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Christmas Music Guru
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  • Register:09/07/2005 11:04:22

Date Posted:11/25/2009 07:37:31Copy HTML




 



The legendary Kate Smith, who was known as “The Songbird of the South,” was solely responsible for making Irving Berlin’s "God Bless America" the unofficial national anthem of the United States. In fact, in 1939, when introducing her to King George VI of England, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “This is Kate Smith; Miss Smith is America” -- an incredible achievement in the life of an American singing star who as a child did not even learn to talk until she was 4 years old.

The great Kate had two Christmas albums in her long and illustrious recording career: Christmas With Kate (Tops Records - 1959) and The Kate Smith Christmas Album (RCA Records - 1966). The better of these two albums by far was the latter, and it was finally released on CD by RCA in 1992. Sadly, however, it is now out-of-print. Happily, though, used copies are usually available on eBay -- but they will cost you a premium. However, for a more reasonable price, you can purchase a CD-R of the album on Amazon.

 

Here now from this classic LP is Kate’s moving rendition of "O Holy Night," with an ending that only she could deliver:



 Click Here ~ "O Holy Night"




Also from the LP is her wonderful rendition of "Christmas Eve In My Home Town," which she performed live on The Hollywood Palace television show in 1966; her introduction was made by Bing Crosby, who was the show’s guest host that night:


 Click Here ~ "Christmas Eve In My Home Town"





Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
Strider77 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:02/27/2010 09:01:38Copy HTML

Is it my imagination, or is "The Kate Smith Christmas Album" available brand spanking new on Amazon for $11.98?  Wasn't this one out of print?

Two CDs are available used for $45.00 and $129.99 . . . or a new one for $11.98.  Hmmmm.  Let me think.

O Look!  It appears that I just bought it.



#18 on Chip's all time top 50 Christmas albums.  If my math is still correct, then it would be a better album than 282 others in Chip's top three tiers.  Not too shabby.

If the track listing is correct, it looks like the CD is missing "White Christmas" from the original LP.

If anyone else is interested, you might want to strike while the iron is hot.

I just received this email from Amazon:

Delivery estimate: March 10, 2010 - March 17, 2010

1 "The Kate Smith Christmas Album"
Kate Smith; Audio CD; $11.98

  Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

The problem is, the CD is now listed as "Temporarily out of stock."  It might not hurt to purchase it anyway if you have been looking for this CD, just in case they get more in.

-=Perry
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:02/27/2010 09:49:58Copy HTML


I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that Amazon makes good on their promise to ship you this CD, Perry.

They must have found a stray copy in their warehouse as this CD is unfortunately still out of print.

By the way, the CD does indeed contain all 10 tracks from the original RCA album including White Christmas; that is a misprint on the Amazon website showing only 9 tracks.

Let us know how you make out.

Good luck!


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:03/19/2010 06:33:46Copy HTML

For anyone interested, The Kate Smith Christmas Album (CD) is currently available once again on Amazon.  Just click on Chip's link in his original post.  The cost is $11.98.

Or . . . just Click here.

-=Perry
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:03/25/2010 05:49:13Copy HTML

The Kate Smith Christmas Album arrived yesterday from Amazon.  Caveat Emptor.

This is a CD-R (I personally don't have a problem with that)

The cover art is mostly original, but with a blue border around it.  I mostly don't have a problem here either.  Well . . . maybe just a bit.  I personally like the full original album art without any modifications.  At least this one was only a slight modification.



The tract listing on the back of the jewel box is butchered.  All of the songs that Kate sings are on the back, but the listing is out of order and the medleys (there are two) are listed as individual songs rather than medleys.  Hence it shows 14 tracks rather than the ten that are actually on the CD.  Shoddy quality control.

On the CD-R itself (and also on the back cover) it lists the CD title as:

K. Smith X-Mas Album

Now here you have room on the entire cross section of the back of the jewel box and the CD itself, yet you have to abbreviate Christmas as X-Mas?  Nor can they spell out Kate Smith?

At least the quality of the music is good.  No issues there.

I've emailed Amazon about the problem.

If any of the above complaints seem like small potatoes to you, then by all means, get the CD!

-=Perry
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:05/19/2011 04:18:40Copy HTML

Chip,

Was the 1959 Christmas with Kate ever released in its entirety on CD?  I came across a 1991 Laserlight CD entitled Kate Smith Christmas that appears to have all of the songs from this album on it (plus a few extras,) but wasn't sure if this was a worthy purchase or not.

