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Christmas Music Guru
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Date Posted:05/28/2015 04:01:42Copy HTML


   ***THIS IS A YULE LOG.COM EXCLUSIVE***

   


     


Later this year, I will be announcing in Edition #15 of "Chip's Tips" the complete lineup of Real Gone Music's Christmas CD releases for 2015. And just to whet your appetite, it's a long list!


In the meantime, I am extremely proud to announce three of the shining stars of the Christmas CD releases for 2015 that Gordon Anderson (Co-Founder/President of Real Gone Music) has agreed to release from my list of Christmas reissue recommendations, all of which reside in the 1st Tier of my Top 500.

The first is John Gary's outstanding 1964 Christmas album,
The John Gary Christmas Album. This Christmas classic resides in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, coming in at #34. And for this 2015 CD release, I have personally asked John's widow, Lee Gary, to pen the liner notes -- and she happily agreed. In all my experience of over 40 years as a Christmas music collector, I have to say that this great album by Mr. Gary is one of the most underrated Christmas albums of all-time.

The second and third are on a 2-fer CD (two albums on one CD),
and they are The Living Voices' 1962 Christmas album,
The Living Voices Sing Christmas Music (originally released in 1959 as Christmas Surprises by The Ralph Hunter Choir; see my In The Spotlight tribute to this album for more on its unique release/reissue history by clicking here); and the second album on the 2-fer is The Living Voices' 1965 Christmas album, The Little Drummer Boy. These two magnificent albums reside in the 1st Tier of my 
Top 500 as well, coming in at #95 and #96 respectively. I am particularly happy about the release of these two albums, but each for a different reason: the 1962 album because it's the first-ever release on CD; and the 1965 album because of my friendship with its producer, the legendary RCA Records producer Ethel Gabriel, and my desire to get the album back in print while she is still alive. In addition, it is from this 1965 album that I chose one of the twenty-three songs that I included in the new fourth hour that I added to the Yule Log telecast in 2009 -- that song being Be A Santa.

The street date for these two CDs, and all of the other Real Gone Music Christmas CD releases that I will be announcing later this year (most of which were also recommended by me to Gordon for reissue), is early October 2015.

In the meantime, posted below for your enjoyment is a song from each of the three aforementioned albums. The first is John Gary's outstanding rendition of the modern-day classic 
The Christmas Song; the second is The Living Voices' (aka The Ralph Hunter Choir) sweet and sentimental Latin Lullaby; and the third is The Living Voices' charming and jolly Be A Santa. Enjoy!



<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/epXzdOXCtdY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/drRV2wR6VCM" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>



<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/A1DvZ2dQsdg" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 08:07:41Copy HTML

   LOVE it! GREAT NEWS MASTER-CHIP! Can always use more LIVING VOICES, I will definitely buy ALL of these during Real Gone's annual Christmas sale. Cheers to you Gordon for "listening to the people" that Chip so dutifully represents not only on this board, but around the Christmas snow-globe. (Sure hope ONE of the upcoming releases is Mantovani's CHRISTMAS CAROLS; which should ALWAYS remain IN PRINT indefinitely; partciularly for those that missed out on it. (Thanks to CHIP'S TIPS, I luckily didn't. But it's totally overpriced on Amazon right now, and music-listeners are really upset about it). And will we EVER get a NON-CD-R version of "Wonderland Of Christmas" by Andre Kostelanetz? And will we ever see a release of much of the music that was featured in the Rankin & Bass Christmas specials that should've been released, but wasn't; in particular, "Jack Frost!" (by Buddy Hackett) and "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" featuring, well, my favorite! "Smokey-the-Bear" should be out there too; another Rankin and Bass special that's been buried over the years.

   Keep 'em comin' Chip & Gordon! Keep 'em comin'! RIGHT ON! Wonder if the Goodyear albums could be released withOUT the name? Too bad they wouldn't grant you the rights. There were so many rare relics on so many of those albums. They deserve to be back in print. By the way, does anybody have a total number of sales of copies that all Goodyear Christmas albums sold? (All put together? On all formats?) I'd be curious to know that myself. It's got to have been at least in the hundreds-of-thousands catagories....

Looking forward to the full lineup of the upcoming releases! And as always, Have a happy!

 

HappyTheThrillerBabyJoshua
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 01:20:25Copy HTML

Hi Chip: Thanks for keeping the ball rolling on these Christmas releases! John Gary is a big score.  With these two and the Johnny Douglas family's releases, this should about include all the Living Strings/Voices releases with the exception of the green covered LP from about 1971, if I recall correctly.

I look forward to the other releases as well.

