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jrh459
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Date Posted:11/19/2015 03:39:07Copy HTML

I stumbled across your message board and thought if anyone might be able to help me, the members of this forum might. I have been trying for the last couple of years to identify two cassette tapes worth of Christmas songs that my Dad recorded off of Cleveland radio in 1972 and 1974. They have become pretty treasured compilations in my family (the cassettes are gone, but I made digital copies of them beforehand), and my goal has been to present "remastered" versions to everyone for the upcoming holiday, complete with individual song titles, artists, release dates, etc.
I am down to three songs that I cannot seem to figure out despite my best internet research attempts. Here are brief descriptions:

1. The Holly and the Ivy
  • 1972 or earlier
  • about 2:14 in length
  • choir/ acapella (male & female; no musical instruments)
2. White Christmas
  • 1972 or earlier
  • about 2:41 in length
  • instrumental/ orchestra (no voice accompaniment)
  • Doesn't appear to be any Irving Berlin version that I have come across
3. O Holy Night
  • 1974 or earlier
  • about 5:10 in length
  • choir + orchestra
I know that is not much to go on without hearing the actual songs, but if any of you have any ideas whatsoever, I would be very grateful! Also, perhaps I could somehow get the songs to you if anyone is really feeling the Christmas spirit and/or intrigued enough by the challenge to help out that way.

Thanks for reading and for any thoughts you might have!

Jonathan
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/19/2015 06:29:29Copy HTML


Jonathan,

I have been collecting for well over 40 years now and have thousands of Christmas albums in my collection (the Top 500 of these are posted on my message board,
click here). By virtue of this fact, and the knowledge that I have gained of Christmas music over these many years, I can tell you that there are numerous possibilities that fit these song descriptions which you provided. For instance, the first song that you mentioned could very well be the Jack Halloran Singers.

And I could keep guessing all day; but the only way that I can really tell is by hearing these songs. I just cannot expend that kind of time to match a general description to a plethora of possibilities.

So, if you really want me to identify these songs, you will have to send me audio clips of them. If you need to send them to me physically, PM (private message) me through the message board, or send me an email message via my main Yule Log.com website by clicking here.

Welcome to the board.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
jrh459 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/19/2015 06:39:02Copy HTML

Thank you so much for your willingness to help! I certainly would not expect you to spend any time on this request from a complete stranger, let alone an indeterminate amount, so anything you can do would be tremendously appreciated. I will figure out how to split the MP3 files that I have and send you the 3 individual songs in question. Thank you again!!!
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/20/2015 08:55:41Copy HTML


I got your email with the MP3 attachments, Jonathan. As I suspected, The Holly And The Ivy is by the Jack Halloran Singers. The song is from Mr. Halloran's 1957 Dot Records LP, Christmas Is A-Comin' (later repackaged and reissued in 1959 as The Little Drummer Boy). This great album not only resides in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, but in my all-time Top 30, coming in at #27.
Sadly, this classic album has never been issued on CD; although, I have been working to get that done.

As for the other two songs you are trying to identify, they sound very familiar to me, but I don't believe they are from albums that are in my
Top 500, which means they are probably somewhere in my archives. Whenever I have time, I'll poke around and if I can come up anything, I will certainly let you know.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
portroad Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/02/2015 10:35:10Copy HTML

I had a similar question a few years ago about a mystery Christmas song from a WLS Holiday Festival of Music radio recording I acquired and the Yule Log group was very helpful in quickly identifying the song in question. To make it easy to hear the song in its entirety I signed up for a freedrive.com account and uploaded the entire song. You might consider the same thing. I don't think freedrive is around anymore but you could try box.net or similar and post the link here for everyone.
jrh459 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/04/2015 06:22:27Copy HTML

Chip, I know I thanked you directly via email for identifying the Jack Halloran Singers song, but I wanted to do so again here. Your help is really appreciated!
Portroad, that is a great idea. I created a SoundCloud account and uploaded the remaining two mystery songs there. Here are the links:



Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to listen. Merry Christmas!

Jonathan
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/06/2015 12:43:01Copy HTML

I tried your links, Jonathan, and got this message:

Sorry! We can't find that track.

