The_Yule_Log.com_Message_Board Aimoo Forum List | Ticket | Today | Member | Search | Who's On | Chat Room | Photos | Help | Sign In | |
The_Yule_Log.com_Message_Board > Message Board Categories > YULE LOG/HOLIDAY MUSIC Go to subcategory:
Author Content
Steve_G
  • Subscribe Thread
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:8
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:01/26/2020 11:00:41

Date Posted:01/02/2021 11:50:48Copy HTML

Happy New Year to all. 


I found an old post here about discussing issue dates of LSS albums, so I thought I'd ask the experts here - can anyone point me to information on who actually did the chorale and orchestral recordings? Specifically I am interested in albums called Christmas at the Fireside, and the Sweet Voices of Christmas, which I grew up with and are very special to my family (early to mid 60's I believe).  Fireside in particular is very tastefully done and features (IMO) high quality arrangements on par with many of the great Yule Log tracks (I've bought other LSS recordings which that were sub-par, but this one truly shines).  


I've only turned up two leads in searching the internet: A comment in a review stated that Robert Farnon may have directed/arranged the Fireside recordings (no evidence/source was cited). Then last year a video I posted to facebook with the album playing in the background got flagged because FB thought it was a Robert Shaw Chorale recording. I have some of of Shaw's Christmas albums and I don't hear anything identical to Fireside. 


Complicating matters, I know they mixed, matched and reused recordings all over the place (LSS was a marketing group rather than an actual orchestra, and the music was either purchased or outsourced) so these collections could have been from multiple sessions/arrangers. But I do hear a lot of similarities in the vocalists and arrangements that make me think Fireside was from 1 or 2 sessions from from very good groups/directors.   Sweet Voices is a Childrens choir, so that is definitely a different group - still very good though.  


Any info or resources much appreciated. Thanks, 


Steve



Christmas Music Guru Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #1
  • Rank:Honorary Member
  • Posts:3803
  • From:USA
  • Register:09/07/2005 11:04:22

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:01/06/2021 08:22:21Copy HTML


Yes Steve, information about the LSS recordings is indeed scarce. However, the most renowned LSS recording ever made by far was the one done by the great Mantovani in 1972 entitled, Christmas Eve Favorites. How they managed to sign a great maestro like Mantovani to arrange and conduct this album, I'll never know. The album resides in the 3rd Tier of my Top 500, coming in at #287 (click here).



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
KingofJingaling Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:39
  • From:USA
  • Register:08/24/2009 02:49:49

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:01/16/2021 11:17:49Copy HTML

Both Christmas at the Fireside and The Sweet Voices of Christmas were released on CD in 2001 from a company called Yestermusic. I have both of them. And there really isn't any additional information in the jewel cases. The one does say "The Symphonette was conducted by Michel Piastro, a noted violinist and musician."


Here's the Discogs entry for the CD.


I know that several of the tracks from the LP Chip mentioned above made it onto the Christmas at the Fireside collection, though not all of them.


I believe Chip has a post/thread somewhere on here with a list of the Society's Christmas releases. I once considered going through them all to make a definitive listing of song versions and where they were re-released, etc. but I think I lost steam for the project.

Steve_G Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #3
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:8
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:01/26/2020 11:00:41

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:01/17/2021 04:16:40Copy HTML

This is very helpful, actually. I took a listen to Christmas Eve Favorites and  As King of Jingalong notes, about half the recordings overlap with Christmas at the Fireside. Could this mean Montavani did some of these recordings? 


For reference, the full Christmas at the Fireside is here in it’s entirely, soundtracking a home made Yule Log I created for my parents with the fireplace from their old house.

https://youtu.be/HehmVqzc98w


The Michael Piastro reference is interesting. I found his Obit in The NY Times and it does mention he conducted the Longines Symphonette as heard on 200+ radio stations. I wonder if that refers an earlier incarnation of the symphonette which was broadcast on WOR in the 40s-50s and was (as I recall) actually associated with Longines watch company. From info I have pieced together that entity was different from the Symphonette Society, which was characterized as a marketing company packaging and selling recordings of varied quality.  It may be possible the liner notes for the CD sourced the Michael Piastro reference from this obituary. I have multiple copies of the LP set, and there are no mentions of his name, or any other notes or credits (unfortunately). 


