Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Year

All the
best in

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Kwanzaa!

US Kwanzaa stampHappy Kwanzaa to everybody!

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States honoring universal African heritage and culture, marked by participants lighting a kinara (candle holder). It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year, primarily in the United States.

Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966 to January 1, 1967 ... (continued @ Wikipedia)

[@ Amazon / DVD / CD / Book ]

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Christmas TV Than You Can Handle

Head on over to a huge listing of TV shows @ WFMU's Beware of the Blog. Over 150 shows are listed ranging from 1949 to 1988, including

  • The Ruggles Christmas Episode (1949)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Christmas Episode (1950)
  • You Asked For It Christmas Episode (1951)
  • Green Guild Playhouse (1951)
  • Beat the Clock Christmas Episode (1952)
  • The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet Christmas Episode (1952)
  • Studio One Christmas Episode (1952)
  • Racket Squad Christmas Episode (1952)
  • Dragnet Christmas Episode (1952)
  • The Ray Milland Show Christmas Episode (1953)
  • The Garry Moore Show Christmas Episode (1953)
  • The Liberace Show Christmas Episode (1954)
  • Father Knows Best Christmas Episode (1954 - USA Only)
  • Meet Corliss Archer Christmas Episode (1954)
  • The Honeymooners Christmas Episode (1955)
  • Love That Bob Christmas Episode (1955)
  • The Bob Hope Show Christmas Episode (1955)
  • Your Hit Parade Christmas Episode (1955)
  • What's My Line Christmas Episode (1955)
  • I Love Lucy Christmas Episode (1956)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents Christmas Episode (1956)
  • with well over 100 more listed ... if you watch then all, I'll see you at Easter.
  • Seinfeldian: Festivus

    Ben & Jerrys Festivus Ice Cream
    I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it. We'll discuss it at dinner before the Feats of Strength ...

    Happy Festivus! Why aren't there any Festivus songs? Shouldn't there be presents? Can I hang tinsel on my pole?

    Festivus @ Wikipedia / Religious Tolerance / Amazon

    Jamaican Christmas Mix - Coming Tomorrow Today!

    ALWAYS a joy to listen too ... the 2009 Jamaican Christmas Mix (as well as the three previous mixes) are slated to come out later today @ Distinctly Jamaican Sounds so be sure to head on over and be prepared for a slice o'nice.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Holmes for the Holidays @ TCM

    Sherlock Holmes ~ The Archive Collection coverAs you may know, I was inspired to name this blog and my blogger ID by the Sherlock Holmes short story, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle ... a tale that takes place around Christmas ... Christmas and Sherlock ... does it get any better? It sure does on the cable channel Turner Classic Movies with their Christmas/Boxing day schedule of 24 hours of Sherlock.

    Holmes for the Holidays @ TCM
    Friday, December 25th to Saturday, December 26th 2009

    8:00 pm - The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) (@ Amazon), starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene and Wendy Barrie.

    9:30 pm - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) (@ Amazon), starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce and Ida Lupino.

    11:00 pm - The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) (@ Amazon), starring Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely and Genevieve Page.

    1:15 am - Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour (1931) (@ Amazon), starring Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming and Jane Welsh.

    2:30 am - The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) (@ Amazon), starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Andre Morell and Maria Landi.

    4:00 am - A Study in Terror (1965) (@ Amazon), starring John Neville, Donald Houston, Georgia Brown and Anthony Quayle.

    6:00 am - 11 more Rathbone/Bruce Holmes films (@ Amazon)
    8:00 pm

    Winter Solstice

    A Winter's Solstice II coverWinter Solstice (aka Midwinter, Yalda, Soyal, Solar New Year, Longest Night and many, many other names), the shortest day and longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere occurs today @ 17:47 UTC / 12:47 pm EST. A great many celebrations, cultural and religious, occur at or around this event. So no matter what you celebrate or observe, may it be the best yet for you and yours.

    Hindu: Happy Pancha Ganapati!

    Happy Pancha Ganapati to all our Hindu friends.

