austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It's a memory of an old Christmas card

We got a turntable recently, and got it repaired more recently. bunny_hugger idly mentioned to her father that she'd like to get some Christmas albums, particularly the good eccentric not-quite-novelty ones that make shopping around a record store's 25-cent bins such a delight. Unfortunately, her father heard her; with things like this he gets into a bit of a Sorcerer's Apprentice mode, and before we quite had time to react he'd bought an odd lot of Christmas LPs off of eBay.

While this cheated us of the fun of going to the store and sorting through oddities and eccentricities, we have to admit: he picked a great set of albums. They are, for one, in very good shape, considering some are 40-plus years old, and were often meant for kids, and so would have been played hundreds of times in a day until Mom told the kids that the record needle heats up too much if you play the records that much and go play outside. They've even got record sleeves and, as best we can tell, all the accompanying little bits that by rights out to get lost. For example, one of the albums is a sing-along, with perforated lyric sheets. The lyric sheets are still there.

Listening to them has produced a lot of floods of sudden memory, since bunny_hugger and I did grow up listening, if not to these records, at least to ones with similar production and vocal styles and oh goodness what a bossanova beat they've laid down under everything. Some of the albums are rather respectable stuff, including National Geographic doing lavishly produced versions of their tunes, or some albums that look to try capturing folk tunes. Some are just delights, such as kids' albums, more about which anon. Then there are the Mitch Miller albums, which tackle you, sit on your chest, and pummel you senseless with merry. It's just the sort of thing to fill out the house decorations.

Also, not a few of the tunes feature the singer trying to spruce up a standard by going off-script and putting in their own new lyrics, something bunny_hugger characterized as ``he's turned in his caroling badge and caroling gun and gone rogue! His partner can't control him!'' No, but he gets results. ``He gets all the figgy pudding.''

Trivia: On the United States's entry into the Great War in 1917 the US Army ordered two million chocolate bars from Hershey's. The firm brought in 300 women to help wrap and box bars. Source: Hershey: Milton S Hershey's Extraordinary Life Of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams, Michael D'Antonio.

Currently Reading: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2012, Editor Gordon Van Gelder. No coincidental brewing-YASID solved by this one. Sorry.


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