I greatly appreciate the responses. 


(Note - I created the  referenced video for personal use, and it’s not public, Of course I don’t own the rights to this - if posting it here violates any rules, pls let me know and I’ll remove). 



JonPTN Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #4
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:17
  • From:USA
  • Register:10/20/2016 03:27:12

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/01/2021 12:03:19Copy HTML

Hello Steve:


Happy New Year...let's hope it's a good one...we made it through January so, keep hope alive!


Regarding the Longines Symphonette Society releases, I inherited a TON from my folks who were ardent members.   As has been mentioned here, they were a kind  of Columbia Music House/RCA Music Club of its day with mostly collections of various instrumental and orchestral numbers that 'sounded' like a lot of other musicians and orchestras.  Their 'best' collections (included Orson Welles "War of the Worlds' broadcast in LP form as well as a lot of public domain 'stuff) included 2 very good Christmas collections....

Longines Fireside Front.jpeg.jpg

Longines Fireside inside 1jpeg.jpg

Christmas at the Fireside  and 

Longines Christmas Treasury inside 3.jpeg.jpg

Longines Christmas Treasury inside 1 jpeg.jpg

Longines Christmas Treasury inside 2 .jpeg.jpg

Longines Christmas Treasury front.jpeg.jpg

Longines Christmas inside 4.jpeg.jpg

Christmas Treasury....some of these even sound like other orchestras and Choirs (i.e. Robert Shaw etc). 


Similar to my New Jersey beginnings with Peter Pan Records of Newark, there seem to have been a fair amount of Vocalists, Choirs and even small orchestras who 'sounded' like others...I will say that I still consider certain tracks here to be among my favorite versions of these songs as along with my Mother's Perry Como collection, I recall warmly hearing these tracks come out via vinyl on my parents Magnavox 

Magnavox Stereo 1961.jpg

I will keep researching for Longines Symphonette and let you know.


Enjoy the New Year!


regards,


Jim from Tennessee 

Steve_G Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #5
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:8
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:01/26/2020 11:00:41

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/14/2021 12:02:38Copy HTML

Hi Jim, 


Thanks for the info - those vinyl sets look exactly like the Christmas at the Fireside I grew up with. I have two vinyl copies now, but mostly use the imported CD version I got from https://christmaslpstocd.com/


Also, two interesting things to note 

  1. I found that a shortened 18 track version of Christmas at the Fireside is available on Amazon music HD. 

  2. While looking for an old Fisher receiver, I ran across this in an ebay listing.  Apparently LSS put their name on stereo equipment at one point (mid-late 70s, I'm guessing?). Not sure who made it, but it apprently sounds decent. 


Glad to hear any further info you can uncover. 




Christmas Always Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #6
  • Rank:Diamond
  • Posts:1206
  • From:USA
  • Register:08/28/2006 07:41:07

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/16/2021 03:09:45Copy HTML

Back around 1972, The Longines Symphonette Society had a record club where you could actually get a receiver and turntable for free if you signed up for purchasing their records.

I can't say for sure, other than ones that specifically list whom the artist is, i.e. Montovani or Fred Waring, and they often reused the music from one release on another.  But all in all, still some great recordings.

The Longines Symphonette Society. also put out a 3-Volume set "Shell's Wonderful World of Music"  I believe I have spoken about this before,   I am listing the ones that I current have or am at least familiar with below.  I do have both of the boxed-set releases of :Christmas at the Fireside" but being those images have already been posted, I won't list them here.  The White Box was Stereo (Deluxe) and the Red was MONO


The album cover art for Volume 1 is the same as Christmas at Home Compliments of Mayfair and for the Boxed Sets "Christmas at the Fireside".  The album cover art for Volume 2 is the same as

cover.jpgInside.jpgback.jpg


cover.jpgback.jpgcover.jpgcover.jpgback.jpg

I There are a few other Christmas releases from The Longines Symphonette Society.


Silver Bells,

Cover.jpg


Christmas In Song,  C4-T17
cover.jpg


Christmas With The Choraleers,  Boxed Set 1972 LS214A

cover.jpg

The Family Christmas Treasury
coverSmall.jpg


'Twas The Night Before Christmas

cover.jpg




There may be a few more but at the moment I can't remember.back.jpg

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
JonPTN Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #7
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:17
  • From:USA
  • Register:10/20/2016 03:27:12

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/19/2021 12:33:24Copy HTML

A few more Longines items:


Longines-Cert.jpg

Longines-catalog_1.jpg

longines-mantovani-form-letter.jpg


I have more if interested, we can trade emails.  Cheers!


