmas", which was recorded in 1954.
Vaugh DeLeath has been included on my blog before and here she is again with Jack Kaufman playing as two little children in a toy shop. It is very typical of the time, 1927, and is called "Jimmy and Mary's Christmas". It makes me feel like I am back in 1927 and can see what they are seeing in their time. Of course, children (including all of us) always have been and will be facinated by a toy store, so you have no problem knowing what they are feeling.
Want something to go along with "Santa Baby"? Well this is the original Cute-Sexy Christmas song, done by Mae Questal who was the voice for Betty Boop and other cartoon characters. This is "I Want You for Christmas". I have the same song by Russ Morgan and it is done in a lovely romantic style. But this version is my favorite, I think. It was recorded in 1937.
Back to Lu Ann Simms, the other side of the record, which is "Dance of the Candy Dolls", a great adaptation from the Nutcracker Suite. Recorded in 1954 of course. Next, Mark Warnow and Dick Todd recorded "All Around the Xmas Tree" in 1946 and you can hear it here.
Then we have Vaugh De Leath again as Gloria Geer, which she recorded under sometimes. This was recorded in 1925. Back then I guess Santa had Brownies instead of (or in addition to) Elves. You will hear them sing on this song. Then "Gloria" sings "Stand Under the Mistletoe" to Santa.
The next song is by an independent label, with no label name. I found the 78 rpm record and really like the song, but had to work some on making the vocal a little louder. It is still somewhat overpowered by the accompaniment, but better. It was recorded by Mary Berghoff, and due to the fact that there is no label name, I do not have any way to date it. But it was on a 78 record so that at least dates it to between the 1920's to the 1960's. If anyone has more information on this singer, record, or song, I would love to hear about it. The name of the song is simply "Merry Christmas". You will also be able to find it on You Tube (later). It is a lovely song.
Next, we have Mary Martin singing "Making Believe It's Christmas Eve" from 1954. Then a "lost" recording that is not particularly well made but still an interesting song is "Santa Claus Boogie Song" by the Ridge Riders. I also included Sammy Kaye's version of "Here Comes Santa Claus" from 1949. I know it is not unknown by most of us (which is one of my goals for my blog), but I always have liked the song and also like Sammy Kaye, so what's not to like about this song, after all? Another beloved Christmas song, here done by Stubby and the Buccaneers is "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas", recorded in 1949 - a better than usual rendition.
In the lovely and religious category we have the Frank Davino Chorus singing "Lonely Old Shepherd" from 1955. Really a great Christmas song.
The next group, The Korn Kobblers, were similar to the Hoosier Hot Shots in that they did comical music. This has got to be one of the funniest titles and the song is very entertaining! It is called "Don't Give Me No Goose For Christmas, Grandma". It was recorded in 1940. In it the singer suggests that Grandma could instead give "tickets for the Follies" or a polly or a duck. For all of you Grandmas out there, if you are planning to give a goose this year, maybe you should check with the recipient first?
The Minster Choir sings "Sweet Christmas Bells" next, which was recorded in 1917. Then to end the CD group, we have Vaugh De Leath once more with "The Spirit of Christmas", recorded in 1925. In 2009 we have grown even further away from the original Spirit of Christmas. Here Vaugh reminds us of what we should be celebrating at Christmas. I think it is a great way to finish this set of Antique Christmas Music songs.
11/27/2009 : Corrected copy of Lu Ann Simms - Dance of the Candy Dolls to remove some background noise. Above file is the corrected copy.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It has been a little while since I added any new Christmas songs to this blog, but I have not been idle. I have been acquiring, editing and compiling Christmas songs all year and am now ready to start sharing them. This year I have several songs that I have not seen elsewhere on the internet. Those songs come from some 78 rpm records that I have picked up over the year. I also will be sharing some music from LPs that have come my way and, although they are not as old as 78's, LP are vintage so they will be interesting additions to the blog.
Let's start by looking at some of the songs' interesting facts. The oldest song I am including was recorded in 1901 on cylinder by George P Watson and is entitled "Sleep, Baby, Sleep". While not really a Christmas song, it is an interesting lullaby and since we are celebrating the birth of a baby at Christmas, I think it fits. Also I will be adding it as a video to You Tube sometime before Christmas. So look for it there to see the vintage pictures I have attached to it.
Ambrose Haley and His Ozark Ramblers sing "Old-Timey Christmas" from 1948 and it is one of my favorites for this year. Has a great beat and it is one that I also will be putting on You Tube with vintage pictures, which are taken from old greeting cards and other pictures available on the net.
Augie Rios sings "Ol' Fatso" from 1958. I think it is cute. I always enjoy kids voices. Hope you do too.
The Billy Mayo Quintet sings "I Want a Dog (for Christmas)" 1948. I believe this is new to the internet and it comes from a 78 rpm record that I own. I really like it and will be putting this on You Tube also, with doggie pics of course.
Not your typical "Jingle Bells", this next song was recorded by Carson Robinson and the Pleasant Valley Boys in 1946. Do you like square dancing? You may want to jump up and try it out with this one.
Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell sing "Silver Bells". I particulary like this rendition. If you loved Bob Hope like I did, you will enjoy this humorous version of a Christmas standard. Recorded in 1951.
This next one is not well-known now-adays. It is an old Christmas hymn. This is done by Charles R Cronhan in 1946 on the organ and chimes. It's title "Come Ye Lofty, Come Ye Lowly" reminds me of O Come All Ye Faithful. Look for this one on You Tube also and it will have the lyrics included so you can sing along if you want.
