This 19th edition of "Chip's Tips" announces the upcoming 2019 Christmas CD releases from Real Gone Music.
And I am very happy to announce this year that SME (Sony Music Entertainment) and UMG (Universal Music Group) have finally cooperated with four of the Top Christmas LPs that I have been working for a very long time to get reissued on CD. And, hence, they are this year's *star* Christmas CD releases. By the way, these releases will put to rest the rumors that the major record companies were no longer going to cooperate in leasing out the rights to their recordings for release on CD.
First is Jim Reeves' classic Christmas album from 1963, Twelve Songs of Christmas (courtesy of SME); second and third are Leroy Anderson's classic Christmas albums from 1955 and 1959, Christmas Carols and A Christmas Festival (courtesy of UMG); and fourth is Stanley Black's classic Christmas album from 1956, Christmas Holiday For Romance (courtesy of UMG).
The Jim Reeves album has been in print on disk pretty much since the advent of the CD, but it was never properly remastered. This Real Gone Music "Expanded Edition" features a complete all new digital remastering by Sony's Battery Mastering Studios here in New York. It also features my two top bonus tracks that I had suggested to Gordon (Anderson) for the CD: "Snowflake" and "Scarlet Ribbons." My good friend Ethel Gabriel, the legendary RCA Records producer, always speaks fondly of "Jimmy" (as she calls him) when his name comes up in one of our conversations, and she still becomes crestfallen when recalling his premature death in that tragic plane crash in July of 1964. By the way, I used two of the songs from this album for the new 5th hour of the Yule Log telecast that I created in 2016, click here. And one last thing: for this new CD, I asked country music aficionado Steve Harmon to write the liner notes.
The Leroy Anderson albums are a first-ever release on CD. UMG did release the '59 album on CD back in 2004, but it was accidentally the mono version, as they ridiculously pulled the wrong master out of the archives! In addition, UMG foolishly did not use the original Decca Records LP artwork for that 2004 CD. So therefore, this now is the first-ever release of the '59 album in its true glorious stereo with the original artwork. By the way, both Anderson original Decca Records LP artworks used for this CD came from pristine copies in my collection. As far as bonus tracks are concerned, I suggested to Gordon to include both Mr. Anderson's original mono and later stereo version of his great original composition, "Sleigh Ride" (the mono version on disc #1 after the '55 mono album; and the stereo version on disc #2 after the '59 stereo album). Ironically, the song was never included on either one of his Christmas albums, as Mr. Anderson had not originally written it as a Christmas piece. But it has now become a bone fide Christmas classic. And finally, for this 2019 Real Gone Music CD release, I asked Mr. Anderson's son, Kurt, with whom I am acquainted, to write the liner notes. By the way, I'm proud to say that I was also acquainted with Mr. Anderson's wife, Eleanor, who sadly passed away in 2014. She was a wonderful woman and would have been very happy about this release.
The Stanley Black album is also the first-ever release on CD of this great, albeit, lesser-known Christmas classic. And I am proud to have finally gotten it back in print. By the way, the original London Records LP artwork used for the CD also came from a pristine copy in my collection.
These four spectacular albums are not only in the 1st Tier of my Top 500, but in my all-time Top 30, coming in at #11 (Reeves), #17 (Anderson '59), #28 (Anderson '55), and #30 (Black).
Note: To view the In The Spotlight tributes that I did in 2009 for Jim Reeves click here; and in 2010 for Stanley Black click here.
Here now is the complete list of the Real Gone Music Christmas releases for 2019; and under the first group, is where the album ranks in my all-time Top 500:
Jim Reeves: Twelve Songs Of Christmas (Expanded Edition)
*(Top 500; 1st Tier; #11)*
Leroy Anderson: A Christmas Festival and Christmas Carols (The Complete Christmas Collection) (2-CD Set)
*(Top 500; 1st Tier; #17 & #28, respectively)*
Stanley Black: Christmas Holiday For Romance (first-ever CD release!)
*(Top 500; 1st Tier; #30)*
In addition, the following two compilations will be released:
Chet Atkins: The Complete RCA and Columbia Christmas Recordings (2-CD Set)
Eugene Ormandy: The Complete Columbia Christmas Albums Collection
Also on this year's lineup:
Great Songs Of Christmas: Classic Carols And Pop Favorites (a selection of songs from the Goodyear and Grants series)
^And for anyone interested: vinyl LP reissues for Cyndi Lauper, Home Alone Soundtrack and Love Actually Soundtrack.
The anticipated street date for the new RGM releases is November 8, 2019.
Any questions or comments about these new releases, please post on the message board by clicking here.
Don't forget to keep the spirit of Christmas all year through.