And as always, somehow hoping against all possibilities, the Rosetta Stone of Christmas albums, a stereo remastered release of Percy Faith's "Music of Christmas" is always on my list. 

A big thanks to Gordon and his record company for keeping the spirit alive in these Christmas releases! 

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 01:57:18Copy HTML

Hi Chip!


A big THANK YOU to Gordon for taking a listen to fans who have wanted  The Little Drummer Boy on CD again after its very brief appearance years ago!   It will be great having it in STEREO as I have the 1965 Mono release - my parents bought it at a store on Main Street Flushing NY way back when!

Never heard of the other Living Voices Christmas album but will be grabbing that one too!   The Little Drummer Boy has that special Christmas feeling and it is a very underrated album, it is a real gem!  

My Barnes and Noble didn't have the Devol album last year so this year I will be buying that and the Living Voices!  


A big thank you to you Chip for all your work on bringing these Christmas wonders back to us!


Best and warmest regards,

Bob Grippo 


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 03:28:28Copy HTML

The John Gary Christmas Album reissue is, indeed, a GREAT triumph for us Christmas music lovers. I can't believe this is seeing the light of day on legit CD. What an underrated, oft-forgotten vocalist and what a wonderful Christmas LP! Could a CD reissue of The Jack Jones Christmas Album be far behind?

I'm wishin' and hopin' and prayin' that Christmas Favorites by The Hollyridge Strings makes its way back in print on CD one day. It's been a staple of my Holiday celebrations since discovering an LP share of the album almost a decade ago. Even though I own multiple copies of the Collectors' Choice Music reissue, I would buy multiple copies of a Real Gone Music edition, too. The album is just THAT good! LOVE The Hollyridge Strings!

Once more, thanks for your untiring efforts in getting these obscure yet classic Christmas albums reissued on CD, Chip! It seems like Gordon "gets it" and us. Thanks to him, too, for releasing albums no other record label would dare touch. Looks like Christmas 2015 is going to be a dream come true for us Christmas music fans!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 06:28:53Copy HTML

It's so funny, Chip "Claus," I was thinking over the holiday weekend that we had to be getting close to hearing from you regarding the fruits of your efforts for 2015!  Great news!

You know the Living Voices re-releases are going to be a major hit with me.  I also know that John Gary will be big for many posters here and elsewhere as I've already read.

This news is so good that I won't even think about the Living Strings' ""The Sound of Christmas" - yet that will be another big score if it were to ever come to fruition.

Well done, Chip.  
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 08:58:47Copy HTML

Thanks Badgercat, "The Sound of Christmas" that's the name of the LP I couldn't recall- green with the small square in the middle from the Living Strings - has the best version of "Toyland" ever.  That would make my "Living" Christmas collection complete with the above 2 LPs and those from Norma.

Regards,

John

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 09:09:55Copy HTML

To complete the "Living..." Christmas collection you also need those Living Trio and Living Guitars albums in addition to <i>The Sound of Christmas</i>. Maybe someday...
These are all welcome reissues, Chip. Thanks to you for your tireless advocacy of this wonderful music, and to Gordon Anderson for putting it out!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/28/2015 10:24:53Copy HTML

Yes! Yes! Yes!  
 Thank you, Chip
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/29/2015 06:40:13Copy HTML


Joshua:

I'm still working to get the Mantovani back in print; however, it's a UMG property, so it's not an easy task. The Kostelanetz is being directly marketed by Sony right now as a CD-R, so nothing will happen on that one right now. And no, unfortunately the Goodyear albums cannot be released without the Goodyear name. Glad you're looking forward to the new CDs. 



Johnny:

You were close, as The Living Strings album that you were trying to think of, The Sound Of Christmas, was from 1970, not 1971. This great album,
which comes in at #33 in my Top 500, was conducted by Geraldo and it was arranged by both Geraldo and Bernard Ebbinghouse. Geraldo was the 3rd most prolific conductor/arranger for the Living Strings after Johnny Douglas and Hill Bowen, who were the 1st and 2nd most prolific respectively. I was hoping to get this album released for this year, but with all the new Christmas CDs coming out this year, it just wasn't possible. So it's one of my top priorities for me to get released on CD for next year.

Also, rest assured that I will never stop working to
get the 1959 Stereo version of Percy Faith's Music Of Christmas (the #1 album of all-time in my Top 500) a proper release on CD. Someday, hopefully, it will finally happen.



Bob #1:

I've been working a long time to get this album back in print. It has never been released on CD here in the U.S., and only had a brief, limited release in Canada many years ago. And yes, it's another much underrated Christmas album. This particular Living Voices album, The Little Drummer Boy, was arranged and conducted by the great Anita Kerr and she also sang on it along with her vocal group, The Anita Kerr Singers. Glad you're looking forward to the CD. 