Did you try to access a private track, but were not logged in?
Maybe the track has been removed.


Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/07/2015 10:05:18Copy HTML

Thank you for checking it out. I think the link changed when my generic user ID was modified to jrh459 on the SoundCloud site. Regardless, I updated the links and tested them out - hopefully they both work now (and continue working). Thanks again. Merry Christmas!
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/08/2015 01:33:08Copy HTML

Golly, what a terrific arrangement of White Christmas!

I sure hope you can solve the mystery.  I'd love to have that in my collection.  It's what I call "Cinematic Christmas Music," i.e. arrangements of Christmas songs that song like they could be playing on the soundtrack of an old-fashioned  movie while the opening credits roll by.

Here's an idea:  I listen to a web radio station called Amityville Community Radio. The morning D.J., Al Case, has been really helpful to me in identifying old instrumental pop tunes.  So if you were to email it to him as an attachment, he might be able to help you identify it.

Why not email him and ask him if he's up for it.  If he says he'd be willing to give it a try, then send him an MP3 and see what happens.

Here's the email address:

acradio1@verizon.net


Be sure to put at the top of your messsage:  "ATTENTION AL CASE"
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/08/2015 02:35:55Copy HTML

Thanks, Will. I will definitely reach out to Mr. Case and see what he has to say. I really appreciate your time and the recommendation. With any luck, I will eventually figure these songs out!
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/08/2015 04:28:48Copy HTML

Hey Jonathan!

Just on a hunch I searched the web for White Christmas by Felix Slatkin and found that he did a recording that comes in at 2:48.

If you take into account that the track you posted is missing a few seconds at the beginning and end, then that puts it pretty darned close to two minutes, forty eight seconds.

I also found an LP listing the track as 2:50.

But, so far, every link I've tried comes up with "This track unavailable" or "Listen and download allowed only in Russia and Ukraine" or something like that.

I suspect that there may ways to get around the blocking of Russian sites, but I also suspect that trying to listen to the track on a Russian site would expose your computer to malware.

But, I bet Chip has this LP in his collection and he might be able to dig it out and give that track a listen.

EDIT: I just found the release date for that Felix Slatkin LP:  1961.  So that puts this album in the right time frame.

You can read more about the album here:  http://thompsonian.info/slatdisc.html

Search that page for "Seasons Greetings" or LMM-13013.
 
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/09/2015 07:05:37Copy HTML


It's not Felix Slatkin. The Slatkin LP is in my Top 500 (#231); and as I said earlier, the LPs these songs probably come from are more than likely in my archives.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/09/2015 03:23:35Copy HTML

Dang!  And I thought I was onto something.

Oh well, back to square one.

Jonathan, have you tried contacting Guild Music or Real Gone Music?

If you sent them your SoundCloud links, maybe someone at one of those companies would recognize the tracks.

I sure hope you succeed in your search.  I love that White Christmas track and have been listening to it over and over.
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/09/2015 07:05:47Copy HTML


Will,

I would have thought that you would have known by now that I (yours truly -- Chip Arcuri) am "Real Gone Music" when it comes to Christmas music; Gordon and Gabby rely on me for my Christmas music expertise,
which is why Gordon  affectionately refers to me as "The Christmas guy" for Real Gone Music.

And as for Guild Music, which is in Switzerland; neither Kaikoo Lalkaka, nor his wife Silvia, will be able to help identify these songs.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
CluelessInSeattle Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #14
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/09/2015 08:03:20Copy HTML

Strike Two!

No, I didn't realize that you were Real Gone Music, Chip.  Thanks for setting me straight.

So, if you were in our shoes, and were trying to find out the name of the orchestra that played a song taped from the radio decades ago, where would you start?  Could you offer us some tips that would put us on the right track and keep us from chasing our own tails?

Here's something I noticed about that mystery recording of "White Christmas":  To me it sounds an awful lot like Carmen Dragon's arrangement of "The First Noel," that's been recorded by a number of other orchestras in addition to the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra over the years.

<iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H1iByKuuVz4" allowfullscreen="" width="425" frameborder="0" height="355"></iframe>

But I've not been able to turn up any recordings of "White Christmas" by Carmen Dragon.