Have a good week, stay warm!

Steve_G Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #8
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:8
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:01/26/2020 11:00:41

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/19/2021 03:25:28Copy HTML

Great info and pictures - thanks everyone. 


I have one Christmas collection not pictured called The Joy of Christmas. It has some overlap with Fireside but also some other tracks that didn’t impress me as much. I also have a non Christmas collection called Evening Serenade. 

I didn’t realize they also compiled those Shell albums. Very popular back in the day. 


Love the ads and letter from Mantovani. 

CluelessInSeattle Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #9
  • Rank:Platinum
  • Posts:293
  • From:USA
  • Register:01/22/2011 05:14:18

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/23/2021 06:40:27Copy HTML

Thanks a million Susan, Steve and Jim, for those photos of the album jackets, memorabilia and the stereo receiver!  Makes me wish I had a time machine so I could go back and join the Longines Symphonette Society.  I would've been thrilled to have one of those receivers.


And I'd love to see page 2 of that Mantovani letter.


Will in Seattle

a.k.a. "Clueless"

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
Christmas Always Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #10
  • Rank:Diamond
  • Posts:1206
  • From:USA
  • Register:08/28/2006 07:41:07

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/25/2021 07:52:07Copy HTML

You are all very welcome.  I agree that I wish I had a time machine to go back into time and get one of these receivers.  I actually had a few that Reader's Digest put out in the 1970's.  I believe there were made by Morse Electrophonic.  They had a receiver-turntable combo and also an 8-track receiver combo.  I don't remember how people got them, if they had to buy some boxed-set records or what, but a company I worked for as a secretary would be the ones to do repairs on them.


Image


The turntable-receiver came with a smokey dust cover.  I had high hopes of having this one put into a TV Console cabinet that we had but was missing the turntable-receiver, but never got it done lol

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
CluelessInSeattle Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #11
  • Rank:Platinum
  • Posts:293
  • From:USA
  • Register:01/22/2011 05:14:18

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/26/2021 03:47:36Copy HTML

Thanks, Susan!  Those photos come pretty darned close to having a time machine.


Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
Christmas Always Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #12
  • Rank:Diamond
  • Posts:1206
  • From:USA
  • Register:08/28/2006 07:41:07

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:02/26/2021 02:01:05Copy HTML

You are most welcome Will,


I think in many ways, these units were far superior to some of the audio equipment that we have out there today.  Their design and quality.  I would love to get my hands on the second one again.  The Garrard turntables were really nice.  Yes, they weren't belt-driven, but still usually didn't fail as much as the belt drive ones.  Often the belt would stretch and wouldn't spin correctly.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
Steve_G Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #13
  • Rank:Bronze
  • Posts:8
  • From:Unknown
  • Register:01/26/2020 11:00:41

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:03/05/2021 03:50:49Copy HTML

Thanks everyone - great stuff you have collectivley dug up. 


Sue - those readers digest components look very much like the Longines received. I'd guess they were made by the same company. Last I checked on ebay, there was one still available there. Not sure who made these, but agree its possible they sound better than the dry/overprocessed sourround sound systems everyone seems to have these days. Esp with good speakers.      


I'm very lucky that I recently acquired.a Fisher receiver dating to 1963. I'm still fine tuning the setup but so far it sounds amazing. (side note: I will have input from the TV so I play the yule log through it on Christmas morning, with speakers in two rooms!).  


I also have my mom's Garrard turntable (late 60's maybe) that I plan to have restored and hook up to it down the road. Those Fireside records will finally get another spin! 





Christmas Always Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #14
  • Rank:Diamond
  • Posts:1206
  • From:USA
  • Register:08/28/2006 07:41:07

Re:Longines Symphonette Society (Revisited)

Date Posted:03/05/2021 08:45:41Copy HTML

Steve,


The one with the turntable was made my Morse/Electrophonic not sure about the second one.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
www.TheYuleLog.com
Copyright © 2000- Aimoo Free Forum All rights reserved.