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LonesomePolecat

OT: Favorite Classic Christmas Albums?

19 posts in this topic

I love the Christmas stylings of (among others) Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Kenton, Mel Torme, and of course the Charlie Brown Christmas Album. How about you?

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Well, I LOVE a Gershwin tune. How about YOU?

 

Seriously, I have a huge collection of Christmas albums. From Johnny Mathis to Nat "King" Cole and down to Rob McConnell. Mormon Tabernacle, Robert Shaw Chorale, and even a complation put out by the Bombay Co..

 

But my all time favorite is an oldie( circa 1954, I think) of Fred Waring and his Pennsilvanians called "Now Is The Caroling Season". Grew up with it is probably why.

 

Sepiatone

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When I was a kid, my father would purchase the Christmas albums put out each year by Firestone (via RCA). They could be purchased at places where Firestone Tires were sold. My favorite was "Firestone Presents Your Favorite Christmas Music, Volume 4" (1965), which features Julie Andrews performing "The Bells of Christmas." Unforgettable!

 

 

 

 

I also love the first "A Very Special Christmas" album from A&M Records in 1987. It was designed to raise money for the Special Olympics and featured an all-star roster of performers, including Bruce Spingsteen, Madonna, Sting, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, the Pointer Sisters, Run-D.M.C. and the Pretenders. My favorite song is from the album is Houston's version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svo17Dgs3PM

 

Edited by: jakeem on Dec 20, 2013 5:12 PM

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I'd have to say my favorite would be "A Charlie Brown Christmas", but recently I downloaded a Christmas album by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and I've been listening to that now. A good one to get the spirits soaring!

 

But when one isn't feeling so serious, there's also the classic "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" from The Royal Guardsman (I know, that's only a song, but...)

 

(Jake, I love the Sting tune "Gabriel's Message" from that Christmas album you mentioned. I have this on my iPod "Christmas" playlist.)

 

Edited by: EugeniaH on Dec 20, 2013 2:27 PM

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My favorite Christmas LP is 'Christmas Time' by Roger Williams. Originally released in 1960, it's an all-instrumental, beautifully orchestrated and played album of Christmas music. Includes the pop favorites as well as hymnal favorites in its sequencing.

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>EugeniaH wrote: But when one isn't feeling so serious, there's also the classic "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" from The Royal Guardsman (I know, that's only a song, but...)

 

 

I believe you meant "Snoopy's Christmas," which was the Royal Guardsmen's 1967 holiday sequel to their 1966 hit song "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbhzqoYYROA

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I would venture to say that any Christmas song done by Sting couldn't really be a "classic", but I won't start THAT arguement in here as well...

 

But I have had something happen to me that's interesting.

 

A few years ago, the public station that plays classical music for radio in my area played a recording by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir titled, "A Musicalogical Journey Through The 12 Days Of Christmas".

 

This clever arrangement had the song's "first day" sung in Gregorian Chant" style, with each "day" progressing in musical style as it did over history, with the 12th day done ala John Philip Sousa.

 

The radio announcer didn't say much about the recording, so I went online to find out more, and where I could get a copy of it.

 

I found out it was on a MTC CD called "This is Christmas" and was out of print. I asked my daughter, who file shares music online, to see if SHE could find it( she had found many rare and obscure recordings for me over the years). No luck there, either.

 

Then last summer(2012), while thumbing through the CDs in the bin of a thrift store, THERE IT WAS! "This Is Christmas" by the Morman Tabernacle! I hastily opened it up to see if the disc was in the case, and YES, IT WAS! Like new, too!

 

Had it been available online, through Amazon or something like it( Yeah, I tried eBay, too) I might have paid $10-$20 or more for it. Wound up forking over only a BUCK!

 

Merry Christmas, indeed...

 

Sepiatone

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Beautiful story, Sepiatone... I love it when synchronous events like these happen in our lives.

 

And hey, speaking of "synchronous" and "Synchronicity", Sting is classic! ;)

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There are quite a few here I'll have to check out.

