Monday, December 31, 2018

The 8th Day of Blogmass 2018

It's a mellow mood at Christmas in 1969
Capitol Records– SPC-3462

01 Jan 1969
A1–Wayne Newton The Little Drummer Boy 3:27
A2–Dean Martin White Christmas 2:28
A3–Sandler & Young O Holy Night 2:11
A4–Al Martino What Child Is This 2:05
A5–Nat King Cole Mrs. Santa Claus 2:06
B1–The Hollyridge Strings Jingle Bells 2:47
B2–Roger Wagner Chorale Adeste Fideles 2:35
B3–Ella Fitzgerald It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 3:17
B4–Guy Lombardo Silent Night 3:20

Friday, December 28, 2018

The 7th Day of Blogmass 2018

Sophisticated a capella arrangements of holiday tunes that show debts to the Lettermen, Beach Boys, and of course the Hi-Los.

The Singers Unlimited was a four-part jazz vocal group formed in 1971 by Gene Puerling. The group included Len Dresslar (better known as the Jolly Green Giant in General Mills commercials), Bonnie Herman, Don Shelton, and Puerling himself.
Gene Puerling and Don Shelton had formed part of Puerling's successful all-male vocal group, The Hi-Lo's, some years previously, though Shelton was a 1959 replacement for original Hi-Lo's Member Bob Strasen. The Singers Unlimited group were originally formed to record for commercials in the USA, but as time passed, they were persuaded to enter the recording studio to record a series of albums. On the recommendation of pianist Oscar Peterson (who was also signed to the label at the time), they gained a contract with German label MPS. They recorded two albums in 1971, the first a cappella, the second, In Tune with Peterson's then-current trio.
The group produced 15 albums, of which arguably the most well-known is their Christmas album (which was actually recorded before the group's association with MPS.) All of the 14 albums they recorded specifically for MPS (between the years 1971-1982) are collected in the 7-CD box set entitled Magic Voices.
Puerling's Singers Unlimited arrangements earned him the reputation as one of the best vocal writers in the world. Members of the renowned jazz-gospel vocal group Take 6 often give credit to Puerling and the Singers Unlimited as innovators in the a cappella world, claiming that they "went to school" on Puerling's arrangements.
Puerling took advantage of cutting-edge multi tracking techniques of German studio engineer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer to create his advanced harmonic concepts and the group's signature sound. In the overdubbing process, baritone Puerling and tenor Shelton would often add two additional middle parts, after which all parts were "doubled" and "tripled." Creating these extra tracks created the fuller, richer sound of the group's recordings, and is now a common recording practice.
The group would record their songs by having Bonnie Herman record a simplified version of the melody, after which, Len, Gene, and Don would fill in the remaining parts. Once this process had been completed, Bonnie Herman's original melodic line would be replaced with a new one in which she could add melodic embellishments and add "color" to the groups sound.
Bass singer Len Dresslar (1924–2005) was known as the voice of the Jolly Green Giant ("Ho, Ho, Ho!") for over 40 years, as well as the voice behind countless other jingles from Chicago. He had also been the President of the Chicago branch of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) for several years in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Bonnie Herman was the singer of the original "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There" commercial jingle, which ran for several years. She is the daughter of Lawrence Welk original Champagne Lady Lois Best, and Jules Herman, who was a trumpet player in the Welk orchestra. She is the niece of big band leader Woody Herman.

The Singers Unlimited-Christmas 1972

1 Deck The Halls 2:45
2 Ah Bleak & Chill The Wintry Wind 2:14
3 Bright, Bright The Holly Berries 1:19
4 Jesu Parvule 1:13
5 Caroling, Caroling 1:14
6 What Are The Signs 1:33
7 Nigh Bethlehem 1:45
8 While Be My Sheep 1:29
9 It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 2:29
10 Silent Night 3:31
11 Joy To The World 1:21
12 Wassail Song 1:14
13 Carol Of The Russian Children 1:23
14 Good King Wenceslas 1:58
15 Coventry Carol 2:14
16 Oh Come All Ye Faithful 3:01
17 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 2:19

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The 6th Day of Blogmass 2018

A three disc set. Columbia Musical Treasuries ‎– P3S 5474

Baxter and his orchestra and chorus spent a lot of the 60s and 70s recording generic easy-listening versions of the hits, though of a fairly high quality. Imagine that you are in a department store in the Christmas season in 1972.