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Happy (belated) 20th Birthday to Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

    Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire coverSimpsons Roasting on an Open Fire first aired on Fox Sunday December 17th, 1989. A personal favorite and often chosen to start off our seasonal DVD watching.

    "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", is the first full-length episode of The Simpsons to air despite originally being the eighth episode produced for season one. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 17, 1989. In the episode, Homer discovers that he will not be getting a Christmas bonus and thus the family has no money to buy Christmas presents. He decides to keep their financial troubles a secret and gets a job as a department store Santa, but later discovers that the job does not pay enough. Desperate for a miracle, Homer and Bart go to the dog racing track on Christmas Eve in hopes of earning some money ... (continued @ Wikipedia)

    [@ Amazon / DVD / VHS ]

    Happy 43rd Birthday to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! coverHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! first aired on CBS Sunday December 18th, 1966. Dr. Seuss + Boris Karloff = Funtastic!

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the homonymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away Christmas from the townsfolk below. The special, which is considered a short film as it runs less than an hour, is one of the very few Christmas specials from the 1960's to still be shown regularly on television. Boris Karloff narrates the film and also provides the speaking voice of The Grinch (the opening credits state, "The sounds of the Grinch are by Boris Karloff. And read by Boris Karloff, too!") ... (continued @ Wikipedia)

    [@ Amazon / DVD / Blu-ray / CD / Book ]

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Wanted: XMas Radio Spots

    Santa Claus (1959) coverAs some of you know, people who do Halloween compilations/mixes occasionally will use old radio commercials for horror movies as filler or breaks between songs/sets. These radio spots frequently came out on 45's and were 30, 45 or 60 seconds long.

    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians coverOf course the number of movies that would be appropriate for a Halloween mix far, far exceed the number of Christmas movies and are therefore much more available. In fact, other than a reference to some Christmas Vacation (@ Amazon) promo material, I can't remember seeing anything for us to use ... like I'd love to get the spots for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (@ Amazon) or Santa Claus (@ Amazon) or any movie that would fit a Yuletide mix for that matter. So if you know where to find some, drop me a note in the comments with the URL(s).

    Roman: Io, Saturnalia!

    Io, Saturnalia! to all you ancient Romans

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    The War On ... Santa?

    Anti-Santa Logo The BBC is reporting that Santa Claus is apparently trying to muscle in on Austria ... Austria? A number of Austrians are fighting to save their traditional bringer of gifts, Christkind, from the tough tactics of the big guy. The Bush administration Americans are denying any involvement.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Judaism: (Belated) Happy Hanukkah!

    US Hanukkah stamp
    I know Hanukkah has already begun but would like to wish all our Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah!

    And for some audio treats for the ears, head on over to these sites:

    1. SoundRoots
    2. BobFromBrockley
    3. Da Vinci's Notebook -- The Dreidel Song
    4. Sen. Orrin Hatch -- Eight Days of Hanukkah
    5. The Pop View
    6. Brooklyn Vegan
    7. Menorah Mashups
    8. Brooklyn Vegan (2008)

    Happy 40th Frosty!

    Frosty DVD cover
    It was 40 years ago that Frosty the Snowman (@ Amazon)was first broadcast on CBS. It might be belated birthday wishes, Wikipedia uses both Dec 7th & Dec 14th as broadcast dates, the CBS site says Dec 7, 1969.

    Hey ... Let's be careful out there

    Santa Stamp
    Don't let health & safety issues be the Grinch to steal your seasonal joy this year. Our good friends from Ottawa are always looking out for us ... afterall, if we get hurt who's going to pay all the taxes?

    Fun and Safe Holiday Season (Fact Sheet):
    Some quick tips on the Holiday Tree, Toys and Gifts, Flames and Holiday Lights.

    Holiday Safety:
    Tips and links for more info on Fire and Light Safety, Healthy Eating and Food Safety, Responsible Drinking, Staying Active and Healthy, Travel Health, Toys and Gifts and Other Holiday Health Resources.

