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Christmas Music Guru
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Date Posted:10/17/2011 05:50:31




Another great easy-listening artist is now gone with the passing of Roger Williams on October 8th.

In his long and illustrious career, Roger recorded over 100 albums, with 18 of them going either Gold or Platinum. This easily made him the best selling pianist in the history of recorded music. Roger's biggest hit came in 1955 with the great classic, Autumn Leaves; it not only sold over 2 million copies, but it is the only piano instrumental ever to reach #1 on the Billboard Pop charts -- where it stayed for four straight weeks.

Roger, of course, was also one of our great Christmas music artists with two solid contributions to the genre: Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs (1956), and his greatest triumph, Christmas Time (1959). It was from the latter classic LP that two songs were taken for the Yule Log soundtrack: Hark The Herald Angels Sing and Silent Night (songs #56 & #57). In my Top 300, Christmas Time is in my 2nd Tier (album #193) and Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs is in my 3rd Tier (album #280). If you don't already have these two great albums in your Christmas music collection, then I strongly recommend them.

 

   



 

*[Edited 11/19/11 to restore album cover images]

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/17/2011 12:33:51

Chip,

It's so sad that so many of the greatest Christmas music recording artist's have passed and quite a few just in the last couple of years.  When I was unpacking my Christmas albums last night, Roger's "Christmas Time" was the first album that was in the box that I had opened.

I don't have the first one yet.  I can't remember if you've told me about this album or not before, but it is one I would like to add to my collection.  My guess, being it is from 1956, is that it was only released in MONO.  I don't think I've seen any reissues of "Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs"  But I have seen reissues of "Christmas Time"
[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
Christmas Music Guru Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/18/2011 05:46:37


Susan,

Roger Williams first Christmas album, Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs, was originally released in Mono in 1956 (catalog #KL-1042), and then later, when Kapp Records acquired its first Westrex cutting head in 1958, it was then released in Stereo (catalog #KS-1042-S).






*[Edited 10/19/11 to correct typo in catalog number]

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/18/2011 09:36:35

Thanks for the information update Chip.  I will have to keep my eyes out for both of them.  As you already know I like to have the original releases and if it was release both in Mono and Stereo, I will try my hardest to find them.

I see a lot of his other albums at thrift stores, but very few of "Christmas Time" and they are usually the reissue with the different album jacket with the 2 red candles a gold glass ornament and I think a cluster or Red Holly Berries and it isn't a gatefold jacket like the oriignal release is.

I didn't realize that I also have a few of his 45's, but I haven't actually seen them in several years being I have basically concentrating on my Christmas Albums, but when I was packing, I saw a few 45's by Roger Williams.

Thanks again  I really appreciate the information.

[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/19/2011 03:00:25


One of those 45s of Roger that you probably have is his 1955 international smash hit, Autumn Leaves. In memory of Roger, I thought it would be nice to share it here for folks who might not be familiar with it. So here it is, the only piano instrumental ever to reach #1 on the Billboard Pop charts, Autumn Leaves:







*[Edit of 10/18/12: Updated YouTube hyperlink for Autumn Leaves]

Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/19/2011 05:06:27

Chip,

If this is a stupid question, then I might as well be the first to ask it.  Was Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs originally recorded in stereo, or was it later re-recorded for stereo release like Percy Faith's Music of Christmas?

Also, I am finding the mono version with a catalog number of KL-1042 rather than KL-1046.  Is this correct?

Which version do you recommend?

Christmas Time was one of the first albums that I purchased after I stumbled upon The Yule Log.  Then I found a copy on reel to reel.  I finally found a used copy on CD without having to pay a fortune.  Excellent music.

What a shame to see another one of the great ones go.  They should live forever.

-=Perry
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/20/2011 03:53:29


Perry,

Roger Williams' first Christmas album, Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs, was originally recorded in Stereo, but it just couldn't get released that way until Kapp Records acquired their first Westrex cutting head.

As for the catalog number for the mono release, it was indeed #KL-1042; I had made a typo in my post. I have since edited it to make the correction; thanks for bringing it to my attention.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/21/2011 05:20:04

Chip,

Thanks so much for your informative reply.  Where you get that kind of information from, I will never know.  Thanks for sharing.  It just goes to show that you cannot assume anything on these older stereo recordings that came out in the '50s.  I would have thought that anything released prior to 1958 would have been mono only.

Is it safe to say that you would recommend the stereo copy then?  If so, is that one difficult to find?

Another LP I am curious about is from The Four Aces - Merry Christmas.  There is a Philippines release that is listed as a stereo copy.  I've only seen it listed on eBay.  There is currently a MCA reissue available here.  I would never have thought that this album would have been recorded in stereo, so I suspect it is simulated stereo.  Do you know anything about this particular release?

Nice music share on Autumn Leaves, too.  I never knew that it was the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on the Billboard Pop charts.  Fascinating stuff!  Truly beautiful music.