This is a lot of fun though.  I can't think of a better way to spend the month of December than trying to track down an elusive Christmas tune found on an old cassette tape.  Remember back a few years ago when I posted here about some old cassettes of Christmas music that a neighbor of mine gave me?   And I spent days and days trying to identify the orchestra that played a medley of my favorite carols?  (And I finally succeeded!).  That was a great Christmas present to myself, to finally identify the performers and then be able to order the CD.  Still one of my favorites.
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/10/2015 06:20:33Copy HTML


Years ago in my early days of collecting as a young man there were some very knowledgeable folks who were like mentors that I could turn to for help, but they are all sadly gone now. However, in the ensuing years my collection has now ultimately far exceeded what they ever had -- and I mean way exceeded...

Ay, caramba.




Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
CluelessInSeattle Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #16
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/24/2015 01:16:08Copy HTML


Maybe one of these days you could post a story or two (or three?) about your Christmas music mentors in "The Yule Log Book of Memories."

THE YULE LOG BOOK OF MEMORIES



P.S. I wonder if Jonathan ever was able to identify that arrangement of "White Christmas."  I sure like it.  I enjoy closing my eyes when I listen to music and imagining movie scenes to go along with the music.  I read recently that in Germany they actually have a word for that:  "kopfkino," meaning "head movies"  or "inner cinema."  The track of "White Christmas" that Jonathan linked to certainly conjures up for me movie scenes in my own inner cinema.
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:12/24/2015 04:48:05Copy HTML

I have not identified that White Christmas song yet, nor the O Holy Night one. My searching has been limited lately, but hopefully once the holidays pass I will be able to devote a little more time to it! At the very least, I am glad that you have taken some enjoyment from my sharing the song on this site. Merry Christmas!
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:10/29/2019 06:03:20Copy HTML

Well it's 4 years later, but I finally thought I would take another stab at identifying these songs. I got one of them. The "O Holy Night" song is from The Glory of Christmas album by Eric Rogers Chorale & Orchestra (1963). 


Still no luck on the White Christmas song, but I'll keep trying! It was fun just going back and reading through these older posts, and being reminded of how kind people were to look into this matter for a total stranger!

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:10/30/2019 06:02:53Copy HTML


As I suspected in my 11/20/15 post on the thread, that version of "O Holy Night" probably came from an album that resides in my archives, and not my Top 500. I'm still sure that version of "White Christmas" you posted is also in my archives somewhere. Anyway, going back to the Rogers LP, even though it didn't make my Top 500, it's certainly a good candidate to be added to the "Notable Mentions" section that follows my Top 500.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/05/2019 02:13:34Copy HTML

Chip - Did you ever think of writing a book on Christmas music ?? I can't think of anyone more suited to do one.


I have Tim Neely's Christmas record price guide and the Record Research Christmas "charts" book -- and a rather massive book (can't remember the title) that lists Christmas albums/releases -- but all these don't quite do the trick.....


Rich

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/05/2019 09:49:19Copy HTML


I appreciate the thought, and many have suggested that to me in the past. But to even consider such a prodigious endeavor, I'd have to first formally catalog all of the Christmas albums that reside my archives; and that, in and of itself, would be a mammoth undertaking. There are just so many Christmas albums -- not to mention all the numerous re-releases/reissues/reincarnations of many of those albums over the years with different covers, titles, record labels, and sometimes, with varied and/or abridged track lists. That's why thus far no one has ever been able to issue a complete, comprehensive and definitively authoritative book of artist released Christmas music (LPs, 78s, 45s, CDs, etc.). But if anybody was in a position to do so, I suspect it would probably be me.

Who knows, perhaps someday it will come to fruition.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
CluelessInSeattle Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #22
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/10/2019 03:05:10Copy HTML

Hey Jonathan!  It's great to read that after nearly four years you still haven't given up on your search for that wonderful orchestral rendition of "White Christmas."


Have you tried the FaLaLaLaLa Christmas Music Forum?


A couple of weeks or more ago I tried registering over there, but every time I try to log in, I get the same error message:


"Your account is still awaiting admin approval."


(Chip, do you know how to contact the administrator over at Falalala.com?)


