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  • Register:12/26/2006 08:26:49

Date Posted:01/04/2020 09:00:10Copy HTML

Just found this Christmas treasure on YT recently!  Virgil Fox was an organist of unequaled virtuosity.  Mr Fox released Christmas Carols On The Organ for RCA Victor Red Seal in 1954.  Every note is stirring and scintillating.  The performance rises through the limitation of the then available recording technology.  The recording was made at the Riverside Church in Manhattan.  Couldn't locate it on CD.  


I had two other organ and chimes Christmas albums, Merry Christmas with Organ & Chimes, on the independent Crown label and Merry Christmas Carols, combined with Sing We Now of Christmas by The Harry Simeone Chorale.  The organist was Ashley Miller playing The Radio City Music Hall organ.


I checked the top 500 Christmas albums list and couldn't locate it, unless I missed it.  I found E Power Biggs, but no Virgil Fox.  


1954 was a very good year for Christmas albums.  We got the original Music Of Christmas, Christmas at Liberace's and this treasure.

Christmas Music Guru Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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  • Register:09/07/2005 11:04:22

Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/05/2020 12:29:02Copy HTML


There are many more albums that I've listed beyond my Top 500 that reside in my "Notable Mentions" section (Part 1 and Part 2). Please scroll down to the bottom of the Top 500 category page to find them.

Anyway, Virgil Fox had two Christmas albums: Christmas Carols On The Organ for RCA Records (RCA catalog #LM-1845); and a Christmas album for Enoch Light's Command Records label called simply The Christmas Album (Command catalog #CC-11032-SD). Neither one of these albums made my Top 500, but are given honorable mention in Part 1 of my "Notable Mentions" section.

Regarding the Crown Records Christmas LP that you referred to, Merry Christmas Carols With Organ & Chimes (Crown catalog #CLP-5086), the featured organist was William Daly.

And as for Ashley Miller, that double LP with Harry Simeone that you alluded to was a special edition. His Christmas album Merry Christmas Carols With Organ & Chimes (coincidentally, the same title as the aforementioned Crown Records album by William Daly) was released by 20th Fox Records (later renamed 20th Century Fox Records) in its own right as an independent album (20th Fox catalog #1008/#3050). And just for your edification, Ashley Miller had two other Christmas albums: Holiday Music for Mercury Records (catalog #MG-20189); and Christmas Carols With Organ & Chimes for Command Records (catalog #COM-K1-SD). By the way, the latter was an exclusively produced Christmas LP for department store E.J. Korvette.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/05/2020 06:01:51Copy HTML

I hate to contradict you, Chip, but Virgil Fox recorded two additional Christmas albums: 


Hark! the Herald Angels (Capitol SP-8531, 1960). 


Carols for Organ and Chimes, which is actually the second disc of a 4-LP multi-artist box set called The Organ Plays Music for a Merry Christmas (Reader's Digest RD3-42, 1965); the other albums in the set are by Reginald Dixon, Dick Leibert, and William Davies. 


The reissue label OrganArts put out three CD compilations a few years back containing all of Fox's non-RCA Christmas recordings. These can still be purchased via Amazon.


A Virgil Fox Christmas I contains the Command tracks.

https://www.amazon.com/Virgil-Fox-Christmas-I/dp/B005KUKW6W/


A Virgil Fox Christmas II contains the Capitol tracks.

https://www.amazon.com/Virgil-Fox-Christmas-II/dp/B005KUKWBW/


A Virgil Fox Christmas III contains the Reader's Digest tracks.

https://www.amazon.com/Virgil-Fox-Christmas-III/dp/B005KUKWIA/


To make things more complicated, EMI Classics also reissued the Capitol album on CD as A Virgil Fox Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Virgil-Fox-Christmas/dp/B000002UP7/



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Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/05/2020 07:23:44Copy HTML


Absolutely correct on the first album (Capitol), but not for the second (Reader's Digest); as I don't include box set releases like that in my Top Play list.

But yes indeed, the Capitol album is a legitimate Virgil Christmas LP release that I omitted and definitely qualifies as a good candidate for my "Notable Mentions" list.

As I have said so many times in the past, this is the dilemma that I have of having a collection as large as mine. I've been trying to catalog all of the albums that I have in my archives which didn't make my Top 500, and then add them to my "Notable Mentions" list; but it's just too herculean a task. There are just too darn many albums. Hell, it was enough of a task to categorize my Top 500 out of the thousands that I have.

For me right now, the goal of completing such a task with my archives is just a velleity, nothing more. It's the same as my aspirations of possibly writing a book someday. Frankly, I don't think either one will ever come to fruition; but that's okay, as my Top 500 is my shining star. The "Notable Mentions" is of far less importance.

Anyway, thanks for the heads up on the Capitol album; at least it's one less album that I'll have to document from the archives.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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  • Register:12/26/2006 08:26:49

Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/06/2020 09:25:29Copy HTML

Hi Chip.  I found Christmas Carols On The Organ by Virgil Fox in your Notable Mentions.  Thank you very much.  I had a good holiday for discovering lost treasures.  You'll recall I found the Joni James Christmas album on YT a bit earlier and saw that it was in your Top 500.


Regarding the two organ and chimes Christmas albums that I referred to in my post, on both of them the organist was not credited.  Did not know William Daly was the organist on the Crown Records LP.  I only found out Ashley Miller was the organist on the 20th Fox LP when I found the album uploaded on YT.


The Virgil Fox LP we're discussing is quite long, 48 minutes.  Most LPs were around 30 minutes in length.  Too bad Christmas Carols On The Organ isn't currently available on CD.  Was it available previously?  



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Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/07/2020 01:27:17Copy HTML


No Frank, I've never seen a complete, unabridged reissue CD; which is surprising because it was Virgil's first Christmas album.

By the way, he made a guest appearance on Ed Sullivan's show on Christmas Eve in 1967, performing "Adeste Fideles."



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/07/2020 03:35:38Copy HTML

Great video, Chip!  Thank you!  It is both surprising and sad that there likely has never been an unabridged CD reissue of Christmas Carols On The Organ.  The album has likely been out of print for decades.  The YT uploads were done very recently within the past year.  We may not have this album on CD, but I'm happy I was able to find it on YT.

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Re:Christmas Carols On The Organ - Virgil Fox (RCA Victor, 1954)

Date Posted:01/08/2020 05:07:58Copy HTML


Glad you liked the video, Frank.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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