Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Few Stats from 2010 Christmas Sharing Season

Just a few quick stats from the 2010 Christmas Sharity Season:

Single/Small Collection:

Most popular:  Julie Andrews "The Christmas Song" - 174 downloads
Second place:  Les Paul and Mary Ford "Silent Night" - 137 downloads
Least popular:  The Four Aces - 41 downloads


Most popular:  Ashley Miller - 153 downloads
Second place:  The Glory of Christmas - 150 downloads
Least popular:  Robert Rheims - 53 downloads

A Class by itself:  Zenith collection - 40 downloads (this was mainly for the song notations on hte back cover)

Most interesting:
Hallmark records - One with 86 downloads, the other with 138.

News for 2011:

A couple things brewing for 2011.  First, DavesWorld56 acquired a reel-to-reel version of "The Glory of Christmas", which I had shared out here.  He transferred it to digital, but discovered that a few songs were missing from the reel format.  I'll be working on re-mastering the missing cuts from my vinyl version (hopefully eliminating the nasty skip from "Patapan") and integrating my re-masters in with Dave's great reel rips.  So sometime in 2011 you'll get a cleaner re-share of this excellent collection.  Here's the link to Dave's work so (via Forum):  Glory of Christmas  Thanks Dave!

Second, I have a couple more editions of the Hallmark collections.  Since I live in Kansas City, home of Hallmark, these pop up pretty often out in thrift store land.  I'll probably re-master the two from 2010 and then share out all four in 2011.  Or more if I find others.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let's Dance with The Three Suns

In frequent visits to thrift and used record stores, I often find albums by The Three Suns.  Three years ago I had never heard of The Three Suns.  It was about that time that I started hitting the Christmas music sharity curcuit, and discovered their Christmas recordings over at Ernie's place.  I really liked their sound - not exactly what you hear on the radio these days, but really fun stuff.  The principle instruments are guitar, organ, and accordian, but they add other instruments from time to time.  What makes them so good, in my opinion, is the arrangements.  Their songs and medleys are uniquely arranged for the Three Suns, and the result is darned fun music.

A little internet research on the Three Suns yielded a dynamic line-up over the years that they performed and recorded.  Much to my surprise, I learned that I had seen one of the group members perform in New York a few years ago.  Bucky Pizzarelli, a truly great jazz guitarist, was a Sun for a brief period near the end of the group's heyday.  I saw Bucky perform with Les Paul at the Iridium - what a treat!

So, here's the first of several Three Suns albums I'll share out here.  This one is "Let's Dance with The Three Suns", a collection of 10 medleys suitable for dancing, or, according to the back cover, all the housewives out there to play while "room-roaming" to do the daily dusting.  Hey - I just report what's written.

Since the medleys each consist of 2-5 songs, I haven't listed all the songs in the MP3 tags.  The complete list is on the album back cover, included in the zip file as well as here.

Please enjoy "Let's Dance with The Three Suns". 

download link

If you like the sound, hop over to Ernie's to grab some of their Christmas recordings.  Here are some of Ernie's links:

Ding Dong Dandy Christmas
The Sounds of Christmas
Christmas Party

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sometimes an Album Cover Catches Your Eye

This was one of those times.  I think it was the cheesy fake mustaches that did it.  Whatever they were, er, it was, here's a nice little 99 cent album from one of the local thrift stores.  This record features the Sportsmen Quartet, my favorite vocal foursome from the Jack Benny show.  At least that's what the back cover tells me.  Now, I do like Jack Benny.  His "Christmas Shopping" television episode where he drives Mel Blanc to a politically incorrect end is a hoot.  However, I hadn't heard of The Sportsmen Quartet until I got this record.

It's really a fun little set of songs.  Performed well, classics of the genre.  Can you imagine a barbershop quartet record without "Sweet Adeline"?  I sure can't.

A bonus was that the record was pressed of groovy gold vinyl.  Interesting, though, the record discolored.  I thought that maybe it was warped and blackened due to heat, but that isn't the case. No warps in the record - it played just fine.  I haven't seen other records darken with age, so I'm not sure what happened here.

So, here's a fine little record with a fine album cover.  Everyone looks so darned happy!

You'll be happy too when you download and listen to The Sportsmen Quartet.  Play it at your next party!

download link

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Post of 2011

Well, the holidays are over, the new year is here.  About half of the Christmas decorations are still up, but that's ok.  Abruptly ending the Christmas season is sad, so we let it ease out slowly.

No posts since Christmas here at Merry and Bright.  Der Bingle has been busy with the family all the post-Christmas goings-on.  But, thought I'd add a quick post as to what you can expect to see here in the January-October months.

More music.  That's the main thing.  I have some great vinyl records that I plan to rip and share.  Definitely not at the same rate as Christmas time, but there will be one here and there throughout the year.

Book notes.  Not really reviews in the strict reviewer sense, but just thoughts about books I'm reading or have read.

Holiday posts.  I'll probably post out some thoughts about books and music (and maybe movies) that tie to the different holidays.  St. Patrick's Day songs.  Valentine's Day jazz.  The Ultimate Arbor Day mix tape.

And other stuff.  Or, as they said in the first season of Gilligan's Island "And the rest!".   (You know, in one episode they said Mary Ann was from Horner's Corners, Kansas, and in another one Winfield, Kansas.  Winfield is real, about 30 miles from where I grew up.)

Here's to 2011!  Hope you enjoy Merry and Bright throughout the year.  I'll do my best to improve the quality of my shares next season.  Have at least a couple to remaster and re-share, plus I'll have as many new shares as possible next season. 

Stay tuned....