-=Perry
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/21/2011 10:30:27


Perry,

Several of the major record companies, including Columbia, RCA and Mercury, actually began recording selective sessions (usually instrumental music) in 2-track and 3-track Stereo as early as 1954. However, these early Stereo recordings were only available to the public (beginning in mid-1955) in the form of consumer-grade 2-track reel-to-reel Stereo tapes until 1958, when the Westrex cutting head was introduced which allowed the record companies to release 2-track and 3-track Stereophonic recordings on vinyl LPs. By the way, in 1959 three-track Stereo recordings became the industry standard for the record companies.

Regarding the Roger Williams 1956 Christmas album, Roger Williams Plays Christmas Songs, the two-track stereo recoding has only a very slight Stereo separation; so it's really not imperative that you obtain a stereo copy. In this case, the Mono disc is perfectly fine.

As for the Four Aces 1955 Christmas album, A Merry Christmas, it was recorded in Mono. The Stereo pressings of this album are electronically enhanced/re-channeled (simulated) Stereo, which I do not recommend; stick with the original Mono. By the way, many sources erroneously show this album's release year as 1956 or 1957, but they are dead wrong; it was released by Decca Records in 1955.





Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/29/2011 12:01:15

We have lost yet another great Christmas music maestro! His song, "Hark, The herald angels sing," was the last song that I needed to complete the 3 hour Yule Log.  I found his Album "Christmas Time" on cassette for a reasonable price (the CD's were expensive) and made the digital recording. In listening to the entire album, I appreciated just good all the songs were! Those of us who appreciate Christmas music and the Yule Log will keep his memory and music alive!
Christmas Music Guru Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #10
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/29/2011 08:40:20


Now that you're done collecting the songs from the original 3-hour program, Ray, you'll have to start collecting the songs from the new fourth hour that I added in 2009! 



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:11/30/2011 12:09:37

Another record my mom had in her collection!  Heard Autumn Leaves played many times at our house!  BTW, Roger Williams had another big hit in 1966, a beautiful rendition of Born Free.  I thought that one went to #1 as well.  It got a lot of play on New York's top 40 powerhouses, WMCA and WABC.

If Born Free didn't reach #1, how high did it chart?
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:11/30/2011 08:30:17


No Frank, Roger Williams' rendition of Born Free did not hit #1 on the Billboard Pop charts; it peaked at #7.

As I said in my opening post on the thread, Roger's Autumn Leaves is the one and only piano instrumental ever to reach #1 on the Billboard Pop charts.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:12/03/2011 06:25:36

OK, my memory is refreshed!  I figured Born Free made the top 10.  A novelty record, Winchester Cathedral, did reach #1 in Nov 66, the same time of year I recall hearing Born Free.  That probably had a lot to do with why Born Free peaked at #7.  It's also an example of all the different types of music top 40 radio played in 1966.

Getting back to Christmas music, I heard Roger Williams' superb version of White Christmas on Holiday Traditions.  Which of Roger Williams' Christmas albums did this appear on?

Thanks again!
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:12/04/2011 05:40:22


Frank,

Roger Williams recorded the song White Christmas on both of his Christmas albums; but the version that you heard on Sirius Radio was from Roger's 1959 LP Christmas Time.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/18/2012 06:47:57

Chip,

I don't know if it's just my computer or the update from Aimoo but the video for your #4 post regarding Roger Williams passing away,  "Autumn Leaves" just shows a black square on my screen and not the video.

I remember you mentioning something about Aimoo's updates that it may have messed up the settings for images or videos.  I can't remember exactly what you had said, but I think you wanted to be notified if something was missing.  This wasn't when you had taken the message board down because of some posts not showing up, but was before that.
[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/18/2012 07:50:16


Yes Susan, always let me know if ever you find something on the message board that is not working.

In this case of the Roger Williams video, it is thankfully not an Aimoo issue, but rather a YouTube issue. I have edited my post to update the link to YouTube.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/18/2012 09:06:19

Thanks Chip,

I know that often YouTube will pull or block a video for so-called Copyright Infringement, but then it's back up again and you have to re-edit a post to reflect it.   These video's are for entertainment purposes only and that is what YouYube is supposed to be all about, so I don't know why they are constantly removing them, but allowing live footage of current artists performances to be posted.

[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/28/2012 07:08:15

Live footage carries the copyright of the person who created the video.  Youtube routinely pulls vids which have infringed upon other existing copyright holders.  Copyright has changed over the years.  Copyright now exists at the time of an item's creation.  With older items it gets a bit muddy.  There was a time when a copyright holder had to request an extension.  If that didn't happen, the item was out of copyright.  I'm not really sure how one finds out if extensions were filed. 

Take a look at:

http://www.unc.edu/%7Eunclng/public-d.htm


for more specifics.
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/29/2012 03:04:13

Now they are talking about buying used books and music from Amazon, eBay and some other places, possibly yard sales, because of Copyright infringement.  It was on the news last night and I think right now it was Foreign books.  But it's so stupid.  I think there was something about ringtones on your cellpones too.

