Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shell's Wonderful World of Music - Longines Symphonette Society

A double-LP set deserves a long title, and this one has one! This is Shell's Wonderful World of Music: Special Christmas Edition by the Longines Symphonette Society. According to Wikipedia, The Longines Symphonette Society was a record label created by the watch company Longines. Makes perfect sense.

Here are 20 carols performed in the wholly inoffensive choral/orchestral tradition ("Little Drummer Boy", "White Christmas" are highlights), with arrangements that are clean and straightforward. This is great background listening for Christmas gatherings where you don't want bombastic, jazzy or swinging variations to overload your celebratory subconcious.

It's difficult to believe in this day and age that gems like this were sold on the cheap in Shell gas stations all over North America! I believe this set was once issued on CD, but it appears to be long out-of-print. Don't let it remain neglected! Download and simmer down with this pleasant Christmas musical trip.

Please enjoy: Shell's Wonderful World of Music - Christmas Edition


38 comments:

  1. Wow! Very cool record! When I was a kid my parents traded at a Shell station up the road. I recall thinking highly of Shell for quite a while after that. I wish I'd picked up this record back then.

    Thanks for Sharing!

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  2. Thanks. I love all of these old Lps. I never saw any from shell because my dad was a Texaco man through and through. He did have many of the W. T. Grant and JC Penney LPs though. Good times.

    Dave

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  3. Thank you so much for making this beautiful old Christmas album available! I found your blog while doing a search for "Living Voices--Little Drummer Boy" (my absolute favorite Christmas album from childhood). Not only were you kind enough to make that wonderful album available, but you also made this one and several others available as well! I just finished downloading them all, and I know these will all become favorites as well!! Christmas music from the 50's and early 60's is so charming--it is both timeless and heartwarming!!

    Thank you again for such a great Christmas present!

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  4. Very nice. I love it. I was pointed to your site by someone who noticed my post on "The Little Drummer Boy." (Like gi joni, that one is my absolute favorite ever since I was a kid.) This one has the same feel to it. I'm a young guy (36), but I love these old recordings--the tight harmonies, the clarity of the voices (vs. the trying-too-hard to be sultry style of our own time), the straightforward stylings, etc. Refreshing! Thank you so much!

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  5. There is also a second volume under this title, which I was surprised to discover existed after having owned this set. It is a 2 disc set just like this one.

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  6. Hello!

    I know I'm a "later tater" but I just found this share from Christmas time last year and it is goregous. You did an excellent job with this. You would never know it was from an LP. so clear... nicely done!

    My parents will love this. they absolutely love the living strings and living voices (thank you also for the little drummer boy, loved that also) and this group is beautiful also. Sounds just wonderful!

    thank you once again. After seeing that i prayed it would still be available to download. Happy Christmas in July to me. Hooray. I'm 26 years old and the highlight of my day is getting new Christmas music. It all stems from my parents and now i'm more obsessed than them! LOL!

    thanks so much.

    Have A Magical Day!

    Maureen

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  7. I am looking for the Volume 2 of Shell's Wonderful World of Christmas. I was so surprised to find Volume 1! :) Thanks again! I really enjoy this type of music!

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  8. Tam -- I don't have a second volume of Shell/Longines music, but I do have a four LP Longines set of the same recordings. There are about 20 additional tracks on these LPs that aren't on the first Shell volume. I plan to post these in the next couple of months. Please stay tuned!

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  9. We found this special edition in a stack of albums at our local landfill boxes. It is in its original jacket. I thought it was neat to find something like this from my past. Haven't played the album yet -no turntable. But hopefully we will find someone with one soon.

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  10. Wonderful World of Christmas!!!

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  11. I followed the link to dl it and the file was unfortunately corrupted. This was an album I enjoyed much as a child, and now we have no record player. The album also resides at my mother's these days. If you can help me please e-mail cubfinder2002@yahoo.com

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  12. Hi cubfinder, I just downloaded the file to check and it worked fine for me. The .mp3 audio files are contained within a ".zip" file. Any Mac and/or any PC running XP or Vista will be able to "extract" the files to your hard drive. From there you'll need to either burn the .mp3s to CD or drop them into iTunes or whichever program you use to play music on your computer. Good luck!

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  13. thank you thank you thank you!

    I grew up with this album and it has the BEST version of Jingle Bells I've ever heard.

    :-)

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  14. RE: The John Gary Christmas Album
    I just downloaded the John Gary Christmas Album you posted. You just made a 6"8' 260 lb. dockworker fall apart as I remembered the wonderful childhood memories of Christmas time. The album brought so many of those times back. As I thought about so many of those Christmas holidays, I realized how fortunate I am to have had the family God gave to me. We grew up with only a few Christmas albums and this was one Mom and Dad really liked. Since we grew up with it, us kids couldn't wait to play it once Christmas time arrived. Thank you for posting this and bringing back a great memory. Thank you for making me appreciate even more those times and the family I've been given. Merry Christmas to all in 2008.

