Sunday, July 22, 2007

The John Gary Christmas Album

John Gary wishes you a Merry Christmas! How do I know that? It says so, right on the back of this LP!

Who is John Gary? He was a versatile vocalist (3 whoppin' octaves), born in 1932 who passed away in 1998. While he never achieved the mainstream status of many of his contemporaries, he recorded 23 albums for RCA Victor (see more at Wikipedia), including this gem, The John Gary Christmas Album.

Featuring the soothing vocals of one John Gary, orchestra arranged by Peter Matz and background vocalists, this is a wholly enjoyable little Christmas album. Straight laced, and timeless in that early 1960s mode. All of the standards are here, with a few lesser-known titles like "Little Snow Girl" and "Sweet Little Jesus Boy", beautifully rendered by our new tree-gazing music friend, John Gary.

But wait! Wasn't this released on CD, you ask? It was. In 2000 on Restart Records and now languishing out-of-print. Plus, the version I've uploaded is in Mono (RCA also issued a stereo LP). Consider this the best way to hear this album without taking away sales of an album no longer on sale... (Got that?)

Update! — This album is now available - in stereo - on John Gary's official website. Buy it today!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Christmas Serenade - Sammy Kaye

Okay, let's get this party started. To celebrate Christmas In July, here's Sammy Kaye's Christmas Serenade a 10" LP from Columbia Records (CL 2541). I haven't been able to track down a recording date for this LP, but Ernie Not Bert's blog shared an album with the same name last year (though with different contents). That LP was dated 1951 (see link).

This is a mix of fun tunes with more serious choral renditions. I hope Kaye's variations of "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town", "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" make it into your Christmas music rotation come November!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Christmas in July

Hi folks. It's July, and apparently the Christmas music blogs begin to wake up and add a few new albums to celebrate the halfway point between last Christmas and next Christmas. I too have a few classics I'll be adding to Hi-Fi Holiday over the next few weeks. Time to fire up the record player!

All of my previously shared albums are still available for download, so if you've been waiting (and why?) grab 'em!