Monday, March 31, 2008

God's Own Fool

I was going through some old tapes I've had since pterodactyls ruled the skies, and I found a Christmas concert I taped off the radio featuring the music of Michael Card. As you may recall, I previously shared his music on this blog so even if you never heard of him before, hopefully you checked out his songs I posted before.

The concert starts out with a set of some of Michael Card's better know songs, and the first one he begins with is "God's Own Fool," so it struck me to be a fun idea to post this concert since April Fool's Day is upon us.

The year this was recorded is unknown to me. Considering The Promise came out in 1991 and I recorded this off KJLY in southern Minnesota, that puts this between Christmas 91 and Christmas 93 because by Christmas 94 I had moved out of the listening area of this particular radio station. My guesstimation is that I recorded this in 1993. It's as a good of guess as any, but there is a clue in the concert: he mentions the following week he's going to be performing this same concert in Belfast. That concert, as far as I can tell, was released on video in 1997 (though I am not certain...I don't own the video and it's not on DVD.) So I am not exactly sure what year that was recorded for the video.

Nonetheless, I have this tape. I have tried to find a DJ copy of this musical, but to no avail. While I have been able to track down copies of radio shows on LP and CD that were sent to radio stations for broadcast in the past, I am guessing this was not sent on LP or CD to radio stations, as it was simulcast live. And I wish I had an official radio station copy, because the sound quality on my approximately 15 year old tape leaves a bit to be desired, and worst of all the third part of the concert is incomplete. I regret that, but I am thinking it had to be a 2 hour concert and I only had a 90 minute tape. (Just to say I am SOOOOOO glad I have the ability to record from the radio directly onto my computer more messy tape to deal with!)

Also, a bit of Michael Card's talking (I forget on which track) is missing because of the switch from side A to side B.

So I apologize this concert isn't complete and in better quality, but I present here the full tape I have, divided in tracks, but none of the concert has been edited out. Even the pauses from Michael Card's speech to the time his band starts playing is fully intact....this is just as I taped it off the radio and given to you, including a station ID for you air check fans out there.

01-God's Own Fool
02-My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
03-Know You In the Now; Could It Be?
04-Talking, introductions
06-More introductions
07-Band warming up
08-Christmas portion introduction
09-The Promise
11-Unto Us a Son is Given
13-What Her Heart Remembered
14-Joseph's Song introduction
15-Joseph's Song
16-Vicit Agnus Intro
17-Vicit Agnus Noster (Our Lamb Has Conquered)
19-Shepherds' Watch
20-Jacob's Star intro
21-Jacob's Star
23-We Will Find Him
24-Thou the Promise
25-Immanuel intro
27-Carols portion (incomplete)

Also, I thought I should point out that the posting of this puts my online files at well over 1 gigabyte. I have 2 gigs available on my online storage site, so we have a ways to go yet, but I thought I would mention that when I run out of space, the first things to get taken down are these larger collections. I am not going to give a date when these files will no longer be available...I will more than likely take down the older ones first to make more space for new ones...but these won't be around forever. So get them while the getting is good.

Thank you, and thanks for listening. And I think I have some really cool stuff to share with you all through the month of April. I plan on making one post per week for the next couple of months, so keep checking back from time to time...there will be some good stuff coming. Maybe familiar stuff to you die hard Christmas music enthusiasts, but hopefully something new as well. I got some good collections planned to share.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What a Year for a New Year

In my Merry March post, I forgot to mention one of the most important holidays of this month...NOWRUZ!!!

Also spelled Norouz, Narooz, Norooz, Nawruz, Newroz, Nauruz, Nawroz, Noruz, Novruz, Nauroz, Navroz, Naw-Rúz, Nowroj, Navroj, Nevruz, Наврӯз, Navruz, Navrez or Nowrouz

It is not just the first day of Spring, but it is the first day of the year for many cultures around the world. As I said in my New Year's Eve post, I feel we screwed the pooch by trading the first day of spring as the first day of the new year for Jan. 1st. See, we could have kept Jan 1st...I am sure our collective minds could have come up with a holiday to celebrate that day. "Turning of the Calendar Day" or something. But, dang, if today wasn't a great day to have off of work, at least around here. 70º and sunny...but I know it wasn't that way for everybody.

In fact, 70 counties not far from me are declared Federal disaster areas due to heavy rains and floods, and they are going to get worse. I went by the store after work to get some groceries and I got next to nothing and spent $46.00. My gas gauge in my car is getting closer and closer to that E mark everyday, and that will be another $32.00 or so to fill my little tank. Jobs falling, prices rising. Fed cuts interest rates, corporations cut jobs and mortgages raise and our salaries remain stagnant.

Not that you need to come to this blog to read all that...turn on the news if you wanted to really know about it, right? But it got me at least a LITTLE hopeful today since this is technically the first day of the new year (and the day I prefer to celebrate the first day of the New Year!) And I know it's more middle eastern countries that celebrate this as the first day of the New Year, but they have been doing it a lot longer than our country has been around, or probably could hope to be around. So, yeah, I think they got this day right.