    2009 Holiday Food Safety Advisory:
    Health Canada tips on basic food safety.

    2008 Holiday Food Safety Advisory:
    Last years tips on basic food safety.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    Too Much Christmas EP

    Too Much Christmas EPSeason getting to you? Can't stand the 24/7 stream of all things Christmas? Well, what are you doing here then? Go find a song that sums up your feelings.

    From the site ...

    " The Jane Bradfords have written a Christmas song! Its nowhere near as good as the best Chistmas songs nor is it as bad as the worst.*

    *No sleigh-bells were used in the creation of this song

    Immediate download + of EP in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. "

    + Requires you to sign up for their newsletter

    and so on to Too Much Christmas EP

    A Very Bootie Christmas 2

    A Very Bootie Christmas 2 (2009)Good things get mashed ... potatoes, barley, TV shows based on a movie based on a book written by a Hooker, and music ... in this case, Christmas music.

    Head on over to BootieUSA to snag "A Very Bootie Christmas 2" and, if you missed it a few years ago, "A Very Bootie Christmas". A total of 31 mashed-up Yuletide tunes to get your toes-a-tapping and your hips-a-swaying ... why do I feel the need to search out some Yuletide Disco?


    A Very Bootie Christmas 2 (2009)

    1. Go Home Productions -- High Tides and Blocked Peace Pipes
    2. DJ Schmolli -- Pumping Up Christmas
    3. Dan Phillips -- Jingles Are Jingles
    4. King Of Pants -- Alala Falala Hasselhoff
    5. Smash-Up Derby -- Christmas Bop
    6. Secret Santa -- Santa's Silent Bum
    7. Voicedude -- Dreidel All The Way
    8. Voicedude -- Black Door Or White Santa
    9. Jacqui Naylor -- Santa Claus Is Coming To Alabama (A+D Remix)
    10. A Plus D -- Xmas Dick In A Box *
    11. DJ BC -- Sugar Plum Fairy Coda (Recoda)
    12. Little Drummer Bonzo -- DJ Topcat
    13. Mojochronic -- Yuletide Zeppelin
    14. Alexkid & DJ Seep -- Santa Baby (Remix)
    15. Voicedude -- It's The Little Things

    * - explicit lyrics

    A Very Bootie Christmas (2006)

    1. Bad Tattoo -- Are You Gonna Stop The White Xmas
    2. Divide & Kreate -- Jingle Jane
    3. Sam Flanagan -- Frosty DMC
    4. Brat -- Funky Christmas
    5. Divide & Kreate -- Every Christmas You Fake
    6. DJ Schmolli -- Back Door Santa Getting It On
    7. Lionel Vinyl -- Lionel's Xmas Wrapping
    8. A Plus D -- Give Da Jew Girl Toys
    9. Go Home Productions -- Christmas On The Block
    10. Corporal Blossom -- White Christmas
    11. DJ John -- Lonely Siberian Winter
    12. Payroll -- Another Xmas Day Can Only Disappoint U
    13. DJ Zebra -- The Xmas Kick
    14. Divide & Kreate -- Achtung X-Mash
    15. Go Home Productions -- Christmas In Boston
    16. DJ BC -- Imagine Santa

    Sucka Pants XMas Mix '09

    XMas Mix '09
    A 21 track compilation, XMas Mix '09, over at Sucka Pants is definitely worth a listen. The Sonics "Santa Clause", "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" by Julian Casablancas and Kermit Ruffins "Crazy Cool Christmas" are my favs ... YMMV.


