Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Der Bingle's Essentials: Goodyear, Firestone, W.T. Grant's (and more) Albums

Hi folks.  We will now resume our Christmas in July celebration after a brief hiatus where we made a quick trip to middle Tennessee to visit family.

For today's Essential I have chosen anything in the series of Christmas compilation albums released as seasonal promotions from Goodyear, Firestone, and W.T. Grant's.  And there are others too - I have some J.C. Penney comps, at least one Zenith-branded collection, an A&P or two, maybe a B.F. Goodrich is in there, etc   But Goodyear, Grant's, and Firestone are the three standard bearers for great quality Christmas compilation albums of their era.


I think that every Christmas music collector (with a turntable) should have a few of these great old albums.  You really can't go wrong if you find these in good condition at your local thrift store or used record store. The music selections are excellent, and they will bring the sounds of the golden age of Christmas music to you every season.


The Goodyear and W.T. Grant's albums are compilations featuring many different artists.  You'll find Bing, Nat, Doris, Barbra, Andy, Andre, Elvis - basically all the greats.  The Firestone albums are a little different in that they focused on one to four artists per album, and the recordings were made specifically for the Firestone series.  These have never been re-released in a remastered digital format, and so your only sources are copies of the vinyl albums or downloads from ye olde internet.


The Firestone series has particular draw for me, as Volume 5, featuring Julie Andrews, was one of the original Christmas albums I had as a child, and I (of course) still have it.  I've collected good copies of all seven Firestone albums.  I've picked up a few various albums from the other sets too, but so far have resisted the urge to be a completist and track them all down.


The Goodyear series was produced from 1961 - 1977 with an additional release in 1989 (which may have been on CD?).  Firestone ran from 1962 - 1968 and W.T. Grant's from 1967 - 1974.


While we're on the topic of vinyl comps, let me also mention the Reader's Digest boxed sets of Christmas music.  They are also collections of songs by many different artists, usually bundled together in 4-record sets.  I've found that you can find these in amazingly excellent condition.  Like the other comps, the music selection and quality is superb.



Usually each Christmas season, these albums are the first things I listen to when the season 'officially' starts.  As 'Essential' would imply, I think that every Christmas music collection needs at least a few of these fine records.


I'd be interested to hear from you all about your favorite retailer-branded sets or albums.  Mr. Soffa - I know you have a boxed set or 2 (hundred).  What ones stand out as the best of the bunch?  



1 comment:

  1. We had a lot of the tire albums, but that Grant's collection was probably the most played album comp at our house at Christmas. Jim Nabors and Tennessee Ernie were the most played "one artist" discs.

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