🎄 Holidays! Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1962)

tomswift2002

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I’ve had this album on the turntable quite a bit this year. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the all-analog warmth that seeps through the record as it would’ve been recorded, mixed and mastered on analog tape 58 years ago in 1962, or the people back then knew how to create Christmas music that was Jolly, upbeat and created that Christmas atmosphere, but I’ve really found that I enjoy the older Christmas albums rather than the albums that have been released since 2000 where they take like “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night” and make it sound like something that came from a digital assembly line.

As I right this, Conniff and his singers are singing “Deck The Halls”, which is part of a medley on Side 1 that features “O Holy Night, We Three Kings Of Orient Are& Deck The Halls”, and after the joyful, respectful singing of Holy & Kings, Halls shifts gears, and interspersed in the song are bits of conversation to indicate a party feeling while the decorate the Christmas tree—-at one point a guy even says in a seductive way that is fun ‘Hey girls! I’m under the mistletoe!’ And you hear chuckles and laughter while
 

lj

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I have this CD--it is a Xmas classic. Conniff was a master arranger. I love the medleys and the way he uses the jingle bells in the background. This album was a mainstay of MOR radio stations over the decades. And I agree, the newer holiday albums do nothing for me. The voices of rock or hip hop performers were never appropriate for the holiday classics, which call for the smooth relaxed voices of Crosby, Sinatra, the Carpenters etc.
 

Rudy

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.... but I’ve really found that I enjoy the older Christmas albums rather than the albums that have been released since 2000 where they take like “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night” and make it sound like something that came from a digital assembly line.
I think that's why I like Hey! Merry Christmas! by The Mavericks so much. It was recorded in 2018, I believe, but there is a certain vibe to all of the original tunes written by Raul Malo, along with a production that recalls the glory days of Phil Spector and Gold Star Studios, that gives it a classic, warm vibe that I have yet to hear on most new holiday releases I've heard in the past decade or so.
 

AM Matt

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There were only 3 Ray Conniff & The Singers Christmas Albums including "Christmas With Conniff" (1958 or 1959), "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" (1962) & "Here We Come A Caroling" (1966) & that was it.
 

tomswift2002

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I’ve got the first 2 Conniff Christmas albums—-funnily the first one is a stereo record from the 70’s or 80’s by the light weight vinyl that was used (was it originally released in stereo in 1959, or was it released in “duophonic”?
 

Rudy

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Stereo would have been possible in 1959 for sure. I believe Duophonic was a fake stereo created from mono. Some labels had their own names for it--some of RCA's classic mono records often got the fake stereo treatment (like Belafonte's Calypso), and they used to call it "Electronically rechanneled for stereo." Often, they would run the recording through a comb filter which would increase some frequencies and reduce others, and introduce some phasey effects from the filtering also. Just a weird sound.
 

A&M Retro

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I have this CD--it is a Xmas classic. Conniff was a master arranger. I love the medleys and the way he uses the jingle bells in the background. This album was a mainstay of MOR radio stations over the decades. And I agree, the newer holiday albums do nothing for me. The voices of rock or hip hop performers were never appropriate for the holiday classics, which call for the smooth relaxed voices of Crosby, Sinatra, the Carpenters etc.
I grew up with this album. I agree 100%! It’s a work of art from start to finish. Very cleverly produced, arranged and performed.
 

tomswift2002

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Thread Starter
Stereo would have been possible in 1959 for sure. I believe Duophonic was a fake stereo created from mono. Some labels had their own names for it--some of RCA's classic mono records often got the fake stereo treatment (like Belafonte's Calypso), and they used to call it "Electronically rechanneled for stereo." Often, they would run the recording through a comb filter which would increase some frequencies and reduce others, and introduce some phasey effects from the filtering also. Just a weird sound.
And then you have Bing Crosby’s “Merry Christmas” that had added reverb for releases in the 60’s to 80’s in order to create a stereo when the mono mixes were deleted (And gave it a concert hall sound). But from what I can tell, my copy of Conniff’s first album is a fake stereo version. There doesn’t seem to be any movement on anything. It sounds more like it’s two mono tracks (which is what stereo is) playing the same track, but with one for the left and one for the right.
 

rockdoctor

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I listened to a lot of Ray Conniff in my early years and still enjoy hearing the Christmas songs that are getting played on the radio today.
 

DavidRSmedley

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There is a remaster of these albums. I think it came out last year by Real Gone.

Also, search on the web for the Ray Conniff Christmas Show forvsome great lip syncing...
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Ray Conniff had a huge musical imprint in the 1950s and 1960s. For example, in his career he had an amazing 13 gold records and 3 platinum records. In 1966 he won a Grammy for "Lara's Theme" from the movie Doctor Zhivago. He was was sort of a pop music genius. He had not only the Ray Conniff Singers but also the Ray Conniff Orchestra and Chorus. The latter of which had the vocalists hum the music in perfect tune with the orchestra. That was so unique and pleasing to listen to. He was truly a one and only.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I have this CD--it is a Xmas classic. Conniff was a master arranger. I love the medleys and the way he uses the jingle bells in the background. This album was a mainstay of MOR radio stations over the decades. And I agree, the newer holiday albums do nothing for me. The voices of rock or hip hop performers were never appropriate for the holiday classics, which call for the smooth relaxed voices of Crosby, Sinatra, the Carpenters etc.
I also have to agree that I prefer all the old Christmas songs and singers over rock and hip hop recording artists. I do have an affinity for Enya singing Silent Might in Gaelic and O Come Emanuel in Latin. I have a three cd set of Christmas songs and all are from the 40's and 50's.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Their version of "Joy To The World" reminds me of their remake of Mary Hopkin's 1968 song "Those Were The Days" (from 1969 "I Love How You Love Me") with the banjo & guitar!!!
 
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