    1. All I Want For Christmas -- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    2. Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight) -- Asobi Seksu
    3. Winter Wonderland -- Cap'n Jazz
    4. Oh Joseph -- Burning Hank
    5. Come On Santa -- The Raveonettes
    6. O Holy Night -- Benji Cossa
    7. Santa Clause -- The Sonics
    8. Christmas In Prison -- Emmy The Great & Lightspeed Champion
    9. I Wish It Was Christmas Today -- Julian Casablancas
    10. Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis -- Neko Case
    11. It's Christmas But Not For You -- TIAC
    12. Christmas Eve, Driving Home -- Frontier Ruckus
    13. Run Away With Me -- Jens Lekman
    14. Christmas Is For Losers -- Mike Nicolai
    15. Ain't No Chimneys -- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
    16. Oh Hanukah, Oh Hanukah -- Sinai Mountain Boys
    17. Last Christmas -- Swearing at Motorists
    18. Crazy Cool Christmas -- Kermit Ruffins
    19. Hanukkah -- The Mountain Goats
    20. X-Mas Eve (She Got up and Left Me) -- Rancid
    21. Xmas Eve -- The Damnwells

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    25 worst Christmas album covers of all time

    Nothing says Christmas like a really bad album cover. Coming in at #1 according to the UKs' Telegraph is Stan and Doug yust go nuts at Christmas ... see the rest @ The 25 worst Christmas album covers of all time.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Corner Gas: "Christmas in Dog River"

    If you're Canadian, you know "Corner Gas" (S1 DVD @ Amazon) and if not, you need to try to catch it sometime if possible. Back in 2005, their first Christmas episode, "Merry Gasmas", aired. A Christmas single was released a few days before hand ... 50% promo, 50% song and 110% comedy ... the MP3 is still available for free download @
    Brent Butt Releases First Ever Single, "Christmas in Dog River".

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Oprah's Free Holiday Music Downloads

    Free Holiday Music Downloads

    From November 30 at 10 a.m. CT to December 1 at 11 p.m. CT, download Andrea Bocelli's and Mary J. Blige's duet on "What Child Is This" and Sugarland's "Silent Night" for free! ... continue to

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    USA: Happy Thanksgiving

    Happy Thanksgiving
    Happy Thanksgiving
    to our American friends ... or, as the Yuletide Bloggers say ...

    "Ladies & Gentlemen, start your turntables!"

    And as the belts get loosened and the turkey digests, take a spin around to Ernie (Not Bert), Christmas Music Everyday and The Old Time Radio Flier 12 for some special audio treats.

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    ASCAP Announces Top 25 Holiday Songs of the Decade

    New York, NY, November 23, 2009 (ASCAP): Even as the digital music generation embraces the latest technological innovations, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) reports that traditional favorites still rule the holiday airwaves -- and the iPod. Interpreted over the years by each decade's most popular artists, these Holiday favorites remain timeless classics appealing to young and old alike.

    Topping ASCAP's holiday songs list of the decade is one of the oldest songs on the list: "Winter Wonderland." It was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, and was an instant hit for legendary bandleader Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians who took it to the #2 spot on the Billboard charts the same year. Recordings by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como, in 1946, established the song as a Yuletide favorite. Versions by the Eurythmics, Jewel and Air Supply are frequently heard on radio today.

    ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams knows something about holiday songs, having received an Emmy nomination this year for "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus" from A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, an original Christmas special with both story and songs by the renowned songwriter. He commented: "This is a tough list for any of us to break into. There's a sense that people tend to gravitate towards tradition, especially at the holidays, and our top 25 list confirms this. So, whether you're listening to holiday music on an iPod or a vintage record player, these time-honored favorites are sure to evoke the magic of the season and memories of holidays past."

    The Top 25 most performed ASCAP holiday songs of the decade are listed below. Each song includes songwriter credits, and cites the most popular artist version played on radio today. The data was compiled with the help of Mediaguide, the most comprehensive digital audio performance tracking technology in the world.

