Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Of Mixed Blessings

When the light hit the old dead tree behind Mom and Dad's house just right this evening, it made for a much better picture than I expected. You've seen this tree plenty of times before, but mostly in closeup with a hawks or a kestrel or even a woodpecker in it, but never in a wide angle full-color shot like this. I think you've even seen it with the full moon in the frame (not that I can find a link for that...). But here it is in it's field, surrounded by the vegetation that's dead due to a quick freeze a couple weeks ago. It was about 66 degrees F this afternoon, nice weather for shorts and short sleeves. Today was Christmas, but it almost didn't feel like it. Not because of the weather though, but because most of the scheduled festivities for the day were canceled. Our families usual big get-together had already been put of until New Year's Eve because one of the cousin's couldn't make it until then. And then we were supposed to have dinner at my brother's house, but his whole household got sick and canceled. Then Mom was not-quite over being sick, so she really wasn't able to do much. So at the last minute I called a friend and asked if maybe they had a little room at their table for me and my Dad, and sure enough, we got to go over there and spend a few hours celebrating over a fine meal that still had plenty of leftovers even though there were twice as many people at the table as planned. I guess that's what Christmas is all about. No, not the weaseling your way into someone elses's celebration, but sharing what you have with those who might otherwise have gone without. We certainly didn't need to go anywhere else and eat, we could have thrown something together, but it was nice to be able to celebrate together. Long story, but I had to have something to go with a nice picture of a dead tree. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Kestrels

I showed you the cranes I saw today, and here is a pair of kestrels. I'd never seen kestrels on this side of the road before, and these aren't the same ones who live on the side my parents live on because I had just seen one of them on their favorite tree about a quarter mile away. So I was pretty blown away when I saw not one but two of them on top of this old dead pine. On my way in in the morning, I'd seen something at the top of this tree, and thought it was just a dove. Then later on I walked down the street with my long lens to shoot those cranes and realized there was a kestrel. So I took a lot of pictures and was quite happy. Only later when walking with my mom did I look again and see that there were now two kestrels. Well, in honor of that, I actually climbed through a gate and wandered out into the pasture to get as close as I could. This was one of the last shots I got before they decided I was too close and flew off in opposite directions. But I think this is probably the best picture I've ever gotten of wild kestrels, and to have two of them in the same shot, that's just a small Christmas miracle!

Return Of The Christmas Cranes

Three years ago on Christmas I brought you a picture of some sand hill cranes in the back pasture at my parents' house.  And today I'm bringing you a picture of four of them walking down the road.  Once again, they hung out for hours.  They were there when I arrived around noon, and they were still hanging around when I left after five.  I think someone down the road feeds them, so they were hanging around waiting for a handout.  Seeing four of these guys together is no big deal, I've shown you groups that big before.  It's usually two adults and two full-grown children that haven't left yet for their own new families.  I think they stay together until it's almost time to start raising the next batch of little ones, then the youngsters fly the coop, so to speak.

It's Christmas!

Finally, it's Christmas.  No shares today, go spend some time listening to all the stuff I gave you earlier.  I'll be with the folks.  Have a good one.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas (Eve)

In a tradition dating back to 2006, I end my Christmas Eve sharing with this record.  It's designed to be played for the little ones right before bedtime tonight, so hopefully you have enough time to get it and play it.  I'd hoped to get more goodies up for you today, but I spent the whole day Christmas shopping, and tonight I have to wrap everything up.  If I don't talk to you again, I hope you have a Merry Christmas.  Now, go download 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (RCA Camden CAS-1101, Stereo, 1968).


Leibert Upgrade

One of the things I regret not finding time to do this year was to run through the entire Dick Leibert Christmas discography.  It took years of work, but I've got almost all of the Christmas stuff he did.  I think there's one Reader's Digest release I don't have, but that one won't elude me forever.  One of the surprises I discovered some time back was that this LP was released in stereo.  How did I find that out?  Why, I found the stereo record!  And now I'm sharing it with you.  However, the stereo release drops two songs from the mono release, since I guess they couldn't fit all that stereo sound into the vinyl somehow.  It happens.  So if you want to hear everything, you're gonna have to download this stereo one and the mono one I'm resharing down at the bottom of the post.  It won't kill you.  This is Dick Leibert-Christmas At Radio City With Dick Leibert (Westminster WST 15017, Stereo).  Not sure when they put this on vinyl.  I think it was a tape release before they could press stereo records.

1. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
2. O Tannenbaum
3. O Sanctissima
4. Deck The Halls
5. Fairest Lord Jesus
6. What Child Is This?
7. Good King Wenceslas
8. The Christmas Song (O Holy Night)
9. Silent Night
10. Joy To The World


From back in 2007, here's the mono version, including two songs not on the stereo copy above.  Please download Dick Leibert-Christmas At Radio City (Westminster WP 6035, Mono, 1956).

1. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
2. O Tannenbaum
3. Adeste Fideles
4. O Sanctissima
5. Deck The Halls
6. Fairest Lord Jesus
7. What Child Is This? (Greensleves)
8. Good King Wenceslas
9. The Christmas Song (O Holy Night)
10. Angels We Have Heard On High
11. Silent Night
12. Joy To The World


Santa In The 70's

Here it is, Christmas Eve.  Seems like only a month ago I started sharing out Christmas record with you folks.  I've got a few more to go here, so don't think that this little party is over.  Far from it.  But I do need to go out and do a little shopping today.  Not that I'm one to procrastinate, but I've procrastinated.  I know fewer and fewer people are stopping by and downloading, but that's OK, I'm still at it for you hard-core Christmas folks who love this stuff as much as I do.  So here's a share you may find hard to love.  It's a handful of stories told by Santa Claus, but they aren't exactly up there with O Henry or Clement Moore.  Give 'em a listen and you'll see what I mean.  This is Christmastime Stories As Written By Marie White And Told By Santa Claus Featuring The Michelle Scott Singers (Chiodo/Scott DM-761, Stereo, 1976).

1. The Puppy Who Wanted A Boy For Christmas
2. Santa's Secretary
3. Just To See Santa Come
4. Harry, The Christmas Turkey (By Fair Means Or Fowl)
5. The Day Santa Was Arrested


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remastered Klein

I'm on a roll tonight!  I haven't gotten six posts up in a single day in weeks.  See what you can do when you're healthy, only work half a day, and get tomorrow off?  Perhaps next year I'll just take the whole month off work to post sharity, I think they'll understand.  Anyhow, this is a slight remastering of a non-Christmas album that has proven to be very Christmassy.  I first shared a few tracks from this during Christmas in July 2009, and I liked them so much, felt they were so in the spirit of the season if not the letter, that I decided to share the whole thing, which I also did in 2009.  In fact, it was one of my very few new shares in 2009 after my hard drive went south for the winter and never came back.  A month or so ago I found my original WAV files still on the new HD, and I ran them through ClickRepair to make them sound all that much better.  So that's the remastered version you're downloading tonight.  Unlike many of the other carillon albums I share on here, this one features studio accompaniment from an orchestra and chorus, and I think that makes a huge difference in the general listenability of the carillon.  Why don't you give this one a download and let me know if it's everything I'm making it out to be?  This is John Klein With Orchestra And Chorus Arranged And Conducted By Leo Addeo-Bells In Toyland-John Klein At The Sun Life Centenary Carillon (RCA Victor LSP-3832, Stereo, 1967).

1. March Of The Toys
2. March Of The Lead Soldiers
3. Haydn's Toy Symphonette
4. Doll Dance
5. Sweet Nutcracker!
6. Dancing Doll
7. The Toy Trumpet
8. Toyland
9. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
10. Knight Of The Rocking Horse
11. Toy Train
12. Syncopated Clock


Bells, Now In Stereo

Perhaps you're tired of the kiddie albums.  Would you rather hear some nice Christmas bells?  I thought so, but you're gonna get 'em anyway.  This is a stereo update to an old mono share from 2008, and it sounds loads better in stereo.  It's better than those carillon albums, if that's what you're expecting.  Can make nice instrumental backgrounds while you're doing your station breaks on the radio, hint, hint, hint, just be sure to give me a little bit of radio love.  Please be my guest and download The Holiday Bells-Ring The Bells On Christmas Day (Kapp KS-3038, Stereo, 1963) from your choice of three different download sites down beneath the track list.

