‘A Really Swell Christmas’: The 2015 Holiday Mix
Christmas Week! As you may or may not know, or even care, I make a Christmas Mix CD every year for cherished friends and family…This year is Year 13 for my little endeavor, and now that most of the CDs have been mailed out or dropped off, it’s time to share it with the world!
I’m not saying these yearly excursions into the obscura of holiday music are any good, but I will guarantee that they’re a break from the normal played-out Christmas music that we’re bombarded with everywhere we go in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The radio stations (even satellite and internet) are afraid to break from the same, ridiculously small holiday playlist (kind of like how the treat all music in general; play a few ‘hits’ right into the damn ground. It’s what the masses like, I guess. That’s too bad.)
So here you go; the 2015 mix, ‘A Really Swell Christmas: The NOW Sound.’ It’s inspired by a CD compilation Sony Records released back in the 1990s called, coincidentally, ‘A Really Swell Christmas.’ It’s out of print now, and used copies go for increasing amounts of money. I have a copy, and no, it’s not for sale.
I’ve taken a few tracks from that compilation (and borrowed the name) and added to it some music from probably my favorite decade for Christmas music, the 1960s. The kind of music that played in the stores and malls back in the day; easy-listening type stuff that really doesn’t get made, or heard, much anymore. It’s cheesy, cornball music originally made for and marketed to the ‘adult’ market, i.e., the Squares. But that’s OK. I still love it. I love my Christmas music very much on the retro side, and these tunes fit the bill.
The mix opens and closes with some pieces from a truly ‘lost’ Christmas album of the 1960s with the mouthful-name of ‘The United States Air Force Band Featuring Sandler & Young And The Free Design – “The Now Sound Of Christmas” And “A Christmas Party” 1968.’ It’s an album featuring Air Force musicians, hosted by whoever the heck Sandler & Young are, and features the vocal pop group The Free Design. And it’s a great album. Apparently recorded to give to prospective Air Force recruits in ’68, the album is very hard to find in physical form; copies go online for hundreds of dollars, if they’re available at all. I listen to it quite a bit this time of year (it’s available online in digital form if you snoop hard enough) and its music fits both the era and my holiday mix.
‘A Really Swell Christmas: The NOW Sound’ is a collection I doubt you’ll hear together anywhere (anywhere normal, at least). Guilty parties include Percy Faith, Ray Conniff, TV talkshow host Mike Douglas, The Free Design, the USAF bands, a polka tune, the only song I know of that comes from a James Bond movie (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, can you identify it?) and Mr. Robert Goulet. That and so much more.
I’ve brought the cheese to this holiday shindig, you supply the drinks. Cheers!
Follow me on Mixcloud, where I’m putting most of my annual Christmas mixes for you to enjoy anywhere! It’s FREE!!