Between 1961 and 1970, households across America delighted in an annual series of Christmas releases available exclusively through Goodyear locations. 900,000 copies of the first volume of The Great Songs of Christmas were pressed - and proved so successful that, by December 1, 1961, Goodyear ordered all advertising to stop as the album had already sold out. The following year's order was for 1.5 million albums, and 2 million for 1962. By 1966, the series' astounding order was for 3 million LPs. These high-quality albums not only featured the day's top artists but frequently presented songs and versions unavailable anywhere else. Tomorrow, November 22, Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music are proud to debut the first new volume of The Great Songs of Christmas in nearly 50 years bringing many of those exclusive songs together.
The Great Songs of Christmas: Classic Carols and Pop Favorites presents 20 selections primarily drawn from the original, long out-of-print LPs including unique Great Songs versions of favorites from artists such as Johnny Mathis, Ray Conniff, Percy Faith, and Andre Kostelanetz; and new-to-CD tracks and rarities from Andre Previn, The Harry Simeone Chorale, Mahalia Jackson, and Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence. As a special bonus, this new volume includes selections from the W.T. Grant's series of custom Christmas albums including never-on-CD songs from '60s rock titans Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere and The Raiders) and Gary Puckett!
TSD's Joe Marchese has provided track-by-track liner notes for this deluxe package designed in the style of the original Columbia Special Products releases by John Sellards. Vic Anesini has freshly mastered this collection at Sony's Battery Studios. We hope The Great Songs of Christmas: Classic Carols and Pop Favorites will become part of your family's annual Christmas tradition. Are you happy to see this classic series return? Please keep those cards and letters coming, and maybe we'll release more volumes in the future! In the meantime, this volume is due TOMORROW and is available for order at the links below.
Various Artists, The Great Songs of Christmas: Classic Carols and Pop Favorites (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Come All Ye Faithful/Gesu Bambino - Percy Faith (*)
- Ring Christmas Bells/The First Noel/We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Frank DeVol and The Rainbow Strings (*)
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Andre Previn
- The Holly and the Ivy/We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Andre Previn
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Andre Previn
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Andre Kostelanetz (*)
- The Christmas Song - Johnny Mathis (*)
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Ray Conniff (*)
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Ray Conniff (*)
- Away in a Manger - Mahalia Jackson with Percy Faith's Orchestra
- Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Harry Simeone Chorale
- Christmas Is... - The Harry Simeone Chorale
- The Christmas Waltz - Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence
- We Need a Little Christmas - Skitch Henderson and The Tonight Show Orchestra
- Christmas Medley - Peter Nero
- Holy Night - Gary Puckett
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Gary Puckett
- What Child Is This - Mark Lindsay
- O Little Town of Bethlehem - Mark Lindsay
- Silent Night - Mark Lindsay
(*) Great Songs of Christmas version
Tracks 1-2 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album One, Columbia Special Products XTV 69406, 1961
Track 3 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Two, Columbia Special Products XTV 86101, 1962
Track 4 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Three, Columbia Special Products CSP 117, 1963
Track 5 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Four, Columbia Special Products CSP 155 S, 1964
Track 6 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Five, Columbia Special Products CSP 238 S, 1965
Tracks 7-10 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Six, Columbia Special Products CSS 388, 1966
Tracks 11-12 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Seven, Columbia Special Products CSS 547, 1967
Track 13 from The Great Songs of Christmas Album Eight, Columbia Special Products CSS 888, 1968
Track 14 from A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 2, Columbia Special Products CS 788, 1968/Skitch Henderson and the Tonight Show Orchestra, Mame, Columbia CS 9318, 1966
Tracks 15-16, 18 from A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 4, Columbia Special Products CSS 1464, 1970
Tracks 16-17, 19-20 from A Rockin' Christmas, Columbia Special Products P 12445, 1974
I recently bought the entire Christmas series put out by Firestone on CD. They're probably bootlegs and in serious need of good remastering, but boy do they bring back sweet memories of my boyhood growing up in the '60s. I suppose it's sad in a way, but does anybody really want to listen to hip hop Christmas music?
Rich D says
Ordered the CD directly from Real Gone Music - have had it for a couple weeks now and IT'S GREAT !!!!
It's a MUST BUY !!
Joe Marchese says
Thanks for your support, Rich! Glad you're enjoying it.
DeVario L says
What a wonderful CD this is! It has been in heavy rotation on my stereo for the past couple of weeks now. The CD is so great that I ordered an additional copy to play in my car, and may order even more! Great job to everyone at Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records for making this compilation and I hope there will be more volumes in the coming years!
Joe Marchese says
Thank you so much, DeVario!
Craig Davison says
I just sent the amazon link to my wife. We had made CD-Rs of the Goodyear and Firestone LPs as Christmas gifts in years past and they've been in heavy rotation ever since. Looking forward to this release.
Douglas Richardson says
This is a spectacular top notch release, down to the awesome recreation of a CSP label. There is something about how these albums were prepared and sequenced.
Awesome release. Volume two next year?
Joe Marchese says
Thanks for the kind words and the support, Douglas! They're very much appreciated.
We sure hope so. Feel free to let Real Gone know how much you'd like to see a second volume via their Suggestion Box, and Amazon reviews are also always appreciated. 🙂