1. Silent Night
2. Angels We Have Heard On High
3. The First Noel
4. Joy To The World
5. Jingle Bells
6. Oh, Christmas Tree
7. O Sanctissima
8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
9. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
10. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
11. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
12. Deck The Halls
13. O Come All Ye Faithful
14. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
15. Away In A Manger
16. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
17. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
18. Good King Wenceslas
19. Jolly Old St. Nicholas


Christmas With Heidi

As I mentioned in my last share, here's a re-share of an album very similar to that last one.  I've actually heard from people who had this doll, but not as many as I think it would take to tell me she was ever very popular.  I'd put this almost in the Little Marcy category, only without the preaching.  (Speaking of Little Marcy, guess what I recently found and should be able to share with you next year?  I wonder...)  So if you missed her the first time around in 2008, please download Heidi-The Night Before Christmas (Majorette M-304, Mono, 1965).

1. Introduction
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
3. Silent Night
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. O Christmas Tree
7. Deck The Halls
8. Frosty The Snowman
9. Joy To The World
10. The First Noel
11. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
14. And The Night Before Christmas Story


Christmas With Tammy

Who's Tammy, I hear you asking?  I'm not sure.  Some doll, I guess, who had a whole bunch of accessories you could buy for her, including this Christmas record.  If that sounds a little familiar, maybe you're thinking of Heidi, The Pocketbook Doll, who also had a Christmas album, which I shared with you back in 2008.  (In fact, I think I'll reshare that one out next...).  I don't know if these dolls knew each other in real life, but if you look close, the record labels have the same address on them.  Hmmmm...  I think this one is the better product.  It's got some funky organ going on in the background, and it's got Pepper, who shows up in there somewhere to tell Tammy the story of Christmas.  How's that for excitement?  So, did any of you have one of these dolls?  Was it something special, or just a cheap substitute for Barbie?  Leave us a comment, let us know.  In the meantime, download a little holiday cheer from Tammy-Merry Christmas With Tammy (Little World Records (Ideal Toy Corp., Midnight Music) LW-906, Mono, 1965).

1. Intro
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3. O Christmas Tree
4. Deck The Halls
5. Silent Night
6. Winter Wonderland
7. Joy To The World
8. Greensleeves
9. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
11. O Come All Ye Faithful
12. Jingle Bells
13. The Story Of The Night Before Christmas-With Pepper!
14. We Wish You A Merry Christmas


Back To Mono

Most of the time here at the blog, I try hard to bring you the stereo version of an album, if it exists, only sharing a mono copy if that's all I can find.  And if I later find a stereo version, I'll upgrade the share.  In this case, I'm going to make an exception.  Why?  Just look at that cover!  That's one of the greatest Santa's ever on an album cover.  Why they changed it for the later stereo release on vinyl, I'll never know.  You don't have to download the mono sound if you don't want to, but I'm going to throw it up here anyway.  You can download the stereo version down at the bottom of this post, but you'll be missing out on this great horn-playing Santa Claus, and you wouldn't want that, now would you?  This is The Deutschmeister Band, Conducted By Julius Herrmann-Christmas Carols (Westminster WP 6024, Mono, 1953).

1. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Good Christian Men Rejoice (In Dulci Jubilo)
4. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
5. Good King Wenceslas
6. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
7. From O'er The Hills Of Fair Judea
8. The First Noel
9. Joy To The World
10. Away In A Manger
11. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. O Tannenbaum
14. Silent Night, Holy Night
15. Deck The Halls
16. Wassail, Wassail


I originally shared out this stereo version with you back in 2008, and it's very good.  But the cover could be better (see above).  So for listening, I suggest you download The Deutschmeister Band, Conducted By Julius Herrmann-Christmas Carols (Westminster WST 15048, Stereo). No clue when they put out the stereo on vinyl.  I suspect it was available on tape before it was on wax, but I don't know the details.  Note that some of the titles have been changed a wee bit, too.  Odd.

