Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas and 1966 and Now

Great Songs of Christmas, Volume 6 has always been the soundtrack to my Christmas season. This "Collector's Limited Edition” album was released in 1966, part of a series created as premiums for Goodyear. Back then, you could purchase these albums for a dollar at Goodyear stores. On the record are many giants of that time like Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Mathis, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Years ago, my mom recorded the album onto a cassette tape for me so I can still hear our family original with all of the pops and scratches. The record skip in the second chorus of Barbara Streisand’s "Silent Night" makes me feel at home.

The most important feature of this joyous relic is that it was my introduction to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, real people who became my childhood, imaginary friends. (I was kind of a weird kid.) I’m a lifelong fan of Steve and Eydie beginning with their version of “Let It Snow,” from this album. I have yet to live anywhere that it snows at Christmas but this song is still a favorite, if it’s their version, of course.

The song Bob likes best is "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" by Ray Coniff. I don't believe Bob has developed any particular affection for Mr. Coniff beyond this one song, but time will tell. (The weird kid thing could be genetic.)

4 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas!! I hope you are enjoying the season. Our favorite Christmas album is Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics --- which I considered putting in the car but decided not to since most songs have swears and George absorbs what he hears like a sponge.

    And weird kids are smarter and more interesting!

    xoxox,
    Katie

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  2. Love Babs but doesn't it scream "I'm desperate for attention" when Yentl sings a Christmas song?

    Neil Diamond singing "Oh Holy Night" is just plain sad. He just can't pull it off.

    Josh Groban, however, doesn't matter if he's Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or agnostic. He can work it, baby. I believe he believes whatever he sings.

    But I have yet to address the real point which is I grew up to THAT album and sounds of Disneyland, including "It's a Small World" in all of the languages and the creepy stuff from the Haunted House.

    If you add the Disney sounds, Bob will grow up to be as completely well rounded and normal as me.

    Why aren't rushing out to get Disney right now? Go! Before all of them are snatched up on eBay!

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  3. I don't know... I think Neil and Babs do an admirable job.

    Interesting... many of the most beloved holiday songs were written by Jewish folks:

    - "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin

    - "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" "Holly Jolly Christmas" "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" by Johnny Marks

    - "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

    - "Silver Bells" by Livingston and Evans

    - "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) by Mel Torme

    - "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by George Wyle

    - "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Walter Kent & Buck Ram

    - "There's No Place Like Home for The Holidays" by Allen & Stillman

    - "Santa Baby" by Joan Javits

    - "We Need A Little Christmas" by Jerry Herman

    So enjoy and you're welcome ; )

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  4. steve and eydiewere huge at my house growing up and not just for christmas.

    i must have recognized steve&eydieness in you way back when at ajrhigh.
    love you

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