Terry Baxter and His Orchestra-The Joyous Sounds of Christmas

A1We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A2Carol Of The Bells
A3Deck The Hall With Boughs Of Holly
A4Here We Come A-Caroling
A5Sleigh Ride
A6We'll Dress The House
A7Hallelujah (From Handel’s Messiah)
B1God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
B2Jingle Bells
B3Angels We Have Heard On High
B4Glory To God In The Highest (Pergolisi)
B5Silent Night, Holy Night
B6The Wassail Song
B7The First Noel
C1Good King Wenceslas
C2White Christmas
C3The Little Drummer Boy
C4The Twelve Days Of Christmas
C5O Tannenbaum
C6Love Is The Meaning Of Christmas
C7Away In A Manger
D1Greensleeves (What Child Is This?)
D2Ave Maria (Schubert)
D3Peter And The Wolf
D4Joy To The World
D5O Come, All Ye Faithful
D6Sleepers Awake! (Bach)
D7We Three Kings Of Orient Are
E1Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
E2I'll Be Home For Christmas
E3O Little Town Of Bethlehem
E4I Saw Three Ships
E5All On A Christmas Morning
E6Do You Hear What I Hear?
E7All Through The Night
F1O Holy Night
F2The Nutcracker Suite
F3Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
F4Silver Bells
F5The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
F6Come Dear Children
F7Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The 5th Day of Blogmass 2018

A big choir in a big resonant cathedral. If you like that sort of thing, you'll probably like this. Good late at night.

St Patricks Cathedral Choir-Sings Christmas Songs Volume 2

Under the supervision of:  REV. FRANCIS X. DUFFY




Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The 4th Day of Blogmass 2018

Here's an interesting radio artifact - 78 rpm discs of consecutive years of the Du Pont Chorus Christmas broadcasts. The chorus was purportedly made up of Du Pont employees.

DuPont Chorus Cavalcade of America-Christmas Greetings (WOR radio 1948)
DuPont Chorus Cavalcade of America Presents-Christmas Carols (WOR radio 1949)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The 3rd Day of Blogmass 2018

Great cover art on this dept store special.

Grants A Very Merry Christmas VII

RCA Special Products – DPL1-0049, RCA Victor – DPL1-0049

Toyland (Perry Como)
O Come All Ye Faithful (Robert Shaw Chorale)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Julie Andrews)
What Child Is This (Ed Ames)
The Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus (Sir Thomas Beecham)
Winter Wonderland (Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops
Christmas In My Home Town (Charley Pride)
Good King Wenceslas (Morton Gould)
Jingling Brass (Danny Davis)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Perry Como)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The 2nd Day of Blogmass 2018

Such a good one here - the late Glen was multi-talented.
Album would have been better if he didn't invite the other artists, but one pads out an album in the way the label wants it padded, I assume.
Also notable for the inclusion of some lesser known Christmas-related songs.

Glen Campbell-Christmas With 1971

A1 –Glen Campbell There's No Place Like Home
A2 –The Hollywood Pops Orchestra The Holly And The Ivy
A3 –Glen Campbell It Must Be Getting Close To Christmas
A4 –The Voices Of Christmas The First Noel
A5 –Glen Campbell Silent Night
B1 –The Hollywood Pops Orchestra Medley: Jingle Bells / Up On The Housetop / Jolly Old St.                    Nicholas
B2 –Glen Campbell I'll Be Home For Christmas
B3 –The Voices Of Christmas I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
B4 –The Hollywood Pops Orchestra Adeste Fidelis
B5 –Glen Campbell The Night Before Christmas

The 1st Day of Blogmass 2018

Let's kick off the season with some Nashville Brass.

Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass-Christmas With 1970

Jingling Brass
White Christmas
Do You Hear What I Hear
Silver Bells
Winter Wonderland
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
Jingle Bell Rock
Blue Christmas
Silent Night