1. In Dulci Jubilo
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
5. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
6. O Come All Ye Faithful
7. From O'er The Hills Of Fair Judea
8. Silent Night
9. Deck The Halls
10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
11. Wassail, Wassail
12. O Tannenbaum
13. Joy To The World
14. Away In A Manger
15. We Three Kings Of Orient Are
16. The First Noel


A Holiday Toast

Here's another record from an artist that I first discovered during Christmas in July.  You never know when the knowledge you gain somewhere odd is going to prove useful, so go study those July posts!  In this case, it's a small brass band sponsored by a major liquor distiller located in a dry county.  Odd, I know, but stranger things have happened.  I think many of you will really enjoy this one, if any of you are still around.  After missing a few days, and Christmas being only two days away, I doubt if I'll get many downloads, but I have to try.  This is Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band-Homegrown Christmas (Spring Branch Productions SB-3, Stereo, 1978).

1. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
2. Silent Night
3. O Come, All Ye Faithful
4. Good Christian Men, Rejoice
5. Angels We Have Heard On High
6. Joy To The World
7. The First Nowell
8. O Holy Night
9. What Child Is This?
10. Carol Of The Bells
11. O Tannenbaum
12. Good King Wenceslas
13. Coventry Carol
14. Deck The Halls
15. The Holly And The Ivy
16. Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For Children

It's rare that I pay much attention to records that aren't in their sleeves, or in this case, a record in a generic sleeve.  But it's entirely possible that this generic sleeve is all this poor budget-label record ever had.  Since I recorded this, and did a little research on it, I've decided this was most likely originally a set of 78s on the Musicraft label.  And better yet, it was shared out over at Kiddie Records Weekly.  That gives me a nice chance to point you over in Ford's direction so you can download the wonderful assortment of Christmas goodies he's got for you.  Better hurry, though, 'cause Santa Claus turns back into a pumpkin on Boxing Day!  If you'd like to hear my recording of this abridged Nutcracker, please be my guest.  This is Milton Cross-Nutcracker Suite For Children (Royale 18140, 10" 33 RPM, Mono).


A Gift

Ah, it's good to be up and out of the bed finally.  That's certainly not the sickest I've ever been, not by a long shot, but it sure picked a bad time.  I've got so much to do here in these last few days before Christmas, and I'm not even counting all the things I'd hoped to do here at the blog.  But I'll try to get a few choice goodies up for you, since you've been so nice to me while I was ill.  This share is a record that Buster over at Big Ten Inch Record gave to me.  I couldn't believe he was being so generous with such a great record, but it turns out that he had two.  Also, it turns out to not be as great as I'd hoped.  Though there's a long list of stars on the front cover, they all sing as one big chorus with only two tracks featuring soloists. But since one of those tracks features Bob & Dolores Hope dueting on Silver Bells, I'm not gonna complain too much about the rest of the record.  So fire up your download finger and help yourself to The Voices Of Christmas With Les Brown And His Band Of Renown-Hark, The Stars Of Hollywood Sing (Coral CRL 757307, Stereo).  Thanks, Buster!

1. Jingle Bells
2. The First Noel
3. O Come All Ye Faithful
4. Coventry Carol
5. Deck The Halls
6. Winter Wonderland
7. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
8. Silver Bells-Featuring Dolores & Bob Hope
9. The Carol Of The Bells
10. It's Christmas Time Again
11. Gloria In Excelsis
12. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
13. I Wonder As I Wander
14. Good King Wenceslas
15. O Holy Night
16. The Stranger with Silent Night- Featuring Reginald Owen


Coming Soon

I'll be back right after dinner.  Feeling much better.  Thank you for all your well-wishes.  I felt a little like Ferris Bueller when I saw this.  :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


No new Christmas records posted today, I'm afraid.  I've been under the weather all weekend.  I think I'll live, but I don't have the ability to concentrate and make a new post or two.  If I did, it would come out horrible, I just know it.  So I'll try this again tomorrow.  Christmas is almost here, and I have so much to do...