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Billboard Family Christmas Classics
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Un respiro, Mertens' new solo album offers 10 new compositions, often very rythmical tracks composed for two pianos and two voices all performed by the composer himself. It shows Mertens' passion for the voice, not using it as an instrument but presenting the voice as a guide for the piano, always looking for pure expression only. Un respiro is Mertens' 6th solo studio album as a solo performer pianist/singer.
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Some others are: Christmas 1955 - Present; Top Christmas Hymns; R&B Christmas Hits; Rock & Roll Christmas; Greatest Christmas Hits (1935-1954); and Greatest Country Christmas Hits. Some of the foregoing are also offered in 4-pack and 5-pack editions. In essence, these are the one you have to have if you want to recapture the delightful seasonal sounds of your childhood (assuming you're old enough to recall the periods covered).
This one repeats one from the 1955-Present release (The Chipmunk Song by The Chipmunks with The Music Of David Seville, first a # 1 Billboard Pop Hot 100/# 5 R&B in 1958 and a repeat hit for several years thereafter). It also gives you White Christmas by Bing Crosby as does the 1935-1954 edition, although that one is the original 1942 release with John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra and The Ken Darby Singers (# 1 and a repeat hit for the next four years, reaching the top again in 1945 and 1946). Due to wear and tear on the master tapes, Decca had Bing re-record it in 1947 with the same ensemble and that version would chart for the next 20 straight years. The one heard here is from a 1946 recording for a radio program.
Others that became hit singles which are included in this volume are: A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives, from the animated 1964 TV show Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (# 13 on the Billboard Christmas charts in December 1964, and a repeat hit in 1968; and Judy Garland's Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, a # 27 in 1944 from the film Meet Mee In St. Louis. The backing orchestra is Georgie Stoll's.
The others, although perhaps never achieving official "hit" status, are nevertheless considered staples now each festive season, especially Christmas Time Is Here by The Vince Guaraldi Trio. Featured in the 1965 animated cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas, and since covered by a multitude of vocalists and musicians, this Guaraldi instrumental is now regarded as a Jazz Classic. Another in that vein is Welcome Christmas by The Whoville Chorus from the 1966 animated TV offering How The Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff.
Another much-covered tune is We Need A Little Christmas from the Broadway production of Mame, but none are better than this original by Angela Lansbury and The Ensemble. The same applies to Frosty The Snowman. First a hit for Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys in 1950, and then in 1951 versions by Red Foley, Nat "King" Cole, and Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, the one here by Jimmy Durante from the 1969 TV production remains one of the most heard each Christmas.
The two least-known, but still delightful tunes, are Riu Chiu by The Monkees from their 1967 Christmas show, and Comin' Up Christmas Time from the 1979 TV production Casper's First Christmas (of Casper The Friendly Ghost fame).
"Christmas Time is Here" (from Charlie Brown)
"Welcome Christmas" (from The Grinch tv special)
"We Need a Little Christmas" (from the musical MAME)
"The Chipmunk Song"
"Riu Chiu" (from the tv show THE MONKEES)
"A Holly Jolly Christmas" (from RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER)
"Comin' Up Christmas Time" (from tv show CASPER)
"White Christmas" (by Bing from HOLIDAY INN)
"Frosty the Snowman" (from the tv special by the same name)
"Have Yourself a Very Merry Little Christmas" (from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS)
It's a great album for the whole family. Merry Christmas to you.
Highlights include Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas" (from "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"), "Riu Chiu" (a Spanish carol the Monkees sing acapella after an entertaining Christmas episode), Angela Lansbury's ubiquitous but annoying "We Need A Little Christmas," Bing Crosby's radio broadcast version of the seminal "White Christmas," and Judy Garland's original version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." You also hear classics from The Chipmunks, the Charlie Brown Christmas specials, and a contrived Christmas carol from Yogi Bear and other older HB characters. (Missing are any of Jule Styne's songs from "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol," or the first Flintstones' Christmas special, both from 1964.) Recommended, but only for those not having (or wanting) the respective videos, all of which are available.
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Well, you certainly don't need to be a kid to love this CD!Read more