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  15. This set is going to get some heavy rotation on my Winamp playlist next Christmas even though I normally dread both Christmas muzak and the Christmas season.

    This is singularly great stuff and I thank you so much for posting it!

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  16. Great find!! Thanks so much Ryan!! I've downloaded a few albums that are great gems just as you said. I greatly appreciate you sharing these with everyone. Got a question for you regarding Shell's Wonderful World of Music. Do you have a picture of the back of the album jacket? If you do, can you provide a snapshot of it? Thanks!!!

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  17. When I was a child, my father brought this record home from the Shell Station. We did not have much money growing up so this was pretty much the only Christmas album we had. My sister, who passed away last year, and I would listen to this album while gazing at the album cover in great anticipation of Christmas. I even made a cassette tape of both records and took it with me to college. Eventually, the tape got eaten by my tape deck and the LP had gotten lost. It was so nice to listen to the album that brought spectors of Christmases past to life. Thank you for giving me back memories of long ago.

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  18. Nice to see some folks are still re-discovering this album!

    I have more Longines to add this year (Christmas 09!) and will add a back cover photo this fall.

    Enjoy!

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  19. This record defines my childhood Christmas'! My mom still has the record and I was so happy to be able to find and play this music again.

    Thanks so much.
    Mary Anne
    Halifax, NS Canada

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  20. Thank you for this (in Europe) hard to find
    record. Ik like this old fashioned music.


    Greetings form Hans koning, Holland

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  21. This is fantastic! I've been searching for this album set for several years to no avail, until now. I remember my parents buying this double album when it first came out (I was with them at the gas station.) and it has been my favorite collection of Christmas songs ever since. As you said the arrangements are clean and straight forward and that is what makes them so precious.I am 53 now and am so greatful that you have gone to great pains to make this available again. What wonderful memories this brings back for me. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas! PDT

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  22. Thank you for the download! My brother Greg worked at the old Shell station that was once located on Sherman Avenuse in Madison, Wisconsin, and it was there that we picked up this collection. This was one of just a handful of albums that we owned, and it was played over and over for many years. We still have our original copy, battered and scratched, but still very much loved. Thank you again for making the download available! kse

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  23. Many, many, MANY thanks! My mom had this record when I was little and we played it every year for many years. We had other Christmas records but this one and "The Little Drummer Boy" album by Living Voices were the only two that got played regularly, many times, every year. She's still got it squirreled away somewhere but good luck finding it, so today I decided to try to figure out what it was and see if I could listen online. All I remembered from 35 years back was that it had a design of a winter country road and sleigh and that it came from a gas station, and maybe was "Longines Symphonette". And presto, here it is! So glad to see it again, like finding an old friend. Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

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  24. I'd love to download several of the albums from your older blog posts, but all the links say, "file not found." Any chance of getting these older albums uploaded to your new file sharing host?

    Thanks!

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  25. I'd love to download several of the albums from your older blog posts, but all the links say, "file not found." Any chance of getting these older albums uploaded to your new file sharing host? I have tried for two years to download this and Shell Music album and to no avail is there a reason for this?

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  26. I would also like to download this album!

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  27. Hi! Ditto on the last three comments! Wanna download, but can't!
    Happy Holidays and thank you for doing this!

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  28. Thank you for this album!! I have been recording old albums to my computer as well and have this one but it's so scratched and just skips. As kids, we would listen to this over and over and I'm sure we weren't too careful with our albums!!

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  29. Ok, this is a fabulous Christmas present, and am glad to see a still working link for this. Thank you very much! Did you ever post the rest of the tracks from your multi-record set you mentioned above? Again, thanks!

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  30. Hi Kwork — I'll have to double check on those. Thanks for listening!

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  31. Hello Ryan!
    That album cover sure brings lots of memories back! In Quebec, we had a french version of that album... I know, very long shot here, but if you stumble over it, it would be awesome to be able to download it...
    Thanks!
    JF
    Montreal, QC

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  32. Thank you.
    In the US, almost all the gas stations,Goodyear Tires, and several hardware store chains had Christmas LPs for $1.99 (either their own, or compilations put together by RCA, Capitol, or Columbia). And every year all the 5&10 store chains -- Woolworth's, Grant's, Kresge's -- had basically the same Columbia Special Products LPs (but with different covers showing the corresponding store name) for $1.00-$1.99. Even Radio Shack and Kentucky Fried Chicken had holiday LPs. You could go from store to store and stock up on holiday music for $20. Those were the days.

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  33. Thank you so much from Switzerland! I am just in time for Christmas! Came across volume 2 first and it turned out to be a little jewel. I then immediately searched for volume1! And here it is. Thanks again! :-)
    Cheers
    PRO

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  34. Looking for Vol 3

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