In the meantime, I've posted messages in the All Things Christmas Forum and the My Merry Christmas Forum  asking for help identifying your mystery track.


P.S.  11/11: I just got approved at FaLaLaLaLa.com, so I just posted a request for help over there as well. 

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 01:18:39Copy HTML


Yes Will, I know Brad (the owner of FaLaLaLaLa). In fact, he is a member of the Yule Log board here. He was probably just a little behind in his approvals. Glad to hear that it all worked out today.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 01:39:11Copy HTML

Sorry if I was slow on the approval. I don't always check for new ones and my system for filtering spam isn't the best.


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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 01:52:24Copy HTML

Will - saw your post over at  FaLaLaLaLa -- the rendition of "White Christmas" Jonathan is looking for sounds like the Ron Goodwin Orchestra to me, from their "Christmas Wonderland" album.


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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 02:28:20Copy HTML


Oh well, now I know that I am getting old. This is also the perils of having a collection as large as mine, because not only is the song from an album that resides in my Top 500 (and not my archives as I had speculated), but it's actually in my 3rd Tier, coming in at #293

Serenity now!

Sorry Jonathan; if I had been able to recall it, I could have saved you four years of searching. Oy vey...

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 05:26:03Copy HTML

What I like about Fielding Mellish's post is his understatement and modesty. 


He wrote  "... sounds like the Ron Goodwin Orchestra to me," when in fact he knew exactly who it was, and even included a link to the track.  This guy has class.


So, now, is there a way to email Jonathan to let him know that after four years his last mystery song has finally been identified?

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/12/2019 10:30:29Copy HTML


Yes, I emailed him.


And yes, Will, modesty is indeed a virtue. As also are manners. So therefore, I am going to let your post stand on the board as an example of one that is patently devoid of that.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/15/2019 02:57:43Copy HTML

Speaking of mystery songs, can anybody ID the rendition of "Carol of the Bells" that begins around the 32:15 mark here?


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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/15/2019 03:11:21Copy HTML


Mike,

That song is by the great Wayne King, and it is from his 1963 Decca Records Christmas album, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. This album resides in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, coming in at #101.



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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/15/2019 03:32:46Copy HTML

Thanks, Chip! 

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/15/2019 03:40:36Copy HTML


Sure thing, Mike.

By the way, this is one of the albums I am working to get back into print.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/15/2019 09:08:06Copy HTML

Thank you all so much for taking the time to look into this for me. I shared the news with my Dad (who turns 69 in a couple of weeks), and he couldn't have been happier, especially since I was able to tell him about it with the holidays coming up. Once again, thank you very much. Greatly appreciated!!!

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/16/2019 12:13:45Copy HTML




And Jonathan, that first mystery song on your list that I identified earlier in the thread, by the Jack Halloran Singers, should finally be in print for next Christmas of 2020. The Jack Halloran and Frank Chacksfiled Christmas albums (both properties of Universal Music Group) are my #1 and #2 projects for next year.

I've been working on them both for quite a while, but I'm pretty confident that next year should finally be the year. 


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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/17/2019 08:27:28Copy HTML

Chip, do you have any plans to try and reissue Jan Garber's Christmas Dance Party in the future? I know that one's in your top tier, and it's never gotten a CD release. In fact, I don't even think any individual tracks from that one have made it onto any compilation CDs, which is frankly astonishing! (Unless the tapes were among those lost in the dreaded Universal fire. Jeez, I hope not. :-( )

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/17/2019 09:48:39Copy HTML


Most definitely on the Jan Garber, Mike; but right now, I've got about half a dozen Universal titles that are ahead of it on my list to get out. I go in order of how the albums are ranked in my Top 500.

But I can tell you right now that the master tapes for the Garber recording, as well as all of the other Universal titles that are on my list, have most undoubtedly been lost in the notorious 2008 fire. I cannot begin to tell you how devastating that fire was.

Nevertheless, no worries, because there are always alternate sources for the remastering -- like IPS Reel-to-Reel tape, or even pristine vinyl, if it comes to that.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/18/2019 03:39:34Copy HTML

I am so hoping that Jack Halloran's Christmas is a-comin' is available next year! I love that album.

