What Is Old Is New Again
Forbes recently released an article discussing the battle for supremacy in the music streaming space, and what it means for marketers. Now the preferred medium of music consumption and a key growth engine for music industry sales, streaming sales account for nearly 62% of the U.S. music business, with sales projected to grow over the coming year.
Major moves are happening in the space, and opportunities continue to arise for marketers. The shift to digital is in full-swing, with its impact being felt across all corners of the market.
One company in particular, Legacy Recordings, is taking advantage of the growth by digging deep into their vaults to release vintage back catalog titles – some of which the public has not heard in years.
Just in time for the holiday’s, check out some of these classic holiday tune’s that are now available for the first time on all major digital service providers:
CHRISTMAS SPOTIFY SINGLE PICKS
“A Trucker’s Christmas” (Epic/Kirshner/Legacy, 2017)
Lee Arnold has spent most of his career playing singles, not recording them: the Scranton, Pennsylvania-born disc jockey became one of country radio’s most respected DJs over his 50-plus year career, a longtime personality on New York’s WHN/1050 AM (the most-listened to country radio station of all time) and host of nationally syndicated programs like Country Cookin’ and On a Country Road. A long-standing career that earned him an induction into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 2002. In 1976 he cut the country novelty “A Trucker’s Christmas” for the CBS-distributed Kirshner label.
“All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” (Columbia/Legacy, 2017)
Ever consider how weird it is that most versions of holiday favorite “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” are sung by adults—or one of The Chipmunks? That’s where Carolyn Binkley comes in. In 1965, Binkley, all of four years old, cut the track and Columbia Records released it as a single. The Nashville-born Binkley promoted the release on the CBS game show I’ve Got A Secret, where her camera shyness likely melted hearts across America.
Percy Faith and His Orchestra
Music Of Christmas (Expanded Edition) (Columbia, 1959)
Music Of Christmas was already a bestseller in Columbia’s catalog in 1954 when Percy Faith decided to re-record it in stereo five years later. This version soon became a holiday perennial—and this expanded edition turns up the Christmas cheer with seven holiday songs from non-Christmas LPs as bonus tracks.
A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck (Epic, 1980)
The British singer born Arnold Dorsey was correct in assuming people would take note of him with a more arresting name (borrowed from a German composer who lived in the 19th century). Engelbert Humperdinck’s easy listening hits like “Release Me,” “There Goes My Everything” and “After The Lovin’” were smash hits on both sides of the Atlantic during the ‘60s and ‘70s. 1980’s A Merry Christmas featured 10 gorgeous renditions of Yuletide favorites like “Away In a Manger,” “Blue Christmas” and “Mary’s Boy Child.”
Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra
I Want To Wish You a Merry Christmas (Columbia, 1957)
One of the leading big band orchestrators of the 1940s and 1950s, Sammy Kaye made audiences “swing and sway” with what was known in the jazz world as the “sweet” sound—a gentle, high-society approach favored by Guy Lombardo, Glenn Miller, Lawrence Welk and others. In 1957, a year before securing his fourth network television series, Kaye and his orchestra recorded more than a dozen holiday tunes you know and love.
The Sound Of Christmas (RCA Victor, 1963)
The Joy Of Christmas (RCA Victor, 1969)
It’s easy to dismiss RCA Victor’s “Living” initiative as mere elevator music—but the story behind these records is a little more interesting. The “Living” series was the brainchild of Ethel Gabriel, the first female record producer. Her experience as an A&R representative for artists like Perry Como and The Boston Pops indicated that audiences were looking for lighter fare to accompany their everyday lives, at work and at play. The Living Strings was the first of the “Living” ensembles, with the Living Voices, Living Guitars, Living Brass and even Living Disco following in the decades after. If you’re looking for some cheer this holiday season, these two vintage LPs of great Christmas songs are sure to do the trick.
Norman Luboff Choir
Christmas With The Norman Luboff Choir (RCA Victor, 1964)
So much of the joy of Christmas time comes from singing seasonal songs with friends and family. In the mid-20th century, the Norman Luboff Choir keenly replicated that feeling of singing with friends, backing up acts like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day before recording their own albums for RCA Victor. Christmas With The Norman Luboff Choir was the group’s second seasonal album, following 1956’s Songs Of Christmas; both were perennial holiday bestsellers.
The First Christmas (Epic, 1992)
Doug Stone brought something different on the early ’90s country scene: while contemporaries like Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks were pushing the genre’s boundaries with uptempo tunes, Stone was a more traditional singer, a baritone balladeer who enjoyed nine Top 10 country singles (three of them No. 1s) between 1990 and 1992, when The First Christmas became his fourth album for Epic Records. This record was also something different, eschewing traditional carols in favor of 10 originals by various Nashville songwriters (including the title track, which he co-wrote, and “Sailing Home For Christmas,” a favorite holiday music video among country audiences).
Christmas With The Country Stars (CBS Special Products, 1980)
Originally titled R.F.D. Christmas when it was released in 1980 (that means “rural free delivery” if you didn’t have the luck to live in the countryside), Christmas With The Country Stars features some of the best-loved holiday songs of all time as sung by George Jones (“Joy To The World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful”), Charlie Rich (“O Holy Night,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”), Tanya Tucker (“Away In a Manger”) and more.
Christmas With Eddie Fisher (RCA Victor, 1952)
1952 was a banner year for Eddie Fisher: one of RCA Victor’s hottest commodities, the singer was also one of the highest-profile military entertainers, becoming the official vocal soloist for the United States Army Band. Christmas With Eddie Fisher, released as both a 10” mini-album and two 45 RPM EPs, features the tenor’s take on standards like “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas” plus the originals “Christmas Day” and “You’re All I Want For Christmas,” both Top 30 hits.
All Is Calm, All Is Bright… (Columbia, 1985)
The Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” famously sung by B.J. Thomas, became his biggest pop hit and the first No. 1 of the 1970s. But the downpour of hits was hardly over after that—although Thomas made a few changes along the way. The digital premiere of the holiday album All is Calm, All is Bright… (1985) showcase his shift from traditional pop to spiritual music.