We may be facing a recession (and if we are facing the recession, I hate to think what we are in now!!!) but this is an election year, so you never know. Here's hoping...this is quite a year for a new year.

Dan Wilson-What a Year for a New Year

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Christmas Story Gone HORRIBLY Wrong!

I cannot be the only person that thought of our friend Ralphie when I saw the news story I am sharing today. I can't be. I just can't.

6-year-old boy dies after being shot in left eye

Memphis police probe spring break case to determine who fired fatal shot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Police have identified a 6-year-old Memphis boy who died after being shot in his left eye.

Authorities say Charlris Fleming was transported to Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in extremely critical condition Monday morning. He was pronounced dead at 10:18 a.m.

Police say Fleming was in a room at New Greenbriar Apartments with a 7-year-old boy when the shooting occurred. Three adults were in the apartment when the incident occurred, but not in the room at the time.

Police were still trying to determine who fired the fatal shot.

The shooting occurred on the first day of spring break for students in Memphis City Schools.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Merry Month of March!

March is a special kind of month. I think outside of the Christmas season, this is the most holiday enriched time of the year (and don't tell me Christmas is just one day...we've already been around that topic!)

This month we have (just to name a few)...

●12 Girl Scouts Founded
●16 Palm Sunday
●17 St Patrick's Day
●20 Vernal Equinox/Maundy Thursday/Journée internationale de la Francophonie
●21 Good Friday
●22 Holy Saturday
●23 Easter Sunday
●24 Easter Monday

Try as I did, I could NOT find any Christmas songs by Girl Scouts to commemorate their anniversary. It's a sad thing, but I guess when you're so busy making all those cookies you don't get much time to get in the recording studio to lay down some Christmas tunes. And if I do find any, well...I guess I will just have something for next year!

But March has plenty of other great things to celebrate, and I contemplated making separate posts for each day for each holiday, but I figured what better way to celebrate this festive month than to share a few great March and Spring related Christmas tunes!

First up, why not celebrate the first day of spring with a wonderful tale about Santa's visit to this wonderfully festive time of the year! This is from the excellent collection titled "What Would Santa Say?"

Mark Shane Xmas All Stars-Santa Claus Came in the Spring

Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of songs that tie in Christmas with the Spring, but I managed to find a couple others. This one is an instrumental by Bill Mallonee (of Vigilantes of Love fame) from his Christmas release, Yonder Shines the Infant Light. It's Springish, I guess!

Bill Mallonee-Dayspring

I'd like to share another song that celebrates the passing of winter into spring. This is from Wonderland: Cool December, an excellent collection at any time of the year.

Julie Christy-Love Turns Winter to Spring

March brings us St. Patrick's Day, and there is seemingly no shortage of Irish Christmas music to share. This year I have a couple tracks from Frank Kelly's Christmas Countdown on Rego Irish Records. (The information on the site I linked says the CD is a CD-R but I can verify that my CD is an actual pressed factory made CD, not that makes a huge difference to me, but I thought the info might be useful.)

Tony Kenny-Any Dream Will Do

Gene Stewart-I Love Christmas

This following track comes from another EXCELLENT Christmas blog (which is already found in my links section to the right of this very post) and I am sure those of you interested enough to check out my blog in March are already fans of this man's blog, and more than likely already downloaded this track from his site, but I had to share it here nonetheless because it is one of the rare tracks that dares to meld Christmas and Easter with a wonderful result. (You can also see a high res scan of the original record cover there!)

Alex Houston & Elmer-Here Comes Peter Cotton Claus

Captain OT, if you are checking up on this blog, I sure hope you don't mind me sharing one of your awesome finds! Music like this has to get around!

I don't think I shared any Christine Wyrtzen on here before, but I more than likely will in the future. Fans of classic Christian radio may recognize her voice. The main bulk of her music is a wee bit before my time, as was her father's music (Don Wyrtzen). The Wyrtzen's were a formidable force in the genre of music they covered, and one of the things I appreciate most about them is their albums, even their Christmas albums, consisted mainly of original tracks. Well written original tracks. Surprisingly, information on them online is a bit sparse, and I do see Christine's original LPs are available on CD on her website, so be sure to support her by purchasing her excellent Christmas album, Christine's Christmas.

Christine Wyrtzen-All Year Long

That song is just a gentle reminder we should celebrate Christmas all year long. And, as we have found in March, there are plenty of reasons to find in each month of the year to remember the Christmas season and what it means to us.

Finally, I'd like to share another track that reminds of pretty much the same thing. This comes from Ferlin Husky's album Christmas All Year Long, which was released sometime in the 60s on Capitol Records.

Ferlin Husky-I Wish It Could Be Christmas All Year Long

That's it from me for this month! May the Easter season bring you some Christmas cheer!

Saturday, March 1, 2008