Peter:

The resounding answer to your question: the Jack Jones isn't very far behind! In fact, it's pretty damn close. So stay tuned, I'll have something to say about this in the very near future. As for the Hollyridge Strings, it's definitely a priority for re-release sometime down the line; but like the Mantovani, it's a UMG property. So patience will be a virtue.



Bob #2:

Glad you're looking forward to the new Living Voices releases. As for The Living Strings' The Sound Of Christmas;
don't worry, as I told Johnny above, it's one of my top priorities for me to get released on CD for next year.



Mike
:

I eventually would like to get The Living Trio's 1967 Christmas album, I'll Be Home For Christmas, packaged as a 2-fer with The Living Guitars' 1969 Christmas album, The Joy Of Christmas. The Living Strings' 1970 Christmas album, The Sound Of Christmas, would be issued as a standalone CD.



Lisa:

Thanks for your resounding "Yes" to the third power.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/29/2015 05:17:38Copy HTML

With regard to the Goodyear collections, would it be possible to just release those albums minus the Goodyear name? Or do they have ownership of the titles and artwork as well?
At the very least, I wish Sony could issue a compilation CD with some of the songs from that series that are difficult (or impossible) to find elsewhere.
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/29/2015 05:23:21Copy HTML

Motown Mike, I was thinking the same exact thing: "The Tire-Store Christmas Album Volumes 1&2"


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/30/2015 06:30:27Copy HTML


No worries, guys; despite the licensing issue, I have not given up on releasing the Goodyear Christmas albums, not at all. In fact, I spoke to Gordon about it the other day and advanced a solution that might make a Real Gone Music release acceptable to both Goodyear and Sony. This will have to be worked out by negotiation, so a release for this year is not possible; but hopefully for 2016. I'll keep everyone posted.



In the meantime, I'd like to take advantage of this post to post another three songs from the John Gary and Living Voices Christmas albums that are being released later this year.

The first song, from The John Gary Christmas Album, is a magnificent original composition co-written by John and Sammy Fain entitled Wintertime And Christmas Time (Lee Gary, John's wife, told me that of the Christmas songs her husband recorded, this was always her most favorite); the second song, from The Living Voices Sing Christmas Music, is
the group's beautifully haunting rendition of White Christmas, accentuated perfectly by that equally beautiful high falsetto; and the third song, from The Living Voices' Little Drummer Boy album, is a great medley that leads off with the charming and delightful Pine Cones And Holly Berries. Enjoy!


<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u2bUNPVnfCY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>


<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uc83E9RrEPw" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>


<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vA9Qg44Eowk" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/30/2015 07:11:55Copy HTML

I just had a 'flashback' - the music over the closing credits on one of the two "WKRP in Cincinnati" Christmas episodes, is it a song from the Living Voices "The Little Drummer Boy" LP? Hmmm.

Thanks,

John

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/31/2015 04:46:02Copy HTML

Hi Chip!
I am telling all my friends about the The Little Drummer Boy!   You know how many time I mentioned this album to you!  I am so thrilled to being able to finally get it on CD thanks to you and Gordon!  

Can you give us a bit of a background on the Living Voices???


In our home we play a lot of classic albums and cd''s but three get constant play in fact we start playing them in August or Sept and do not stop until April -- they are

Perry Como - Season's Greetings  (we have my grandfathers original 1959 release album and numerous copies on cd for our cars too)

The Living Voices -- The Little Drummer Boy (original Mono 1965 release - never figured out why my pop did not buy the stereo version) this record has the best version of "Do You Hear What I Hear" ever recorded in my opinion.

And Harry Simeone "Oh Bambino" original release has a picture of a woman holding a baby on the cover - do you know what year this came out?????


Sadly the CD of this album is missing one song!


Thanks again my friend!   And you do not know how much more special you and Gordon have made our upcoming holiday and Christmas season with this great album getting a proper cd release - we are already filled with the holiday spirit which will help us get through the long summer! 
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/31/2015 06:45:15Copy HTML


Bob,

I'm glad to hear how much you're looking forward to the CD. And yes, I do indeed recall how many times you mentioned the album to me in the past. And as I said to you on many of those occasions, just be patient, as it might take a little time, but eventually it will happen. And voil
à!

