Last week, Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music announced details of The Supremes’ Ultimate Merry Christmas, our 2-CD celebration of the legendary group’s joyous 1965 holiday album. Today, we’re keeping spirits bright as we announce two more Christmas classics coming to CD on November 3!
On their 1957 album of the same name, The Ames Brothers proclaimed in song, “There’ll Always Be a Christmas” – and as it turns out, Ed, Vic, Gene, and Joe Ames had created a joyful Christmas album for all time. Now, their holiday perennial is coming to CD in its original mono mix for the very first time on Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records’ There’ll Always Be a Christmas: 60th Anniversary Deluxe Mono Edition.
Between 1948 and 1960, The Ames Brothers notched a remarkable fifty entries on the Billboard charts, including three Number Ones and a further six Top Ten hits, and became one of America’s most beloved singing groups. Their distinctive sound – consisting of four bass-baritones and no tenor voices – can be heard at its most robust on There’ll Always Be a Christmas. Supported by the lush orchestra of Broadway veteran Sid Ramin, the quartet delivered fresh renditions of both upbeat Christmas standards like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Silver Bells” and sacred songs such as “What Child is This?” and “O Holy Night.”
This 60th anniversary reissue adds two bonus tracks to further showcase the enormous versatility of the group. “I Got a Cold for Christmas” is a comic novelty in the tradition of The Ames Brothers’ favorites like “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane,” while “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is a swinging romp through Irving Berlin’s wintry tune. All 14 songs have been newly remastered by Maria Triana at Sony’s Battery Studios in their original mono mixes, while my liner notes are based on a brand-new interview with the only surviving member of the group, stage and screen legend Ed Ames. Filled with beautiful harmonies and rich arrangements of some of the greatest Christmas songs of all time, There’ll Always Be a Christmas is a heartwarming and nostalgic treat you’ll want to share with your family, and generations to come.
Seeing as we’ve tackled the 1950s with The Ames Brothers and the 1960s with The Supremes, it’s only fair that we turn our attention to the 1970s for our third Christmas release of the year. What do Keith Richards, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, and the late George Jones all have in common? All have counted themselves as fervent fans of Connie Smith. A true singer’s singer, Connie has entertained fans for over fifty years with her singular blend of country-and-western, gospel, and pop. Along the way, she’s earned thirty charting albums and three Number Ones, twenty top ten Billboard Country singles, eleven Grammy Award nominations, and inductions to both The Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1975, Connie recorded her only full-length Christmas album, Joy to the World, for Columbia Records. This rootsy holiday celebration featured Connie, The Jordanaires, and a cast of “Nashville cats” – the city’s finest session musicians – breathing new life into traditional melodies and spiritual favorites. Shockingly, this beautiful slice of seasonal Americana has never been released on CD anywhere in the world…until now.
Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records’ expanded edition of Joy to the World premieres the original album on CD and adds one rare bonus track for a vivid and festive portrait of Connie Smith’s Christmas classics. Connie wraps her rich voice around a selection of songs that have stood the test of time for centuries, among them “The First Noel, “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and the stirring “Joy to the World,” as well as spirituals “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “Sweet Little Jesus Boy.” As a special bonus, Connie’s duet with fellow legend Willie Nelson on “Silent Night, Holy Night” has been included. Maria Triana has remastered at Sony’s Battery Studios, and The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese has written new liner notes based on an exclusive interview with the artist. Additionally, as a special Christmas treat, Connie Smith herself has penned a new introduction to this reissue. Rousing and reverent, Joy to the World is a moving, homespun, and timeless treat from one of country music’s most enduring and powerful voices.
Both The Ames Brothers’ There’ll Always Be a Christmas: 60th Anniversary Deluxe Mono Edition and Connie Smith’s Joy to the World: Expanded Edition have been designed by John Sellards, and feature original artwork from both titles as well as rare photographs and memorabilia. They are available now for pre-order at the links below! They’ll arrive, along with The Supremes’ The Ultimate Merry Christmas, on November 3 from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music. Don’t forget to watch this space for details on the rest of Real Gone’s unparalleled Christmas roster!
- The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
- Deck The Halls
- Oh Holy Night
- Silver Bells
- What Child Is This?
- Jingle Bells
- Good King Wenceslas
- The Night Before Christmas Song
- Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town
- Go Tell It On The Mountain
- There’ll Always Be a Christmas
- I Got A Cold For Christmas
- I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Tracks 1-12 from There’ll Always Be a Christmas RCA Victor LP LPM-1541, 1957
Track 13 from RCA Victor Little Nipper Single WY 491, 1954
Track 14 from Sing the Best of the Bands RCA Victor LP LPM-2273, 1960
- What Child is This
- O Holy Night
- Go Tell It On The Mountain
- The First Noel
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Sweet Little Jesus Boy
- Away In a Manger/Silent Night
- Joy To The World
- Come All Ye Faithful
- While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
- Silent Night, Holy Night – with Willie Nelson
Tracks 1-10 from from Joy To The World, Columbia LP C 33553, 1975
Track 11 from The Nashville Christmas Album, Epic LP PE 40418, 1986