 

Forgot to mention a quirky favorite of mine: "Oy to the World" by the Klesmonauts. It is so hilarious and brilliant and awesome. Anyone else heard that one?

 

Also love the first two Mannheim Steamroller albums, but especially the Rennaisance kind of stuff they play. Love their whole Rennaisance Christmas album.

 

There is lots of good stuff from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but I gotta say I love one of their recent ones with Brian Stokes Mitchell the best. But that's because I love Brian Stokes Mitchell to pieces. :)

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All of mine are from the 50s and 60s:

 

A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra

Christmas with Patti Page

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

The Perry Como Christmas Album

The Ray Conniff Singers

The Andy Williams Christmas Album

Christmas with Conniff

Season's Greetings from Perry Como

Various other's

 

The Ray Conniff Singers were my favorite.

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I love Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown's Christmas album.

 

Other than that, I'm not really keen on any Christmas albums in their entirety; but I do love the classics like Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song."

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> Sting is classic!

 

If by "classic" you mean OLD, he is that! ;)

 

I have nothing against Sting. He does have a pleasant singing voice, and probably does add an enjoyable measure to any Christmas song he chooses to do.

 

In another forum, I started a thread about how I discern a difference between Christmas "carols" and Christmas "songs". For instance, the more spiritual offerings, like "Jeanette Isabella" or "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing", I consider to be "Carols", while "White Christmas" and "Holly Jolly Christmas" are "songs. And also that the best Christmas songs have already been written. No decent "new" Christmas songs have been written since about the mid '60's.

 

Thoughts on THIS?

 

Sepiatone

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I was just teasing. I wouldn't count Sting as a classic Christmas caroler, either. But I think The Police are one of the all-time best modern bands and Sting one of the best songwriters. Anyway, that can be duked out in some other thread...

 

*In another forum, I started a thread about how I discern a difference between Christmas "carols" and Christmas "songs". For instance, the more spiritual offerings, like "Jeanette Isabella" or "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing", I consider to be "Carols", while "White Christmas" and "Holly Jolly Christmas" are "songs. And also that the best Christmas songs have already been written. No decent "new" Christmas songs have been written since about the mid '60's.*

 

Yes, I agree! When I really want to get into a deep "Christmas-y" mood I listen to the "more spiritual offerings", like you say, like from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But I like the holiday songs, too. And as for less-wonderful post-60s tunes, I especially hate "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer". I'm not that prudish, but I think the song is stupid and tasteless. Sorry, I must be a Grinch... ;)

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'christmas sing along with mitch', 'holiday sing along with mitch', and 'lanza sings christmas carols' were beaten to death during the holidays when i was growing up. (early 60's)

 

strange, that i still have a soft spot in my heart for them. especially lanza's christmas offering which featured 'we three kings' with the truly horrifying (to a young child) third verse:

 

"Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume,

Breathes a life of gathering gloom;

Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,

Sealed in a stone-cold tomb."

 

i still love 'a charlie brown christmas' and 'a christmas gift for you from phil spector' (with darlene love's show stopper 'christmas, baby please come home')

 

as for single songs:

pearl bailey ~ a five pound box of money.

bruce springsteen ~ santa claus is comin' to town.

judy garland ~ have yourself a merry little christmas.

the kinks ~ father christmas.

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EugeniaH, I hate "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" as well and I'm definitely not a Grinch. I agree that there is a difference between "Carols" and "popular songs", but to me there is still a difference between the old classics like "Let It Snow" and newer stuff like those irritating Beatles songs.

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Yeah, The Beatles suck!

 

JOKING!

 

It's ironic that you mention them to me here. I was thinking about this thread, and a strong memory came to mind of being much younger, and helping to set up the tree and all the decorations in the house. Instead of Christmas carols, my siblings and I were listening to The Beatles, songs from The Red Album (not my parents, of course; they were old fogies who were into Glenn Miller ;) ). Anyway, in a way I associate The Beatles with Christmas based on that. :)

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