As for the Living Voices, they were for the most part studio session singers hired by the legendary RCA Records producer Ethel Gabriel, with whom I never fail to mention that I am privileged to call my friend. The group always consisted of eight singers. The only exception to this was the 1962 album, The Living Voices Sing Christmas Music, which was a repackaged reissue of the 1959 Ralph Hunter Choir album, Christmas Surprises. And for 11 of the Living Voices' albums, including 1965's The Little Drummer Boy, Ethel hired Anita Kerr to conduct and arrange. In addition, Anita sang on the albums with her group The Anita Kerr Singers, which consisted of four members, including Anita. The other four singers to round out the eight were studio singers that Ethel hired. For all of the other Living Voices albums, the eight singers were all studio singers, and the lineup invariably changed from album to album.

And lastly, Harry Simeone's O Bambino LP was released by Kapp Records in 1965; coincidentally, the same year RCA Records released the Living Voices' Little Drummer LP. And yes, sadly the MCA Records reissue CD of the Harry Simeone album is abridged, sans one song.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:05/31/2015 10:43:10Copy HTML

Chip - Has there ever been any thought of releasing the entire run of "A Very Merry Christmas" LP's on CD ? Grants has been out of business for years -- unless it would be tough to get Sony and BMG (are they still an entity?) to license the material ? The LP's were on both Columbia Special Products and RCA.

These LP's featured some great music and artists - I always liked volumes 3, 4, and 5 the best as these were the ones I listened to over and over again as a kid.

Chip - you did talk about trying to get volume 1 released in previous posts right coupled with a Goodyear LP ? That's what jogged my memory about the Grants LP's

Rich
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/01/2015 02:03:01Copy HTML


Rich,

The eight Grants A Very Merry Christmas LPs were issued by three different record companies: Columbia Records issued Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4; RCA Records issued Vol. 5, Vol. 6 and Vol. 7; and Capitol Records issued Vol. 8. Since you have three different record companies involved, reissuing the entire Grants series on CD would pose a challenge.

My original idea for this year was to issue
a double CD release (the albums are too long for a single CD 2-fer) of the best Goodyear album (1967's The Great Songs Of Christmas, Volume 7coupled with the best Grants album (1967's A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 1).

Here's how I would have promoted the release:

1967: The great year of the two best retail store sponsored Christmas compilation albums of all-time: Goodyear's The Great Songs Of Christmas, Volume 7 and Grants' A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 1.

However, because of the inability to license the Goodyear album, that plan for this year fell through. So at this point, if it can finally be worked out to license the Goodyear albums, the best thing to do is to seize the opportunity and issue a double CD of the two best Goodyear albums, which are Vol. 7 and Vol. 8. So for now the Grants albums will have to wait.

It's too bad you didn't have Grants Vol. 1 growing up, because it was by far the best volume in the Grants Christmas album franchise.

As for BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group), they were absorbed by Sony for 1.2 billion dollars in 2008. The company, formerly known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment, was renamed Sony Music Entertainment (SME).


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/02/2015 04:50:24Copy HTML

Hi Chip!
Thanks for the great read on the history of The Living Voices!   Great to finally learn about the group!  I am very thrilled to that your hopes to release the album via Gordon while the key players would be able to see their work enjoyed again is truly inspiring!

Bob Grippo

A big thanks to Camden/RCA for working with Real Gone Music to make this happen!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/02/2015 07:50:39Copy HTML


My pleasure, Bob.

By the way, I failed to mention in my last post that the new 5th hour of the Yule Log that I am currently producing will include what I consider to be the absolute greatest version of Do You Hear What I Hear ever recorded. It's by the Norman Luboff Choir and it's powerful, reverent and majestic.

The song comes from the 1964 album, Christmas With The Norman Luboff Choir. This magnificent album is not only in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, but in my all-time Top 10, coming in at #9.

The quality of the YouTube video I could find of the song is not that great; however, notwithstanding its shortcomings, the power, reverence and majesty of this spectacular rendition still comes through loud and clear.


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hG3BypCd2xA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/02/2015 08:45:06Copy HTML

Hi Chip, Not to take this post to far off topic, but was the "Christmas with the Norman Luboff Choir" LP released in it's entirety in stereo on CD?

Thanks,

John 

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 02:32:31Copy HTML


Yes indeed John, the original 1964 stereo LP was released on CD, but only for a short period of time in the early 1990s. This is one that I'd very much like to get reissued via Real Gone Music. In the meantime, copies of the original RCA reissue CD are available on Amazon; however, they usually go for big bucks. Pictured below is the original 1964 RCA LP jacket artwork.





Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 02:48:07Copy HTML

Chip - Thanks for the info !! I had totally forgot that one of the volumes was on Capitol........
As far as "Do You Hear What I Hear" - I always thought that Robert Goulet's version was the definitive version (again due to the fact that I played it over and over again on one of the Grant's "A Very Merry Christmas" LP's) - but Norman Luboff's version is great as well !!!!