I hope you put in the liner notes the story of "Carol Of The Drum", or even better, have Dawn Halloran Charouhas write 'em up.




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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/18/2019 04:37:43Copy HTML


 



Rodney,


Regarding the Jack Halloran Christmas LP, as you already know, in 1957 Dot Records released it under the title Christmas Is A-Comin'. The album was recorded in true stereo; however, in 1957 Dot Records was only able to release it in mono because the Westrex cutting head technology, which would later allow for the commercial mass-production of stereophonic vinyl LP discs, was not yet available to the record companies -- and unfortunately, wouldn't be until 1958.


Anyway, yes, the album included a song ("The Little Drummer Boy") that at that time was still known as "Carol Of The Drum." But as we all know, the next year, in 1958, Harry Simeone took the song and pretty much the same arrangement, re-recorded it, and then released it as "The Little Drummer Boy." It became a gigantic hit, and that's why in 1959 Dot records pulled the Halloran LP from production and subsequently repackaged it by changing the name of the second song on the album from "Carol Of The Drum" to "The Little Drummer Boy," and then made it the lead-off song on the album. Dot Records then released the repackaged LP with the now classic album jacket artwork and the new album title of The Little Drummer Boy (this, of course, was to capitalize on the nascent popularity of the song due to Harry Simeone's hit version). But most importantly, with the 1959 release of the repackaged Halloran LP, it was finally able to be released in its true stereo form for the first time, now that Dot had finally acquired the aforementioned newly invented Westrex cutting head technology.


Anyway, I'm going a long way around the barn to say that because of all this, and the fact that the 1959 re-release is far more well-known than the original 1957 incarnation, and most importantly, because it included the true version of how the album was originally recorded (genuine stereo), it is this version of the album that I am looking to release on CD. The original artwork will be included in the CD booklet.


And yes, as I've previously said on the board, I have asked Dawn Halloran to write the liner notes. And by the way, she doesn't use the Charouhas last name anymore (for reasons I probably don't have to specify). Her sister Molly Halloran Hills, who I also know, might contribute to the notes as well.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/18/2019 08:08:08Copy HTML

This morning I was cleaning up the hard drive of a laptop before tossing it into the electronics recycling bin, and I came across an unidentified bouncy instrumental medley of Rudolph and Jingle Bells.  My memory's gotten so bad these days that I haven't the slightest recollection of ever having downloaded the song,  So, of course, I'm turning to our Christmas Music Guru for help:


https://soundcloud.com/user-477312851/unknown-artist-rudolph-jingle-bells


A few minutes after posting that link, I got an email from SoundCloud:


"Our automatic content protection system has detected that one of your tracks might contain copyrighted content.

"As a result, your track has been removed from your profile for the time being. Please have a look at the details below and get in touch with us if you believe there’s been a mistake.

"Here's what our system has found:

"It looks like your track "Unknown Artist - Rudolph & Jingle Bells" might contain or be a copy of
"Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer / Jingle Bells" by Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra, which is owned by Sony Classical in certain territories."


Now that's what I call fast service!

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/20/2019 10:03:43Copy HTML

Chip:


Great information about the Jack Halloran Christmas LP. You really are a wealth of information, and I for one am grateful for all the information you provide.


I think it is awesome that you are planning on using the genuine stereo that was released in '59, but I really like the '57 cover, so glad that you will have that in the booklet.


Also it is awesome to hear that Dawn Halloran will be writing the liner notes (and i meant no offense, so thank you for correcting me on her name). I hope that her sister can also contribute to the notes as well.


A ton of awesomeness, Chip, and I thank you so much for all the hard work you do to get these wonderful albums out to us in better than original form.


-Rodney

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/21/2019 04:29:04Copy HTML


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/23/2019 03:49:47Copy HTML

Hi Chip,


Great news about the Frank Chacksfield "Music for Christmas" possibly being reissued next year! Hopefully it will have a few bonus tracks on it, like "Pine Cones and Holly Berries" from "Here's Love". Thanks for the heads-up as I was close to buying a used CD. 


Best,

Rich

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Re:Mystery Christmas songs

Date Posted:11/23/2019 08:03:16Copy HTML


Yes, that bonus track among others.


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