    1. Winter Wonderland
    Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
    Performed by: Eurythmics

    2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
    Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
    Performed by: Nat "King" Cole

    3. Sleigh Ride
    Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
    Performed by: The Ronettes

    4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
    Performed by: The Pretenders

    5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
    Written by: Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie
    Performed by: Bruce Springsteen

    6. White Christmas
    Written by: Irving Berlin
    Performed by: Bing Crosby

    7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
    Written by: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
    Performed by: Michael Bublé

    8. Jingle Bell Rock
    Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
    Performed by: Daryl Hall & John Oates

    9. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Gene Autry

    10. Little Drummer Boy
    Written by: Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone
    Performed by: The Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra

    11. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
    Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle
    Performed by: Andy Williams

    12. I'll Be Home For Christmas
    Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
    Performed by: Josh Groban

    13. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Brenda Lee

    14. Silver Bells
    Written by: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans
    Performed by: Anne Murray

    15. Feliz Navidad
    Written by: José Feliciano
    Performed by: José Feliciano

    16. Frosty The Snowman
    Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
    Performed by: The Beach Boys

    17. A Holly Jolly Christmas
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Burl Ives

    18. Blue Christmas
    Written by: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
    Performed by: Elvis Presley

    19. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
    Written by: Meredith Willson
    Performed by: Johnny Mathis

    20. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
    Written by: Tommie Connor (PRS)
    Performed by: John Mellencamp

    21. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
    Written by: Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman
    Performed by: Gene Autry

    22. (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays
    Written by: Bob Allen, Al Stillman
    Performed by: Perry Como

    23. Carol Of The Bells
    Written by: Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich
    Performed by: David Foster (instrumental version)

    24. Wonderful Christmastime
    Written by: Paul McCartney (PRS)
    Performed by: Paul McCartney

    25. Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World)
    Written by: Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS)
    Performed by: Band Aid

    Some facts about the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs:

    Oldest songs:
    "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Winter Wonderland" (both 1934)

    Newest song:
    "Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World)" (1984)

    Most recorded Holiday song:
    "White Christmas" with well over 500 versions in dozens of languages

    Songs introduced in Film and Television:
    "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942)
    "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    "Silver Bells" in The Lemon Drop Kid (1950)
    "A Holly Jolly Christmas" in TV special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1962)

    Writer with most top Holiday songs:
    Johnny Marks with three - "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," and "A Holly Jolly Christmas"

    "Sleigh Ride" is the only holiday song on the list written originally as an instrumental piece for a symphony orchestra. The Boston Pops Orchestra gave the first performance in a concert conducted by Arthur Fiedler at Symphony Hall in Boston, May 4, 1948. Mills Music published it that same year. The Boston Pops Orchestra recorded it in June of 1949. Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1949.

    Mediaguide, co-owned by ASCAP, monitors radio broadcast music in real-time and facilitates the accurate distribution of royalty payments to songwriters, composers and publishers. Its proprietary technology and network of over 2,500 radio stations currently tracks more stations and total airplay than any other monitoring service in the U.S.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Compilation: Retro Christmas

    Retro Christmas coverPosted over @ Ultra Swank is a great 25 track 86MB compilation titled Retro Christmas that I think is a great addition to your playlists. CaptainOT did a review when it first came out. I'll sum up what he said and add my ditto ... great effort! So head on over and snag your very own copy right now.

    BTW, you may notice Ultra Swank is another site that has wonderful graphics done up by the very talented BlueHipster. I just love his style. While you're visiting his site, be sure to snag some of his Exotica shares he has posted.


    01. Jack Jones - Sleigh Ride
    02. Esquivel - Frosty The Snowman
    03. The Hollyridge Strings - Santa's Got A Brand New Bag
    04. John Barry - Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown
    05. Dean Martin - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
    06. Henry Mancini - Winter Wonderland - Silver Bells
    07. Eddie Dunstedter - I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
    08. John Klein - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
    09. Esquivel - Sun Valley Ski Run
    10. The Hollyridge Strings - Santa Claus is coming to Town
    11. Henry Mancini - White Christmas
    12. Burt Bacharach - The Bell That Couldn't Jingle
    13. Esquivel - Here Comes Santa Claus
    14. The Hollyridge Strings - Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
    15. Henry Mancini - Frosty The Snow Man
    16. Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - Holiday On Skis
    17. Ferrante & Teicher and Les Baxter - Sleigh Ride
    18. Esquivel - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
    19. Dean Martin - White Christmas
    20. The Metro Strings - Christmas
    21. Henry Mancini - The Christmas Song
    22. John Klein - Winter Wonderland
    23. Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians - Ring Those Christmas Bells
    24. Julie London - I'd Like You For Christmas
    25. Stan Kenton - What Is A Santa Claus

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Create Your Own Santa's Elf Card

    Blue's Elf ID cardOver at Santa's Quarters you can create your very own Santa's Elf ID card. Print it out on some card stock and laminate it for a real authentic looking ID the kids will love. Or, take it to the bar with you to impress the ladies ... ok, ok, it hasn't worked for me yet but I'm still hopeful.