Rich
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 03:26:30Copy HTML

Thanks Chip, and for the artwork too.

John

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 01:50:33Copy HTML

Hi Chip! 


Never heard of the Luboff Choir.   Thanks for sharing that great version!   Bing's version is great too as is Mr C's.  I never heard of John Gary by the way but that record seems like one that needs to be added to my collection as well.   I have a LP issued by the A and P from Columbia records from the early 70's the cover has a scene of people ice skating I think it has a great mix of songs and artists have you heard of it?



Best and warmest regards,

Bob Grippo


Will PIX be airing your 5th hour????

 

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 06:54:04Copy HTML

Chip,

Great news on the upcoming 2015 releases!  Did Gordon have any luck dealing with Universal Music Group this year? I know most of your (and my) top picks for release are property of UMG.  Thanks again!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/03/2015 10:00:53Copy HTML


John:

You're welcome!


Bob:

Yes, I am most certainly aware of the A&P Christmas albums and I have the entire series in my collection.

I've talked about these albums several times on the message board in the past, but just to give you a little background on them: A&P released a total of 5 volumes in its Christmas Greetings LP series from 1970 through 1974 and Columbia Records produced all 5 volumes. The album you have is probably Volume 1; however, Volume 2 also had ice skaters on the front cover.

As for my new 5th hour of the Yule Log, I have just about completed producing it. All that's left now is some final production work of the segues between the songs. After it's finished, I will formally submit it to WPIX for consideration for broadcast next year in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Yule Log. However, in the meantime, I will probably post it on my YouTube channel and then embed it on the homepage of my website for folks to get an advance listen. I'll keep everyone posted. 


Justin:

Things have improved somewhat in dealing with UMG (Universal Music Group). However, the real test will be this year, as there are several big releases (two of them super biggies) that are currently being negotiated.

I hope to have a big announcement on them soon. 


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/11/2015 02:35:14Copy HTML

I'm really looking forward to these releases, Chip.  Especially "The Little Drummer Boy".  Great job on your help getting these released.  I can't wait for these!  I hope of the 13 releases that are coming from Real Gone that Harry Simeone's "The Wonderful Songs of Christmas" might be one of them....   :)

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:06/11/2015 04:11:43Copy HTML


Glad you're excited about the new releases, Wade; and be patient, as I'll be announcing more in the coming weeks!



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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:07/11/2015 08:36:01Copy HTML

Chip, 
What a thrill to hear from you that the truly remarkable voice of John Gary and his equally amazing Christmas album will finally get a proper remaster on CD.  I believe John had one one the greatest ranges in the history of popular music, with great breath control and distinct phrasing at his beck and call. I read that his wife Lee was once told in a meeting with Elvis Presley that her husband was the King's favorite singer. I believe his voice had an angelic yet masculine quality that Johnny Mathis had on his Merry Christmas album which rates so deservedly high on your top 500 Christmas albums list. I am also looking forward to The Little Drummer release and can hardly wait for the rest of your list to be revealed on "Chips Tips' next edition.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Jack Jones Christmas album to be on there somewhere.  Thanks so much for your unmatched effort in getting these masterpieces released on CD for they truly represent the pinnacle of great Christmas music.  The modern stuff just does not have the same richness or staying power, but I do admit that Michael Buble's Christmas album does seem to match some of the old school big band style and vibe of the original giants whose music you have shepherded so well and for so many years.

Sincerely and with great appreciation,
Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:07/12/2015 05:18:21Copy HTML


My pleasure, Steve.

And yes, John had an exceptionally wide singing range; it was in fact,
  octaves. And yes, he was indeed the favorite singer of the King. John's wife Lee told me that Priscilla Presley actually wrote that in her book on Elvis.

John's spectacular voice, along with the early Johnny Mathis (of the late '50s and early '60s) and the great Jim Reeves were three of the most pure, pristine and resonant voices to ever grace a record album.

As for John and his magnificent Christmas album, another great song and one of my personal favorites that I haven't yet spotlighted is the wonderful Little Snow Girl.


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ui3f29g2xyI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

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Hello Chip,

Oh yes, I could not agree with you more about those three voices, the two Johns with their amazing ranges and Gentleman Jim Reeves with one of the smoothest and purest tones to ever grace a record.  I just got his Welcome To My World box set from Bear Records that includes his amazing Christmas album as well.  You can listen to his voice for hours and never get tired of hearing it.  You can not say that about too many singers these days.  

