Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Golden Christmas Sing-A-Long - Sandpiper Chorus and Orchestra

A Golden Christmas Sing-A-Long Sandpiper Chorus and Orchestra
You folks must have been real good this year, as here's another rarity (no alternate download spots on Google — my barometer for whether something is available!) — A Golden Christmas Sing-A-Long by the Sandpiper Chorus and Orchestra (Golden Records L67 / Arranged and Conducted by Jim Timmens, 1962.)

Like to sing-a-long with Christmas music? Well, here's your chance! "Performed in the proper keys for children", this album is complete with instructions on how and when to chime in on your seasonal favorites. The Sandpiper vocals even drop out at key moments for you to fill in ("... so be good for goodness ____.")

This gem will either excite you or enrage you (for instance, there's virtually no variation in the arrangements from track to track.) Chances are, however, if you're here in the first place, A Golden Christmas Sing-A-Long might just end up being your favorite download of the 2013 Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Merry Christmas from Bonnie Guitar

Merry Christmas from Bonnie Guitar
My apologies for slacking off this season... I hope this album will more than make up for it!

I was surprised to find that in this great universe of Christmas music blogs, Merry Christmas from Bonnie Guitar (Dot Records DLP 25746, Stereo) had not already been shared.

Released on LP in 1966, and (to date) never re-issued on CD, this smooth collection features a coo-ing Bonnie Guitar on vocals, complemented with period-appropriate background vocals, strings and pop ensemble (arranged by Cliff Parman) — all in the style Guitar was popular for at the time as a performer.

The album kicks off with the original "I'll Be Missing You (Under the Mistletoe)", gently breaking in the festivities for what was likely a Country music crowd. Of particular note is "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", a great, late-Christmas Eve option for those reflective moments before bedtime, and the drum-led "Joy to the World", which the background singers amping things up.

This album may also be the first appearance of "Last Christmas" — but it's not the mega-hit recorded by '80s pop group Wham! This one is an original tune.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Update

Howdy, folks! Just a couple of weeks before I start posting some new (old) albums here at Hi-Fi Holiday! In the meanwhile, please enjoy some updated links. If you've tried to grab a classic christmas record in the past 6-10 months but the link was dead, please try again. They're now completely fixed! See you in November...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Merry Christmas with The Four Aces — The Four Aces

Christmas is a many-splendored thing... When you're spending the holiday with The Four Aces! Welcome to Hi-Fi Holiday, 2012 edition!

The first post of the season is Merry Christmas with The Four Aces (Decca / 1955 / mono) — an album, despite the notoriety of the artists, which has never appeared on CD (allegedly released on cassette, however.) Note that this album is available to download via iTunes and Amazon.com, though both appear to be taking advantage of it's lapsed international copyright status.

This is a solid, if simple Christmas collection split into two distinct sides — side A is for the kids (the vinyl's rough condition as testament) and side B, for mild-mannered grannies and the traditionalists. Highlights include "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night", though "Silver Bells" sounds great on the Aces' vocal harmonies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome, Christmas 2012!

Hi, folks — Hi-Fi Holidays will resume it's annual album posting schedule shortly. I am cleaning up some recordings made (but never finished) last year, and starting up new ones for this season.

There have been a handful of comments about old album links not working, and I hope to fix those as well.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Surprises From The Ralph Hunter Choir

Hoo boy, just days from Christmas 2011! My apologies for the lack of prolific album shares, but I seem to end up recording more than I can share here. Why not finish 2011 with a doozy — albeit a title that has been shared previously elsewhere (via Ernie Not Bert). My philosophy: I ripped it, so I might as well share it! Here then is Christmas Surprises From The Ralph Hunter Choir.

This one has it's moments of zaniness ("Parade of the Wooden Soldiers", "Wassail Song"), and swank Living Stereo bongos and percussion ("Indian Christmas Carol / Latin Lullaby") but always featuring superb arrangements for the choir. An absolute classic Christmas album that should be in every Christmas eve mix! Download it - now!

Factoid: this album was later re-issued and credited to The Living Voices (with different artwork).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas with Waldo de los Rios

Waldo de los Rios, according to Wikipedia, was an Argentine composer, conductor and arranger. He passed away in 1977, just a few years after he recorded and released this album, Christmas with Waldo de los Rios (aka "Navidad Con Waldo de Los Rios") for Hispa-Vox (Capitol in North America). Rios was known for adapting classical music into a contemporary (for the time) easy-listening style and his interpretations here of yuletide classics are no different — soft drums, bass guitar, and whispering flutes (mostly carrying the melody) accompany a soft orchestral sound, all drenched in copious reverb.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New music comin' soon!

Hi folks — just an update... I had a couple of albums ready to go to post, however one was recently shared elsewhere (Christmas Surprises with the Ralph Hunter Choir — though I might still share it!) and another was recently released on CD (We All Need a Little Christmas by The Golddiggers.) So instead I'll post another album this week. New post here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Is For Children — Various

Getting the (snow) ball rolling on 2010, here's a various artists album, Christmas Is For Children, from Lion Records (L70079) dated 1958, featuring a trio of kiddie tunes from Barry Gordon ("I Like Christmas"), Little Rita Faye ("I Fell Out of the Christmas Tree" — for you rural Christmas nuts) and Leslie Uggams ("The Fat, Fat Man"). You'll find the sound quality varies between each track (this was a severely loved LP, as evidenced by the condition of the jacket), as the recordings likely are from a range of dates — the Korn Kobblers tracks have that distinctive '30s-40s style that reminds me of the horrific big band music from the end of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, and the Jimmy Durante selections sound like recordings he would eventually re-perform and release in later years (in fact "Frosty, The Snow Man" here features the original lyric "I'll be back again someday"). Well, that's enough blathering from me. Let's get on with the download...