Even if all of the songs from the '59 album are here, I am not sure as to the sound quality of the CD.  Any guidance from the Guru of all things Christmas would be very much appreciated.

-=Perry
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:05/19/2011 07:34:17Copy HTML


Yes Perry, Kate Smith's 1959 Tops Records Christmas album, Christmas With Kate, was indeed released in its entirety on CD by Laserlight in 1991. And yes, the quality is very good. Unfortunately, however, this reissue CD was only in print for one year before being re-released in 1992 in an abridged form.

The original 1991 reissue CD contained all 12 songs from the original LP, plus 3 bonus tracks: He's Got The Whole World In His Hands; Greensleeves; and Moonlight In Vermont. When Laserlight re-released the CD in 1992, they cut 3 songs2 of them were from the original LP (White Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town); and 1 was one of the bonus tracks (Moonlight In Vermont).

Please be forewarned that Laserlight's catalog number was the same for both CDs (#15414); so if you decide to buy the CD on eBay, please be sure to verify with the vendor that the version they are selling is indeed the original 1991 Laserlight release with all 15 tracks.






Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:05/20/2011 04:08:53Copy HTML

Chip,

Thanks so much for the information.  I don't think that I would have picked up on that change without your warning.  Just why in the world would Laserlight do that?  That is just crazy!

-=Perry
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:09/25/2011 09:19:54Copy HTML

Amazon has some shrewd marketing techniques.   (But, hey, that's why they're in business, right?)  After Chip posted his notification of the Ed Ames and David Rose CDs being available for pre-order, I went to their website where they had a Kate Smith CD as a recommendation.   (You know how they show you what other customers order based on what you're currently viewing).   Anyway, it occurred to me that I did not have Kate Smith in my collection. 

I was going to ask here on the Yulelog board if the original album had 10 songs as listed on Amazon, or if this was an abridged edition which really irks me.  I remember most albums in the '60s having 12 songs or, at least 11, and thought it wasn't until the '70s when they started cutting back to 10.  Of course, I'm not counting those progressive rock albums where the songs are so long, they only have 3 or 4 songs on each side.

I found this thread and have my answer about the 10 songs, but I was wondering what happened to "O Holy Night."  (It's the embedded video clip in Chip's original post here).  "O Holy Night" is not one of the tracks listed on Amazon. 

The other item I wanted to mention was "Christmas Eve In My Home Town."  As a kid, I remember watching Kate Smith on The Hollywood Palace  hosted by Bing Crosby that Christmas Eve.  It was on a Saturday and, for those of you who live in the Northeast, you may remember we had a foot of snow that year which would turn out to be the only white Christmas for quite a few years... well, at least here in the Mid-Atlantic states.  That was also the first year my family went to Midnight Mass (and, as I recall... the only time.)  We walked to Church and I can still picture how the Christmas lights on some of the neighborhood trees reflected on the snow.  Everyone has special memories of certain Christmases and 1966 was one of mine.

By the way, Philadelphia will always have a soft spot in its heart for Kate Smith.  She sang "God Bless America" in person at some of the Flyers games during their Stanley Cup years in the '70s:
http://www.flyershistory.com/cgi-bin/kate.cgi
Unfortunately, the Spectrum was demolished earlier this year and the statue is in storage.

Jim in Philly [FONT Family=Arial color=green size=14px]Honoring the music of the Yule Log...[/FONT] An era when that sound on your radio was [I]music[/I] and it was called [I]Beautiful Music[/I] for a reason.
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:09/26/2011 03:02:51Copy HTML


Jim,

The track listing for that CD-R which is currently being sold by Amazon does not show all of the songs that are in the two medleys that Kate did on the album. Track #3 is a 3-song medley that includes Deck The Halls, Joy To The World and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; and Track #10 is a 3-song medley that includes The First Noel, Silent Night and O Holy Night.

By the way, I edited my opening post on the thread to remove the link that I had originally posted to Amazon for used copies of the original 1992 RCA reissue CD, as Amazon has now replaced it as of March 2010 with the custom manufactured CD-R.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Kate Smith: O Holy Night & Christmas Eve In My Home Town

Date Posted:09/26/2011 11:55:34Copy HTML

Thanks, Chip.  Had I paid closer attention to the Amazon listing, I would have noticed that the lengths of those two tracks were over 6 and 7 minutes, respectively.  That certainly should have alerted me there was something a little different about those two songs.
Jim in Philly [FONT Family=Arial color=green size=14px]Honoring the music of the Yule Log...[/FONT] An era when that sound on your radio was [I]music[/I] and it was called [I]Beautiful Music[/I] for a reason.
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