I cannot wait to hear John Gary's version of Little Snow Girl on a remastered CD.  What a hidden and forgotten gem is Little Snow Girl. I first heard it by country singer Lorrie Morgan in a duet with the great Andy Williams on her marvelous Merry Christmas From London Record.  I later found out she was a    huge John Gary fan and put out a standards album a few years later that featured a glorious version of Once Upon A Time which was obviously strongly influenced by his definitive version of the song, at least its my favorite version of that song.  She also recorded a beautiful song with Johnny Mathis on that London Album as well. 

I'm sure she tried to get Mr. Gary to record Little Snow Girl with her as I know she and her father, country singer George Morgan, were both huge fans of his.  Well, getting Mr. Andy Williams to fill in wasn't too shabby either.  Anyways, its an album worth checking out as its recorded with a huge symphony orchestra in London and it is quite beautiful.

Thanks again, Chip, for all you to to get these classic gems on CD so we can hear them again and pass them down to our families.

Best Regards,

Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:07/14/2015 06:22:31Copy HTML


Steve,

The next time I talk to Lee (John's wife), I'll ask her if John was ever contacted by Lorrie Morgan to do the duet. I'm curious myself.

I'm sure John would have been flattered by the request and I'm equally sure that he would have done it if his scheduled had allowed. If he was indeed asked, it couldn't have been for health reasons that he declined, as the cancer that he eventually succumbed to didn't begin until several years after that album was recorded. During those years of the early '90s, I know he was on the road a lot performing concerts as well as appearing in musical stage productions. In fact, at the time that album was recorded, I believe he was appearing in a production of Camelot at his good friend Burt Reynolds' theater in L.A.


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:07/15/2015 12:19:35Copy HTML



Hello Chip,

You have re-piqued my interest as well as to why Mr. Gary did not sing that duet with Lorrie Morgan on her Christmas album, as I'm sure that he would have been her first choice regardless of how thrilled she was to end up with Andy Williams singing Little Snow Girl with her on the album. I had always assumed that he was too sick or semi-retired, but you have straightened me out on that one.

How remarkable that you are in touch with Lee Gary and I will eagerly await any information you find out about our Little Snow Girl mystery. You are an amazing source of information when it comes to the history of popular music and its talented players. You have great contacts as well!

Best Regards,

Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:08/12/2015 05:00:27Copy HTML

Chip, looking forward to the Real Gone re-issues.  Just wondering about the timing of things.  For an October release, how far in advance does the remastering get done and how long does that take? Same for album art, when does that get worked on and how long does that process take?  When does it get sent to the manufacturer, and how long does that process take?  Always been curious about these things.  You've been involved in a few so I figure you must have a good handle on things.

Thanks for your efforts to get this music out there

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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:08/12/2015 09:45:29Copy HTML


Tom,

There is no standard answer to any of the questions you asked; as every album, negotiation and remastering is different. Answers to these questions are all variables that depend on what record label you're dealing with; what company is doing the remastering; what kind of remastering needs to be done; what company is doing the manufacturing and how busy their production schedule is; and finally, the condition of the original artwork (providing the record company can find it in their vaults; if they can't, then I send Gordon in Hollywood the most pristine copy I have in my collection).


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:08/16/2015 01:55:09Copy HTML

Real Gone has announced on their Facebook page and website their October 2/October 9 releases with classic Christmas albums from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Soulful Strings, George Melachrino, The Three Suns, and John Gary. They also say on their Facebook page that this is one of two releases of holiday titles for 2015. 
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:09/11/2015 01:38:39Copy HTML


Up for Pre-Order - Looks like a great set - going to be a "Holly Jolly Christmas" with the Living Voices classic 1965 "The Little Drummer Boy" - never heard the second album in ht e set though!

Thank you Chip and Real Gone Music for making the happen! 


http://www.amazon.com/Sing-Christmas-Music-Little-Drummer/dp/tracks/B0155PJKRS/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/07/2015 11:38:08Copy HTML

Got my copy of the John Gary CD in the mail today directly from Real Gone Music -- it sounds fantastic !!! A brilliant remastering job done by Sean Brennan -- great liner notes as well by John's wife.

A must-have release !!!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/11/2015 03:15:55Copy HTML



Hello Chip,

Wow, I could not be more pleased with the John Gary Christmas release from Real Gone Music.  What a great job remastering this exquisite album! My hats off to Sean Brennan and Battery Studios for another great effort.

What an incredible album that features one of the greatest voices ever with one of the greatest arrangers, the magnificent Peter Matz of Barbara Streisand fame.  What great liner notes by John's lovely widow, Lee Gary as well.  I love the story about the fantastic Norman Luboff Choir, who I had no idea  was backing him on his amazing medley of the First Noel/ O Come All Ye faithful/ O Holy Night, and how they "oohed and aahed" and applauded John when he sang the last few lines of O Holy Night without taking a single breath. What amazing breath control, range and diction this singer possessed.

