Thursday, August 21, 2008
Santa Claus Presents: Christmas on 45
After much mulling about, as I thought about making this like my usual month long compilation posts and have all the songs run under 80 minutes in length so they can make for a nifty CD compilation, I had a real hard time whittling down my selections from my 45's to just 80 minutes of music.
Then today I picked up a record I bought in Minnesota during my vacation and inside the record were two more 45's I bought as well but forgot about and I also received two more 45's in the mail today.
So I said forget about it...forget a nice and tidy 80 minute CD length compilation on this one. Cutting nothing, restoring all the cut files from the folder on my computer, here it is...my Christmas on 45's collection, uncut and unrated! I have over 50 tracks chosen just for you!
Well, they aren't rated. It's not like the MPAA has rated these, and they came out before Tipper Gore could have any say, so...
Before I get into the first part of the compilation, I want to mention again that the holiday season is right around the corner. That means it's time to clean out my old files on my file sharing service, which means that inevitably I will have to take down certain old links. Now, I honestly don't know which ones are more popular or not, so I will do it as I personally see fit. I have to make room for the new files I have in plan to post for this coming holiday season. So, if you are new around here, stop dilly-dallying around and get to downloading those older files! There's no promises on how long they will remain up! Consider any time after today time that they could be subject for removal.
Without further adieu...
1) Country Squirrels-How I Love Those Christmas Songs
I picked up this record a few weeks ago from a retired DJ selling off their collection online. It was in perfect condition; it really looked like it could have come off the store shelf yesterday, yet this record was pressed in 1972.
The record label that put this out is Metromedia Country, and the best I can tell they were looking for the next Alvin and the Chipmunks. The A side of this single is pure kiddiefied pap designed to capitalize in on the Alvin and the Chipmunks frenzy that no doubt enthralled the nation in 1972. Don't worry...I will post side A later on in the compilation listing. But first is side B. While it maintains the ridiculous sped up voices that are common in kids records featuring animals (because we all know that if animals could really talk, their voices would sound like adult humans who speed up their voices), it's actually a relatively decent song in of itself. So much so that I wish it wasn't recorded like kiddiefied pap, but made into a regular song by the people behind the Country Squirrels.
It's not a lost treasure that will leave you scratching your head why it's been lost to time, but it's certainly a fine, capable song.
And as a bonus, here is the same song with the voices sounding normal (with digital editing, not by simply playing the 45 at regular speed.) I am not exactly sure if this is what their voices would really sound like in normal speed, but I did my best to edit it in a version that sounded relatively normal. Perhaps with different production values, this could have turned out to be a really good song.
BONUS: Country Squirrels-How I Love Those Christmas Songs (the Tone King Edit)
2) Becky Lamb-Little Becky's Christmas Wish
Perhaps the most hated and loved Christmas song. But it seems for everybody who hates it, this song receives an outpouring of support. I've read stories online about how well this song charted back in 1967 and the requests for it and the compliments outweighed the complaints.
I have to be honest and say I never heard the song until I spun the 45 record on my player a few weeks ago. I bought the record because I never heard of the song, and that was all the reason enough for me.
3) The Spirit of Christmas-Christmas Is My Time of Year
Now I am sure there is a good number of you reading this blog who recognize this by the name alone. Don't get excited...I haven't tracked down my own copy of the original White Whale records 45. I haven't been that lucky, and I doubt I'd have that much money to blow on one record.
So maybe this entry in this compilation is a bit of cheating, as I don't have this on 45. But this is from the 45, just as it appeared on the White Whale Story Vol 2 CD compilation. (It's also on Rockin' Christmas from Rhino Records, which I also own.)
4) Saturday's Children-Christmas Sounds
God bless us, everyone. Oh, and Sundazed Records, too. They have been re-released a lot of great records and singles and have given us some great lost treasures to enjoy on vinyl again. This song actually comes from side 4 (or is that D???) of a self titled two 45 EP set. Originally recorded in 1966 it is now on a fresh new pressing for us to enjoy today, but it is the same great sound from yesteryear .
Saturday's Children were Chicago's answer to the Fab Four. This song (and the second one from this side that I will share later) was written by Ron Holder and Geoff Bryan, who were the Lennon/McCartney of this band. For some reason the Fab Four didn't give us too many Christmas songs, but we have a good selection of Christmas songs inspired by them from that time period, and I think this is a pretty darn good song.
5) The Cameos-Merry Christmas
From 1957 on the aptly named Cameo Records. A pretty good example of some early doo-wop as well as an example of a pretty good Christmas song.
6) 22.214.171.124's-Rock and Roll Santa
Released in 2003 by Norton Records, this might be the most recent of 45's I have to offer in this compilation. Yet I chose to put it with the oldies because it sounds like and oldie but a goody. They are a Japanese band fronted by Ronnie Fujiyama, with Akikio Omo on bass, Sachiko Fujii on drums, Jun Tomia on sax and Chiho on piano.
7) Bob Morrison-It's Christmas
Another B side of a 45. I will share the A side, Santa Mouse, on another part of this compilation. This comes from Columbia Records in 1966. Two pretty strong sides here...
Well, this is a good start, I must say. Look for weekly updates until all the songs are posted (so i am figuring 4 weeks of posts for this compilation.)
Thank you for reading and listening!