🎄 Holidays! Christmas memories and long-lost records

Rudy

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We've usually done an annual "what we're listening to" list of holiday albums, but I don't think we've done one that covers albums we may have forgotten over the years, albums we wish we could find, or albums we haven't listened to in years.

I got the inspiration today when I somehow remembered that my dad had a record by Roger Williams. Checking Qobuz, there isn't much available for Roger Williams, considering he made dozens of albums through his career. But once I visited Discogs, I located the album that we had: Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs. This is one of those instances when you see the album cover and immediately recognize it.

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Ours had the original silver/maroon Kapp labels; later US issues had a white/red/green holiday-themed label.

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This is one I may have to try to locate in storage and give it a cleaning. I'm wondering how it held up over the years.

There was also a various artists LP on Reprise that featured Frank Sinatra on one track. But I have never been able to find it listed anywhere on Discogs, probably because I don't know the name of the album to look for it. I do recall that side one (or perhaps side two?) started with "Go Tell It On The Mountain."

Do you have any mysteries or long-lost albums you remember from the past?
 

rockdoctor

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I remember having one or two compilation Christmas Albums, similar to the old Firestone compilations but they were all destroyed in a fire. I see these same albums at the thrift stores all the time. One thing I especially remember was when my dad brought up the idea of buying a Christmas album he saw in a catalog. He asked my mom about getting it. She looked at the list of artists and songs and said: "As long as you skip Barbra Streisand singing Jingle Bells.." It was never purchased,
 

Rudy

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We had one of Firestone LPs, but honestly I can't ever remember playing it. It was in our "upstairs" Magnavox stereo console, and I wouldn't even know which album it was. I still have all of their old records in storage, and I've been meaning to go through all of those one day, once I find them. I'm probably forgetting a few Christmas LPs in there I'm sure.

We used to have @Tim Neely chime in here every so often, but I see he hasn't visited since 2019. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of Christmas records.

One that I do recall was a Capitol 2-LP compilation, and I found it on CD.

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Only, once I got it here, it was a disappointment, and I only liked maybe half a dozen of the songs on the set. It's one of those memories that was best left in the past. 😁

Checking Discos, this might have been the Firestone LP...Volume 6. I vaguely remeber the cover having a white/light background with a red bow. 🤷‍♂️

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Harry

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One that I do recall was a Capitol 2-LP compilation, and I found it on CD.

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Only, once I got it here, it was a disappointment, and I only liked maybe half a dozen of the songs on the set. It's one of those memories that was best left in the past. 😁
I have that one around somewhere. I remember playing it once and getting a kick out of Marlene Dietrich's pronunciation on "par-um-pa-pum-pum".
 

Mike Blakesley

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When I was a kid and would hang out in my grandparents' rec-room, they had this album "Sing the Songs of Christmas" by Guy Lombardo. (My grandpa was a big Guy Lombardo fan and even met him once.) The album is recorded live with a 100-voice children's chorus singing along with the usual Lombardo suspects.

Most of the songs start off with an instrumental run-through of the song and then the vocals come in for verse 2. Lombardo does an intro and an outro at the end. Most tracks are under 2 minutes long, with "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" clocking in at 39 seconds!

I pulled it up on YouTube the other day.... it has not aged well. But it does put me right back in Grandpa's house.

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Rudy

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My dad used to call him Guy Lumbago. 😁

It's interesting how some older recordings sound fresh today, while others (as you say) now sound dated.
 

Harry

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For me, the old Christmas standby is Percy Faith's THE MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS.

This goes back to childhood when somehow my little collection of 45s included two 45s that looked like this:
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It was apparently a two-disc EP set containing 8 songs. I never owned the outer cardboard cover though, just these two discs. I loved these lush instrumental versions of Christmas favorites, though those old 45s got rather beat-up from rough handling and bad record players over the years.

The cover I never had:
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Many years later, as I brought home bunches of records that the radio station was divesting itself of, I managed to get the album version:
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It was a joy to hear these old favorites in full stereo and better fidelity.

Still later on, in my CD-shopping days, I spotted the CD version of the album:
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At this point I thought I had the ultimate version, but apparently this album was more popular than even I imagined, and just five years ago (2017), Real Gone Music reissued it on CD with bonus tracks, and totally remastered. They restored the full LP candle-and-poinsettia cover.
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I still revisit this old chestnut just about every year. It's almost as old as I am!
 

GDBY2LV

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The Complete Ray Coniff by Real Gone is still available this year, but the other 3 are out of print. They sound very good. The Perry Como has become kind of pricey. Richard Carpenter, along with Jim Pierson produced it. Richard wrote the liner notes too. JP produced the other three. It’s definitely music I grew up with too. I remember the gas stations, and True Value Hardware stores vinyl compilations they gave away through about 1975.
The one I still have contains the 1970 mix of MCD.
The last True Value I know of, was a Sadler & Young Christmas. It was, in my opinion, awful and kind of cheesy. Very Las Vegas, if the 70’s.
 

Rudy

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I'm curious...did they ever get the patent?

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I recall my metal thingies saying the exact same thing! 😁
 

Harry

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While I used to have at least one metal 45 adapter like that, the picture came from Discogs. I currently have two plastic 45 adapters. One is from RECOTON, the other must have come from Sears as it says SILVERTONE:

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I'm proud to note that the RECOTON also says "Made In USA" on the b-side!
 