Thanks so much to you, Chip as well as Gordon Anderson for making these legacy releases possible for the world to hear in all their fine glory, with original album art and state of the art mastering and production!  

I should also mention the splendid job Maria Triana did on the remaster of the very fine George Melachrino album, Christmas Joy, which is a marvel to listen to for its splendor and joy.  It makes me fantasize about what she could do with a re-master of Percy Faith's masterpiece, Music Of Christmas, as she did an incredible job on the Hallelujah album for the Real Gone twofer in 2013. 

I can hardly wait for the next onslaught of great releases coming on November 6th from Real Gone Music. The Johnny Mathis box set with the Merry Christmas album remastered, Bobby Vinton, Jimmy Dean, Lynn Anderson and the Living Voices twofer should all be splendid!

Thanks again, Chip, for all your tremendous efforts in getting these chestnuts released for all of us to enjoy and pass on to our families and loved ones!

Best Regards,

Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/12/2015 07:32:17Copy HTML


My pleasure, Steve. I'm glad to hear how much you liked the new John Gary CD.


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/17/2015 01:55:49Copy HTML

Amazon had the upcoming Living Voices on pre-order special at $11.99!   Got my order in!
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/29/2015 11:20:50Copy HTML





Steve,

I spoke to Lee earlier today and asked her about Lorrie Morgan. She said that many years ago Lorrie had stated publically in an interview that she was a big fan of her husband, which John was flattered by, since Lorrie's milieu was country music. However, they didn't know each other; and no, she never asked him to record the duet with her of "Little Snow Girl" on her Christmas album.



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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/31/2015 01:12:36Copy HTML



Hello Chip,

Thanks so much for following this up with Lee Gary. Chip, you have solved the Little Snow Girl mystery regarding Lorrie's duet of that beautiful song with Andy Williams.

I have a theory as well about why Lorrie Morgan did not contact John Gary to record that duet of Little Snow Girl, though its just a guess and not based on any real first hand knowledge of the events.

Lorrie's career was pretty hot at the time and she even had a platinum album or two by the time she recorded that album. I'm guessing by her love of John Gary's records that she would have mentioned to her record label the possibility of doing that duet with John Gary, but I have a feeling that although John was a truly amazing singer of his generation, he was less well known than Andy Williams and perhaps for strictly commercial reasons they went with Mr. Williams instead. 

Nevertheless, I think John Gary and Lorrie's voice would have been heavenly together and I think an opportunity was missed, even though the version with  Mr Williams is beautiful in its own right.

Thanks so much for following this up Chip, its greatly appreciated.  I have been playing that John Gary Christmas album repeatedly and I believe it to be one of the greatest Holiday albums of all time!

Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/31/2015 03:55:23Copy HTML


That's the most plausible theory, Steve. And one of the contributing factors to Andy being more well-known was the efforts of my cousin Nick (De Caro)
who produced 3 of the 12 albums that Andy had which reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 albums chart: Born Free (1967), Love, Andy (1967) and Honey (1968). Andy was a friend of the family, so I certainly don't begrudge Lorrie for choosing him. I just wish she had chosen another song to record with Andy, and had sung "Little Snow Girl" with John. By the way, if you want to learn more about my cousin Nicky's collaborations with Andy, I spoke about them in my In The Spotlight memorial tribute to Andy when he died in September 2012: click here.


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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

Date Posted:10/31/2015 06:42:21Copy HTML



Hello Chip,

I could not agree with you more about the choices that they should have made on Lorrie's Christmas From London album for the duets.  It would have been great to hear her and Andy on one of the other cuts like My Favorite Things or Let It Snow or a remake of Andy's Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, which was not included on the album, and save the Little Snow Girl duet for Lorrie and Mr. Gary, whom voices I think would have been magnificent together.

I had almost forgotten that your cousin was the legendary arranger Nick De Caro, whose stellar orchestral arrangements have graced so many beautiful records by everybody from Dolly Parton to Neil Diamond if I am correct.  I'm one of those people who always read the album credits on the back of Cd's and albums and learned early in life how important an arranger is when recording these great melodies and songs of popular music.

Michael Buble and Seth Mcfarlene in a great interview recently for the LA Times spoke of how critical the arrangers like Nelson Riddle were to the recordings of Frank Sinatra and how they were essentially the producer of the record and what a loss art it is today, the critical role of the music arranger.  On Seth's new album of standards he puts the arranger's name on the front of the album to acknowledge his importance to the making of his current record, and of course Frank himself was noted for naming the songwriters and arrangers of each song he sang live in concert before performing the song.