    While there, check out their Christmas Coloring Pages with 10+ items to print out for your budding Picasso's and, for the mathematician in all of us, calculate EXACTLY the number of lights and ornaments for your tree with their Christmas Decoration Toolset™ ... although I like my method better ... keep adding stuff till the branches start to creak & sag ... then remove the last item you put on and you're done.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Dormant & Deceased Sites

    Blogging is a tough business. I probably put forth 5% or less of the effort of those 'Yuletide Bloggers' who are digging through stacks of old vinyl, plunking down hard earned money for the wax, and lovingly transferring the sounds to digital for all us Christmas porkers to snarf up ... most of the time without even a simple "Thanks!" Is it any wonder people get tired and move on to other projects?

    This year I'm going to try to remember to go back and say thanks for each little gem I download that has been so generously posted by the very talented vinyl restoration folks ... I hope you will join me and drop a few 'thanks' on these folks as well.

    Sadly, it's too late for the following sites that have gone silent or dark. Listed here so you can update your links or bookmarks, and as a belated way of saying "Thanks!" to these wonderful people who helped make Christmas' past a lot more enjoyable.

  • 77 Santas : 2009 announced as their final season

  • A Christmas Special : Last Post 2007.Dec

  • A Million Miles Away : Last Post/RIP 2009.March

  • Blog of 999 Dances : Last post 2007.Apr

  • Christmas for All : Last post 2007.Dec

  • Cool Kooky Hip and Groovy : RIP 2007.Oct

  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday : RIP 2009.Jan

  • Musical Fruitcake : RIP 2007.May

  • Red Ryder BB Gun : Last post 2007.Jan

  • Santa and Me! : RIP c2006~2007

  • Why Fidelity : Last post 2007.Dec
  • Christmas on the Radio

    A few years back I became a big fan of Old Time Radio (OTR) and so naturally really liked listening to the Christmas episodes.

    Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Fred Allen, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Edgar Bergen, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, Fibber McGee & Molly, Amos & Andy, Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis, Ozzie & Harriet, Phil Harris & Alice Faye, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dinah Shore, Kate Smith, Lucille Ball are some of the names from entertainments golden age that had their own radio shows. And if the names don't ring a bell, perhaps the shows will ... Archie Andrews, Blondie, Dragnet, Father Knows Best, Great Gildersleeve, The Green Hornet, Gunsmoke, Life of Riley, Lone Ranger, Our Miss Brooks, Red Ryder, The Saint, The Shadow, Sherlock Holmes, Superman, Tarzan, & Yours Truly Johnny Dollar.

    If you, or someone you know is 65+ then these shows will almost certainly bring back some Christmas memories. And if you're under 65 then perhaps like me, you'll fall in love with these pre-television era gems.

    If you have newsgroup access, your best bet is starting off in or (absro). Be prepared for a very large selection dating back into the 1930s.

    If you don't have access to newsgroups, you can still pick up some episodes on the web. has (on 2009.Nov.09) 6 shows available for free download. [Hint: Root around the site and you'll find more Christmas freebies]

    Internet Archive Internet Archive has (on 2009.Nov.09) 6 shows available for free download. [Hint: A little searching and you'll also find more Christmas freebies here]

    rand’s esoteric otrrand’s esoteric otr has (on 2009.Nov.15) 6 shows available for free download.

    Old Time Radio Fan The Old Time Radio Fan has (on 2009.Nov.09) 20 shows available for free download.