For instance.  Suppose they only pressed 200 copies of Percy Faith's Music of Christmas, and sold all 200 of them. They already made all the money they could from the sale of this record. (I'm using a very small number just because it's easier to explain what I am saying).  Now irregardless of if this wasn't being released on CD and let's say they never reissued it on Vinyl so there were only the 200 copies on Vinyl.  If someone decides they don't want their album anymore and decides to sell it on eBay or Amazon, they would be in violation of Copyright?

How can this be, being it was already bought and paid for but whomever the original purchaser was?  They paid the royalties to Mr. Faith. and the record company made their money.   So how can they charge for someone selling something online that was already purchased by someone over 50 years ago?

They are getting so ridiculous.  What if I go out and buy a book and read it and don't like it so I decide to sell it to a friend for much less than I paid for it, do I have to pay a Copyright fee? or does the person I sold it to have to pay a Copyright fee?, when the book was bought and paid for originally by me so the store, printer, publisher and writer already got their money for that book.

It's even more ridiculous, if someone uploads a video of a wedding party dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and YouTube pulls the video for Copyright infringement.   First of all the audio quality isn't good enough for someone to make into an MP3, and there would also be people talking and probably whistling or clapping in the background, so it's not like they uploaded Michaels song.

I know the original topic is Roger Williams Passes Away, but other replies brought up other things, so I used Percy Faith as an example.

The last I heard was that the RIAA had decided to leave Copyright Enforcement up to the individual States for music prior to February 1972 and anything after that date the RIAA would get involved.

Then, you hear about Music and Videos being taken down from YouTube and other places because they received a DMCA Complaint.  First of all, these Complaints originate from the UK, and in the complaint, any personally identifying information from the person filing the complaint, is blacked out so you can't even address the complaint filer.

All YouTube or other places have to do if they receive a DMCA complaint is take it at face value to protect themselves.  They assume that the complaint was filed with good intent and that the filer is the Copyright owner.  I may not be remembering this verbatim, but I know that most of the music that was recorded here in the USA by USA owned record companies, that they would't sell the Copyright to someone in the UK, so how can the DMCA people even be allowed to file a complaint and get a song or video take down?

Technically, if you buy a car, and have another person in the car with you, you can't listen to the radio because the radio belongs to you only and not the person in the car so by letting the person in your car listen to the radio, you are in violation of Copyright Laws.

Do  you see how ridiculous this is getting?
[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/31/2012 02:03:07

The selling of a product you own wouldn't be copyright infringement.  Redistribution of any kind would be.  For instance, if you scanned it all, then put the scan on youtube, that would be in violation of copyright.  Thus, radio play in a car is not a copyright violation.  Playing an artist's work on the radio without paying royalties would be. 

In order to request a vid be pulled from youtube, one has to either be the copyright holder, or the legal representative of the copyright holder.  A copyright holder can be anyone.  You could buy the rights to a song and be that person.

There are a number of artists online who make music available for videos for free.  The hook for them is that they might get extra exposure and drive folks to their official music distribution.  Unfortunately, many music company execs don't understand the myriad of ways moving their music out into the public can help them in ways that might not be immediately bankable.  THAT, and crappy product, is mainly why they've been suffering...not music copying (which has been around for a couple of generations now).  Picture a youtube filmmaker using an artist's song.  The vid goes viral and suddenly you have millions of people listening to your music.  Add to that links to download the song and ad revenue.  It can pay.  It can drive folks to purchase your music and even follow you, hit one of your concerts, etc.  I've "discovered" artists or albums by just that route.

Anyway, not to try to hijack a thread, but just in discussion of an issue which arose here...
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:10/31/2012 01:38:31

The DMCA Compliaint filers don't have to prove that they are the Copyright holder.  They just have to, in good faith, state that the video, etc. is in violation of Copyright.  And YouTube only takes down the video to protect themselves just in case there is a Copyright Violation.   It is up the the person who posted the video to prove that they have the right to post the video in the first place.

Now the DMCA are trying to stop people from modifying their Cell Phones, Video Game Consoles, etc. because it was made for a specific purpose and also they are trying to make it illegal to make a copy of a DVD that you own.

I belong to several sites that  talk about this and just yestereday I was on one site and there was an article this week on this (I don't know if you have to log in to view it or not)

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/DMCA-Gets-Dumber-Smartphone-JailBreaking-Illegal-in-2013-121800

The part I mentioned that technically you can not let someone else listen to your car radio was something from way back but it was in the laws.  The thing is, are they going to enforce this by having people folowing everyone who owns a car and has a passenger in the vehicle with them, pull them over to see if they are letting them listen to the radio.  I'm just trying to make a point on how ridiculous these laws are.

There are still laws on the book that in some states it's illegal to hold hands with your spouse in public and in some states it's illegal to kiss in public even if you are husband and wife.  But are the police going to give you a ticket for it?  I think not, they have much more important things to do.

I know this has gotten "Off-Topic", but I felt I needed to clarify my statement and how stupid the laws are not just in Copyright.

[FONT family=Arial color=green size=14px]Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life[/FONT] Susan
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Re:Roger Williams Passes Away

Date Posted:08/09/2016 01:27:22

I remember my Step-Father used to listen to Autumn Leaves all the time.  We used it for Dinner Music often.
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