Sunday, November 29, 2009

Calypso Christmas - The De Paur Chorus 1956

I found this LP and really love the songs. I have, as usual, run it through my software to remove some of the noise so that it is more enjoyable to listen to. And as usual I have included a CD insert page. It has the original cover art but cleaned up (since my LP cover was a little dirty and dingy).

Instead of writing my own review, I have decided to include the review from the back cover of the LP. Here it is in its original version.
Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here. (12/20/10 Calypso Christmas LP has been added to so that it is now for sale for $12.99.)

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

Calypso Christmas CD Insert.doc

The De Paur Chorus - Calypso Christmas side 1 FINAL.mp3

The De Paur Chorus - Calypso Christmas side 2 FINAL.mp3

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Patti Page Sings Christmas Favorites

I picked up a double album called "The Family Christmas Package" that was listed on the cover as containing "Patti Page Sings Christmas Favorites" as one of the two albums. The same songs are on the album named "Christmas with Patti Page". So seems that either name for this album is correct.

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 Click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra - Christmas Music LP

I picked up an LP of the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra - Great Orchestral Music of Christmas recorded in 1970. It has the most beautiful album cover and back that I have ever seen. I don't think my pics really do them justice since they are a little faded out in the pics but not on the album itself. Also the file size is reduced here so also not as good as the album. But I think you can agree that the album cover and back are spectacular. If you were to buy the CD that was later made of the same music, you would not get the back cover of the album. So here are both for your pleasure.

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 Click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Christmas Music

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.

XSLA_R CD Insert.doc

Ernie Benedict & His Polkateers v Kendall Sisters - The Little Toy Village 1949-50 FINAL.mp3

Fran Allison - Sings Merry Xmas Songs Part 2 (Christmas In My Heart) 1950 FINAL.mp3

Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song V2 Part 3 FINAL.mp3

Gayla Peevey - Are My Ears On Straight - 1953 FINAL.mp3

Frank Luther & Zora Layman - Christmas in Song V2 Part 4 FINAL.mp3

Holy Trinity Male Quartette - Christmas Eve at Grandma's 1926 FINAL.mp3

Hoosier Hot Shots - Jingle Bells 1936 FINAL.mp3

Jane Froman - If Every Day Were Christmas 1954 FINAL.mp3

Jimmy donley - Santa! Don't Pass Me By FINAL.mp3

Ken Griffin - Star of the East - FINAL.mp3

Lita Roza - St Nicholas Waltz 1953 FINAL.mp3

Lord Beginner - Christmas Morning, the Rum Had Me Yawning 1939 FINAL.mp3

Lu Ann Simms - I Just Can't Wait Til Christmas 54 FINAL.mp3

Vaughn De Leath & Jack Kaufman - Jimmy and Mary's Christmas 1927 FINAL.mp3

Mae Questal - I Want You For Christmas 1937 FINAL.mp3

Lu Ann Simms -Dance of the Candy Dolls 54 FINAL.mp3

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.

Mark Warnow & Dick Todd - All Around The Christmas Tree ca1946 FINAL.mp3

Vaughn DeLeath - Santa Claus at the Christmas Party 1925 FINAL.mp3

Mary Berghoff - Merry Christmas FINAL.mp3

Mary Martin - Making Believe It's Christmas Eve 1954 FINAL.mp3

Sammy Kaye - Here Comes Santa Claus 1949 FINAL.mp3

Stubby and the Buccaneers - Jolly Old St Nicholas - 1949 FINAL.mp3

The Frank Davino Chorus - Lonely Old Shepherd 1955 FINAL.mp3

The Korn Kobblers - Don't Give Me No Goose for Christmas 1940 FINAL.mp3

The Minster Choir - Sweet Christmas Bells 1917 FNAL.mp3

Vaughn DeLeath - The Spirit of Christmas 1925 FINAL.mp3

Bonus: Ridge Riders - Santa Claus Boogie Song FINAL.mp3

Buy my Christmas CDs at Click here.