AM Matt

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The late Don Janse & Childrens Chorus "The Little Drummer Boy" album from either 1962 or 1963 from CLARK gas station (reissue from late 1970) & I was 5 & 1/2 years old when my late parents got that from CLARK in Downtown Midland, Michigan!!
 

Harry

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I finally managed to find this Goodyear Henry Mancini LP with Carpenters "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town", its only existence on an LP.

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Rudy

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Aren't we getting tired of these Xmas albums? 😁 Firestone, Goodyear, BF Goodrich...I wonder if any others were involved.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Weren't they mostly sold at gas stations? I suppose they figured everybody needs to visit a gas station now and then! Plus back then you would have to go inside to pay for your gas or sign the credit card slip, until somebody had the bright idea to haul the credit card pad outside for signing.
 

Rudy

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Either that or tire stores, although I don't know if BFG ever had a chain of tire stores. That was before my record buying years. All you get today at the tires stores is the "upsell" when you go in for one item.
 

Harry

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For sure, the first one I got back in 1968 came from an actual B.F.Goodrich store. I had my dad drive me over to Ardmore to the store that was over there - only a few miles from home, but Dad knew where it was.

 

GDBY2LV

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And True Value Hardware had many different Christmas albums. They put out on RCA Records. Depending on which one you got, Carpenters songs included MCD, Have Yourself Merry Little Christmas, or Sleigh Ride. I’m sure they were clones of the Tire Store vinyl, just with different album covers. There were at least 16 volumes over the years.
 

jfiedler17

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Something Festive! was always my family's favorite record to spin around the holidays (and still is!), but I do have a fondness for some of those Goodyear comps as well (Christmas Is ... and The Joyous Songs of Christmas stick out the most in my mind), although we don't have any of those Goodyear discs anymore as far as I'm aware. (Not like any of them would be that tough to replace, of course! (LOL))

Bert Kaempfert's Christmas Wonderland is a bit of an obscure one that recalls great memories ("Toy Parade," "Holiday for Bells," and "Children's Christmas Dream" being my favorites).

We also never let a holiday season pass by in my family without spinning either Rita Ford's A Music Box Christmas, The Story of Christmas, or A Christmas Tree. Those Rita Ford holiday albums were absolutely enchanting to us as kids. I seldom ever hear anything of those anymore while I'm out-and-about during the holidays (whether out shopping or simply listening to Christmas radio), but they still bring a smile to my face in the rare instances I hear them played anywhere.
 

Rudy

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Once I can locate where they're stored, I'll have to see if I can find the Firestone LP we had. What's funny is that I recall maybe playing just a minute of it and wasn't all that intersted as a kid, and I don't recall my parents ever playing it.
 

tomswift2002

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Here are some Platinum albums from the Ontario Lottery Corporation in the early-to-mid-80’s.

I have both albums on 12-inch LP. There were 2 other 7-inch 33 1/3 records released later on (’Tis The Season & The Sounds of The Seasons). The big difference is that, while the first two albums contained songs written by Ontarians, produced and recorded in Ontario, Canada, the last two albums featured public domain songs (i.e Joy to The World, Silent Night, Carol of the Bells, etc.). The last two albums were also digitally recorded, whereas the first two were recorded in analog.




 

wilmor

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I remember in the 60's stopping in the Texaco station with my dad and they had a Firestone Christmas album on the counter. I think it was the red one. We took it home for mom. We played it for many years. Years later at Radio Shack I picked up, "The Saint Paul choir Christmas", "Christmas Sing Along" and "Children's Fun Songs"(by Audio Treasures). These oddball recordings really hit the spot sometimes.

Which leads me to another dilemma. I made an off air recording of FM100 Christmas Spectacular on Christmas 1988 (Betamax HIFI), which I later transferred to VHS HIFI as a Christmas party tape (now badly damaged by time). There is a version of we three kings which I have never been able to identify which orchastra did the recording. It sounds a lot like Percy Faith, but it is not. I have a digital copy (damaged). Any ideas on how I can find out who recorded it? I have been looking for years and need to know before I die.
 

GDBY2LV

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Other older versions I have are by Andre Kostelanetz, Mitch Miller, and Eugene Ormandy.
From the 50’s or 60’s. I’m sure there are many versions on iTunes, and many more that are out of print. I use Shazam a lot, but they don’t have everything either. I did find the version of Hail To Christmas, that I had on a children’s Christmas record from when I was about 7, thanks to this thread about old Christmas music. I’ve been looking for that particular version for 20 years. It’s not on iTunes either. Other instrumental versions may be out there by Jackie Gleason, Ray Anthony, and Hugo Winterhalter, among others. Hope you find it.
 

Rudy

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I have a digital copy (damaged). Any ideas on how I can find out who recorded it?
Is there a way you could upload it to YouTube, or share it through some other means? I would think someone else has heard this version at some point.
 

Harry

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I have a digital copy (damaged). Any ideas on how I can find out who recorded it? I have been looking for years and need to know before I die.
Can you describe the orchestration, instruments used, perhaps, as a clue - or upload it somewhere where we can listen to it?
In 1988, a popular choice would have been the Mannheim Steamroller version.

 
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