Chip, thanks once again for having such amazing knowledge and contacts in this wonderful music business and all you have done to preserve and nurture it.

Steve
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Re:John Gary & The Living Voices Christmas CDs to be released!

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That's correct, Steve: Dolly Parton and Neil Diamond are two of the many recording artists that my cousin Nicky worked with over the years as either producer, arranger, songwriter, musician, backup singer, or a combination thereof.
In fact, one of the Gold Records that he earned in his career was for Dolly's 1977 album, Here You Come Again. On this album, Nicky arranged the strings and voices for the album and was also one of Dolly's backup singers. In addition, my cousin Frank (Nicky's brother), who is also in the music business, was the contractor and coordinator for the album as well. So it was a real family affair. Another family affair was for Mel Carter's 1965 LP, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, which Nick produced and wrote two of the songs for. In addition, my cousin Frank was the featured guitar player on the LP. The title song from this LP became a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (peaking at No. 8), and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.

By the way, Nicky was also a recording artist in his own right, having released a number of albums under his own name. Two of his most notable albums were Happy Heart (1969), which he recorded with his orchestra; and Italian Graffiti (1974), which featured his vocals.

As for my cousin Frank, he was a member of the Baja Marimba Band (the sister group to Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass) in the late 1960s and early '70s; and then later he also became a producer/arranger for many recording artists. Among the many artists that Frank produced was Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

I don't have an artist list for Frankie, but posted below is a list
of recording artists (in alphabetical order) that Nicky worked with over the years as either producer, arranger, songwriter, musician or backup singer:

Yasuko Agawa, Alessi Brothers, Gregg Allman, Tori Amos, Herb Alpert, Paul Anka, Ashes, Baja Marimba Band, Shirley Bassey, Marc Benno, George Benson, Bonnie & the Treasures, Brewer & Shipley, Jorge Calderon, Glenn Campbell, Roberto Carlos, Vicki Carr, Mel Carter, Johnny Cash, Cecilio & Kapono, Blondie Chaplin, Beth Nielson Chapman, Chunky, Novi & Ernie, Judy Collins, Ry Cooder, Rita Coolidge, Crackin', Randy Crawford, Credibility Gap, Patti Dahlstrom, Dancer, Mac Davis, Denise DeCaro, Martin Denny, Jackie DeShannon, Neil Diamond, Michael Dinner, Dion, Doobie Brothers, Lorraine Ellison, Everly Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Glenn Frey, James Griffin, Flo & Eddie, Flower, Michael Franks, Jane Getz, Larry Groce, Arlo Guthrie, Paul Hampton, Harpers Bizarre, Goldie Hawn, Murray Head, Heat, Levon Helm, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, Amy Holland, Engelbert Humperdinck, Paul Humphrey, Tommy James, Tom Jans, Al Jarreau, Pete Jolly, Rickie Lee Jones, Kazuhiko Katoh, Michael Katakis, Barbara Keith, Clydie King, Kris Kristofferson, Bill LaBounty, Cheryl Ladd, Neil Larsen, Nicolette Larson, David Lasley, Albert Lee, Gary Lewis, Gordon Lightfoot, Little Feet, Claudine Longet, Donna Loren, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Harvey Mandel, Larry Marks, Dave Mason, Steve Miller, Yoshitaka Minami, Liza Minnelli, Adam Mitchell, Mojo Men, Chris Montez, Montrose, Peter Moon Band, Michael Martin Murphey, Maria Muhldaur, Navarro, Randy Newman, Roger Nichols & a Small Circle of Friends, O'Jays, Ami Ozaki, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Tom Pacheco, Gaby Pahinui, Parade, Gene Parsons, Dolly Parton, Paul Pena, Poco, P.J. Proby, Bonnie Raitt, Willis Alan Ramsey, Helen Reddy, Righteous Brothers, Jerry Riopelle, Rolling Stones, Ruby and the Romantics, Leon Russell, Samantha Sang, Sandpipers, Kathleen Saroyan, Harriet Schock, Seemon and Marijike, Del Shannon, Bobby Sheen, Sheila E, Ben Sidran, Carly Simon, Nancy Sinatra, Spirit, Phil Spector, Dusty Springfield, Starland Vocal Band, Starwood, B.W. Stevenson, Barbra Streisand, Sunset String, Gabor Szabo, James Taylor, Tommy Tedesco, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Livingston Taylor, Danny Thomas, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Tanya Tucker, Turtles, Phil Upchurch, Bobby Vee, Ventures, Wendy Waldman, Jennifer Warnes, Jim Weatherly, Andy Williams, Robin Wilson.



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