Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Two new Christmas offerings from Bear Family Records

German-based Bear Family Records is one of the world's best reissue labels. For decades now, they've issued both single CDs and expensive, behemoth box sets specializing, mostly, in vintage U.S. country, pop and rock'n'roll. And, over the past few years, they've been issuing great Christmas compilations featuring tunes culled from those larger collections.

I've been keeping up with these releases and plan on getting both of these, too. If they're anything like their predecessors, the sound and liner notes are great (and in English) and the price is right (cheap). Groovy cover art, too.

Check 'em out. Click the links to order from Amazon. The details on each release come from the label.

Headin' For The Christmas Ball: 31 Swing And R&B Christmas Crooners

Nostalgic Christmas with 31 Lindy Hop-Jitterbug-Boogie-Jive and Easy Listening rarities of the years 1940-1967!

Among them the title song Christmas Ball, as well as the B-side of the rare 1951 Coral single of the Georgie Auld Orchestra with the great singer Bill Darnel, never before on CD!

Knuckles O'Toole & The Brigadiers' version of Jingle Bells is also included, as well as New Year's goose bumps classic Auld Lang Syne in the worn version by Guy Lombardo, and the famous version of the classic Sleigh Ride in the interpretation of orchestra leader Leroy Anderson, also known from the movie 'Polar Express'!

Besides The Andrews Sisters there are more ladies with their great voices, above all the stunning Dinah Washington, the crooner lady Dorothy Collins and last but not least Kay Martin, who makes it quite slippery and erotic.

They are joined by Jerry Lewis, Cary Grant and Mickey Rooney, three movie stars from Hollywood's golden era with their really rare recordings!

With this compilation we want to give more exuberance to the celebration of love, although some of the songs are nostalgic and dreamy and you might even feel transported back to your own childhood. This Christmas disc invites you to the Christmas ball, to dancing, to swinging, to contemplation and cheerfulness among family members, friends, like-minded people and guests. This music brings glamour into every hut, with all the candles, lights and crackling stoves, while outside it is snowing and stormy... Of course, the CD also comes with liner notes for each song, rare photos and many illustrations in the 24-page booklet!

Track Listing:

  1. Georgie Auld & His Orchestra feat. Bill Darnell - Christmas Ball
  2. Louis Prima & His Orchestra - Shake Hands With Santa Claus
  3. Bill Bronson s Overtones with The Tommy Ferguson Trio - Christmas Is On Its Way
  4. Roy Milton & His Solid Senders - Christmas Time Blues
  5. Jo Stafford - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  6. Knuckles O'Toole & The Brigadiers - Jingle Bells
  7. The Andrews Sisters - Jing-A-Ling, Jing-A-Ling
  8. Benny Goodman & His Orchestra feat. Peggy Lee - Winter Weather
  9. Georgie Auld & His Orchestra feat. Bill Darnell - It Ain't Snowin' Outside
  10. Leroy Anderson & His ''Pops'' Concert Orchestra - Sleigh Ride
  11. Art Mooney & His Orchestra - The Christmas Choo Choo Train
  12. Lawrence Welk's Little Band feat. Janet, Brian, Cubby & The Lennon Sisters - Outer Space Santa
  13. Barry Gordon - Zoomah, The Santa Claus From Mars
  14. Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians with The Glee Club - Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  15. Dorothy Collins - Mister Santa
  16. Cary Grant - Christmas Lullaby
  17. Mickey Rooney - Susie, The Snow Girl
  18. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Come On Santa, Let's Have A Ball
  19. Kay Martin & Her Body Guards - Santa's Doing The Horizontal Twist
  20. Dinah Washington - Ole! Santa
  21. Ramsey Lewis Trio - Christmas Blues
  22. Dave King & The Keynotes - Hotta Chocolata
  23. Tina Robin - Winter Wonderland Cha Cha
  24. The Enchanters - Mambo, Santa, Mambo
  25. The Surfers - Here Comes Santa Claus In A Red Canoe
  26. Louis Armstrong - Christmas In New Orleans
  27. Noël Chiboust Et Son Orchestre, feat. Django Reinhardt - Noël Blues
  28. Jerry Lewis - I've Had A Very Merry Christmas
  29. Johnny Otis & His Orchestra - Happy New Year, Baby
  30. Ramsey Lewis Trio - What Are You Doing New Years Eve
  31. Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians - Auld Lang Syne

A great compilation of traditional country music, western swing and hillbilly.

26 songs selected by Nico Feuerbach and commented with great expertise and profound humour by Roland Heinrich.

Three tracks are released here on CD for the first time!

Bear Family also brings good cheer and will make your Christmas especially ''merry'' with an particularly compiled seasonal country CD. Bear Family's little sleigh stopper is not your average middle-of-the road cash in: Bear Family's 'Christmas On The Range' brings you vintage country music, western swing, and hillbilly from the 1940s and '50s. The stories are heartfelt and funny with just the right dose of Christmas corniness. The CD showcases well-known artists like Bill Monroe and Kitty Wells alongside obscurer colleagues such as Billy Briggs and Ray Salter & the Twin City Playboys. Also, three of the tracks included have never been available on CD.

This compilation helps you burn the extra cookie with hot dance tunes like The North Pole Boogie and the all-time great We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo by Terry Fell. Bob Wills is presented in a pensive and patriotic mood with his World War II classic Empty Chair at the Christmas Table, whereas Brenda Lee roars determined that she is going to lasso Santa Claus! If you party too hard around Mardi Gras you might end up with a New Baby for Christmas - George Jones will let you in on the whole story. Traditional country music always loved to exploit special occasions by tackling any imaginable topic, no matter how trivial or exotic. This CD brings you great novelties, great tear jerkers, and great dance music. It also brings great joy!

Track List:
  1. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - When It's Christmas On The Range
  2. Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) - Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  3. Gene Autry - Here Comes Santa Claus
  4. Bill Monroe - Christmas Time's A-Coming
  5. The Louvin Brothers - It's Christmas Time
  6. Ray Salter & The Twin City Playboys - Christmas Decoration
  7. Little Jimmy Dickens - No Place Like Home On Christmas
  8. Tex Ritter - Christmas Carols By The Old Corral
  9. George Morgan - Blue Snowfall
  10. Ernest Tubb - White Christmas
  11. Cliff Bruner & His Texas Wanderers - Snowflakes
  12. Eddy Arnold - Christmas Can't Be Far Away
  13. Kitty Wells - Christmas Ain't Like Christmas Anymore
  14. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Empty Chair At The Christmas Table
  15. Jim Reeves - Blue Christmas
  16. Brenda Lee - I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
  17. Billy Briggs - North Pole Boogie
  18. Red Foley - Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  19. George Jones - New Baby For Christmas
  20. Wilf Carter - The Night Before Christmas In Texas, That Is
  21. Nelson Young - Home At Christmas
  22. Skeeter Davis - Santa Claus Is Coming
  23. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Santa's On His Way
  24. The Prairie Ramblers - Cowboy Santa Claus
  25. Terry Fell - We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo
  26. Ray Salter & The Twin City Playboys - I Wish Every Day Was Christmas

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