Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

When I was young, the weeks leading up the Christmas were almost unbearable.  The days dragged.   Now the days fly so fast, I find myself posting Christmas albums to my blog after New Year's has passed.

In preparation for Christmas (as if I needed further ramping up), my mom would play Christmas albums on the family's Magnavox console stereo.  These first 3 up were my favorites.  They were premiums from A&P Groceries (where my father worked), Goodyear and Firestone.

My favorites from this album were (and still are) Lynn Anderson's twangy Yule classic  "Soon It Will Be Christmas Day" (which my brother despised) and Bobby Vinton's "Christmas Eve In My Hometown" which I've never found anywhere else.

"Happy Holiday" by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme was about all I listened to on here (although I now see there's an orchestral version of "Sleigh Ride" to which I recall listening).

I liked to listen to "Little Drummer Boy" on this album, although I find it hard to listen to these days.  If you look closer at the picture, you'll see pen marks I drew on the album.

This Goodyear Tires premium featured an "unplugged" Steve Lawrence singing "The Night Before Christmas.  It always bothered me that he sung "the moon on the crest of the new fallen snow" instead of "breast".  I always wondered if it was his mistake or the censor's issue with the word.

Several years ago, my mother gave me those albums, having switched to cds while I clung to (actually re-discovered) vinyl.  At yard sales and occasionally antique malls, I've added to my collection.  Below are some.

Can't say Christmas without Perry Como:

I haven't listened to this one yet, but I loved the cover.  That's a '66 or '67 (I think) Dodge Coronet.

Der Bingle.  This album features one of my favorite's, "Mele Kalikimaka".

 Frank "I Love Those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells" Sinatra


The much-maligned Carpenter's.  I don't care.  I LIKE 'EM!

He may be a murderer, but he made some great Christmas music.  Bonus quiz question, what track from this album does Paul Schaffer play each Christmas Season (since the '80's) on David Letterman?

Does anyone know who Dennis Day was?  Class?  Class?

The Boone Family

 Andy "Moon River" Williams

When I saw that The Brady Bunch sang "Jingle Bells" on this album, I was sold.

Winner of creepiest cover.  I'm guessing they couldn't secure rights to use Snoopy's picture, so they placed him in the distance and substituted pyscho Santa.

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.  I never saw these two outside of Carol Burnett's show.

Some day, I will have to do a side by side showdown of The Brady's "Jingle Bells" vs The Partridge Family "Jingle Bells".

Another Firestone album. This one from 1967

North Pole, Alaska is a real place.  The freaky-faced deer Santa is holding is solid yultide nightmare fuel.

Brenda Lee.  Fun fact, she was only 13 when she recorded "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".

A happy family at Christmas

And another

Shhhhhh!  The Colonel's sleeping!

 Aw!  You woke him up!

Jim Nabor's needs no introduction...nor justification, thank you very much.

Ray Conniff with a spicy little number

Bobby Vinton (missing his "Christmas Eve in my Hometown" track)

 Nat King Cole, of course.  Stunningly missing his "The Christmas Song".

Johnny Mathis

I just liked the ornaments on this one.

Mele Kalikimaka indeed!

A Coal Miner's Daughter (and friends).  I always hate when they trick you into thinking it's a particular performer's album, only to find out it's been filled out by their "friends".

There was something going on there, right?  Have you seen Kenny Rogers lately?  Gah!

This album was worth it for the back cover.

And finally, an assortment of cartoon Christmas albums.

The answer to the Bonus Quiz question: "Christmas, Baby, Please Come Home" by Darlene Love.

1 comment:

  1. holy cow -- that's a lethal dose of xmas music! some great covers there, for sure, and i'm quite curious to hear a report on the ones with colonel sanders. i mostly can't stand the music, except for standards done from before about 1973 done by almost anyone. gimme The Chairman, bing, patsy cline... almost anyone. even then, i can only listen to it for about a day, two tops. the current trend of playing it nonstop from halloween through new years must go!


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