Known as an Irish Tenor, Dennis Day sings "May Santa Fill Our Hearts with Christmas". It is a lovely song that you will want to download for sure.
"The Christmas Story" by Doris Day comes from my own record collection. It was recorded in 1950 and is very lovely.
Now, children, I know some of you are old grumps and do not believe in Santa Claus. But after listening to Ernest Hare, who "Proves There is a Santa Claus" in 1925, you will believe! I hope his cold is better by now, but he sounds pretty "bunged up" on this recording.
"Snowflakes" was recorded by Fontanna and His Orchestra and Chorus in 1958. It really is quite seasonal and if you want a "white Christmas", this may be just for you. Also Frances Langford's "Once Upon a Wintertime" will get you in the mood even if your Christmas is green (Or maybe more like brown, like it usually is here.)
Last year I included several records done by Frank Luther and Zora Layman, recorded in 1929. Those were from their second collection, Volume II. Now I have included the songs from Volume I. There are several short renditions with very short breaks between so that they can fit on a 78 rpm record. Each side was labeled Part so you can see that there are 5 records to the set. The set is called "Christmas in Song". I enjoy them for the unusual songs that they include. Hope you will enjoy them too.
"The Very First Christmas Trees" by Fred Astaire is a bonus song included here but not on my personal CDs that will be given out this year. It was recorded in 1981, so is a little too new for this blog, but it fits nicely and it is nice to hear from Fred Astaire.
Gene Cherry does "Mr. Snowman Polka" next. He was named Gene Wisniewski but changed his name to Cherry. He did lots of polka records.
Vernon Dalhart was a very popular country singer and songwriter early in the century. The four entertaining songs included here seem to be mostly written for children and were recorded in 1924 and 1928.
Here are the links for the downloads. Go Get 'Em!
Ambrose Haley & His Ozark Ramblers - Old Timey Christmas 1948 FINAL.mp3
Augie Rios - Ol' Fatso FINAL 1958.mp3
Billy Mayo Quintet - I Want a Dog (For Christmas) 1948 FINAL.mp3
11/26/2009 Updated: Billy Mayo Quintet - I Want a Dog for Christmas song was not as good as I wanted, so I redid it and uploaded a corrected copy. The link above will now give you a better copy than was available previous to today.
Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell Silverbells 1951 FINAL.mp3
Carson Robinson & Pleasant Valley Boys - Jingle Bells 1946 FINAL.mp3
Charles R Cronhan - Come Ye Lofty, Come Ye Lowly 1946 FINAL.mp3
Dennis Day - May Santa Fill Our Hearts 1959 FINAL.mp3
Doris Day - Christmas Story 1950 FINAL.mp3
Fontanna_His Orchestra and Chorus - Snow Flakes 1958 FINAL.mp3
Monday, March 2, 2009
As this is a blog about Christmas music, I don't get it updated as often as I might otherwise. I spend about 10 months of the year collecting songs, putting them through software to take lots of the pops and other noise out, and searching out dates for them. But since I have started this blog a few months ago, I intend to update it occasionally during the year, then a big bunch of songs, if not already posted, in the month or two before Christmas. So today is one of those occasional times.
Now, I know that old Christmas music is not everyone's "cup of tea", but I put these songs here not only because I enjoy them myself, but also because I don't want all of this great music to be lost to the world. And I have found that many people share my feelings about this music. I get lots of responses to this blog, which tickles me "pink". I also have gotten a response from one of the musicians whose music showed up on my "Christmas At 78 RPMs" page of this blog. I got a very excited call stating that I have her songs on my website and could we talk. So I had a lovely conversation with one of the Romine Sisters. Shane, the youngest of the Romine Sisters who sang "Christmas Is Just Around the Corner" and "Christmas Time Is Here", said that she and her two older sisters, Angela and Carla, recorded these songs when Shane was just 5. Shane sang the melody while her sisters sang the other 2 parts.
Shane told me that they sang together until her oldest sister, Angela, left the family home to attend college. During that time, even though Shane was too young to participate, the two older sisters were on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour program on TV. Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour was a very popular show that started on radio in 1934. It lasted on radio until 1952 and until 1970 on television, where it ran on all four major networks, ending as a Sunday afternoon CBS staple. The Romine Sisters were also offered a 2-year contract with Walt Disney. Because Mom and Dad Romine felt that the life on the road was not a lifestyle that they wanted for their children, the contract was not accepted. But still, the offer was a great comment on the Romine Sisters' appeal.
Shane says that she and her sisters have recordings from their early career and listen to them when they get together. The recordings were originally recorded on reel-to-reel tape. Later they had them copied to cassette tape. They are now in the process of moving them to digital format. Wonder if we could be seeing a website or blog featuring the Romine Sisters' music in the near future? Wouldn't that be fun!
The sisters have another sister, Nancy, who appeared in the world too late to be included in their trio. The sisters live in different parts of the country now, with Shane living in the South. Shane says she now sings Blues music when she gets a chance. She and her sisters were so thrilled to know that their music was still around and enjoyed 50+ years later. At the time that we spoke, she was very happy to find out that her songs had been downloaded 70+ times. Let's kick that number up, for Shane, Angela, and Carla Romine. Here is a link to their songs again:
Romine Sisters - Christmas Is Just Around the Corner.mp3
Romine Sisters - Christmas Time Is Here.mp3
Next time, I promise, I will put some more of my songs on the blog. I have lots more that I have not posted, so check back later for more great Antique Christmas Music.
Buy my Christmas CDs at VintageMusicRoom.com. Click here.