    Old Time Radio Flier 23 Check out Old Time Radio Flier 23 @ Squidoo with a whooping 170+ shows (on 2009.Nov.09) available for free download.

    Feel free to post links to others sources in the comments.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Desktop Themes

    There's about 700 Bazillion Christmas desktop themes available online ... unfortunately half them are probably some form of malware or boobie trapped site. I won't make any guarantees about the sites I list here but, I will say I've downloaded some of their themes, scanned them, and have not had a problem ... YMMV. ALWAYS scan your downloads! I'll keep adding sites here as I come across them and test some of their themes personally.

    Patinas Treasures ~ A Christmas Dream theme
    1. Patina's Treasures -- a handful of nice themes, not just Christmas, done between 2001-2004. I only tried the manual install themes and none of the screen savers.

    ... more to follow

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Voices of Christmas Past

    It has to be November 01 somewhere sooooo ...

    Voices of Christmas Past cover

    Title:Voices of Christmas Past
    Label:Dawn of Sound
    Cat No:PPR 100

    This CD is OOP and going for $80US @ and in an odd move for a modern company, has been posted for everyone to enjoy.

    Dawn of Sound collected 23 wonderful tunes from the late 1890s to 1922 that are now available for download @ the Internet Archive as Ogg Vorbis, Flac and VBR or 64 kpbs MP3 files. It should be a welcome addition to your Yuletide activities.

    Also reviewed by Lee Hartsfeld & Richard Banks.


    01. Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph (Ernest Hare, recorded 1922)
    02. On A Christmas Morning (Prince’s Orchestra, recorded 1911)
    03. Sleigh Ride Party / Jingle Bells (Edison Male Quartette, recorded 1898)
    04. Messiah - And the Glory of the Lord (Victor Mixed Chorus, recorded 1915)
    05. Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Henry Burr, recorded 1907)
    06. Silent Night, Hallowed Night (Haydn Quartet, recorded 1905)
    07. Christmas Time at Pumpkin’ Center (Cal Stewart, recorded 1905)
    08. Christmas Hymns (Francis J. Lapitino, recorded 1917)
    09. When the Christmas Chimes Are Ringing (Lewis James, recorded 1922)
    10. The Star of Bethlehem (Harry MacDonough, recorded 1909)
    11. Come and Spend Christmas With Me (Byron G. Harlan, recorded 1909)
    12. Christmas Morning at Clancey’s (Steve Porter, recorded 1922)
    13. Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem (Trinity Choir, Recorded 1916)
    14. Adeste Fideles (John McCormack and William Reitz, recorded 1915)
    15. Night Before Christmas (Ernest Hare, recorded 1920)
    16. Nutcracker Ballet: Chinese Dance/Dance of the Mirilitons (Victor Herbert’s Orchestra, recorded 1913)
    17. On A Good Old Time Sleigh Ride (Peerless Quartet, recorded 1913)
    18. Angels from the Realms of Glory (Trinity Choir, recorded 1916)
    19. While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night / Christians Awake (Trinity Quartet, recorded 1921)
    20. Uncle Josh Plays Santa Claus (Cal Stewart, recorded 1907)
    21. Christmas in Camp (Anonymous, recorded ca. 1917)
    22. Noel (Holy Night) (Venetian Trio, recorded 1916)
    23. Auld Lang Syne (Navada Van der Veer, recorded 1921)

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Arthur Ferrante dies at 88

    Arthur Ferrante, half of the popular piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, dies

    Arthur Ferrante, one half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher whose lush orchestral recordings of 1960s movie themes propelled them to popular and commercial success, has died. He was 88.

    Ferrante died of natural causes early Saturday at his home in Longboat Key, Fla., his manager, Scott W. Smith, said Sunday. Lou Teicher died in August 2008 at age 83.

    "Although we were two individuals, at the twin pianos our brains worked as one," Ferrante said last year after Teicher's death. ... (continued)

    They produced some of my favorite Yuletide albums that I and my family have listened to for years. I could not imagine a Christmas without one of their albums being on our playlist.