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Thread: A JOLLY CHRISTMAS FROM FRANK SINATRA (Capitol) 1957 Jenkins, Riddle

  1. #61

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU! (Various Artists) Capitol LP

    [Forgive the out-of-season post, but I needed a link to this album for another thread I'm preparing. —Bob]

    The first Christmas music which Frank Sinatra produced for Capitol Records was a pair of songs for release as a single during the 1954 holiday season. These were recorded at an early Capitol session, August 23, 1954, arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle: "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Waltz."

    "White Christmas" was, of course, a major seasonal staple (popularized by Bing Crosby), which FS had first recorded a decade earlier for Columbia. "The Christmas Waltz" was a new song, written specifically for FS in 1954 by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. The two songs were released on opposite sides of 78 and 45 singles (Capitol #2954), but they fell into relative obscurity until the age of compact discs.

    (Frank re-recorded "The Christmas Waltz" in 1957 with a Gordon Jenkins arrangement for another single release, Capitol #3900, and inclusion on the A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra LP which is the topic of this thread.)

    Both of these Nelson Riddle versions are included as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of A Jolly Christmas, as described above. They also appear in the 1996 box set, The Complete Capitol Singles Collection (disc 1 of 4).

    However, these FIRST appeared on LP in a little-known compilation album titled Merry Christmas To You! This included songs by various other Capitol artists along with FS: Nat "King" Cole, Dean Martin, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Les Baxter, Johnny Mercer, Margaret Whiting, Billy May, etc.

    There were at least two US versions of this LP—a 16-track release (catalog no. W-9028) and a budget 12-track issue (catalog no. T-9030). Discographical details are scarce, but the latter album was issued in 1957, according to one source. It is this 12-track LP whose cover image is shown below:

    See Dino69's post below, for additional details and cover image of the 16-track LP: Merry Christmas to you!.

  2. #62
    Great! Thanks Bob for sharing this cover. This was one of my missing sleeves in Capitol's 9000 series...

  3. #63
    That album was also the only way to get the version of "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole with Nelson Riddle on an LP.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Sarbo View Post
    That album was also the only way to get the version of "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole with Nelson Riddle on an LP.
    ... AND the great "My Two Front Teeth", right?

  5. I used to have that LP when I was a kid. All those tracks bring back memories for me... even Yogi Yorgeson.

  6. #66
    Steph: I believe so. "The Christmas Song" with Riddle is even scarce on CD.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Sarbo View Post
    Steph: I believe so. "The Christmas Song" with Riddle is even scarce on CD.
    I used to have the CD "Cole, Christmas & Kids", which I offered to my Mum as a present because she liked it so much... I think it contained both songs... Unfortunately, it is no longer available...

  8. #68
    That has the Riddle version and the Mosaic box. The Mosaic Box also has the original Trio version and the Trio version with strings.

  9. #69
    The two Riddle Christmas songs also appeared on the two 1981 Australian LP's, The Rarities, Vols. 1 and 2, for which a new thread has just been created in Frank's Recordings.

  10. #70
    They were also released on the UK LP: "Look Over Your Shoulder" on WRC. That was the UK title of "I'm Walking Behind You" which also was on the LP.

  11. #71
    Thanks, Ron. Capitol WRC = World Record Club.

  12. #72

    50th Anniversary

    September 30th will mark fifty years since the first release of A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra on LP.

    Capitol Records indicates on its web site there will be a 50th Anniversary edition CD release. As of this date there are no details, just a catalog number:

    Capitol Records - Frank Sinatra - JOLLY CHRISTMAS: 50TH ANNIV.

  13. #73
    According to the EMI Canada website, the release date for Jolly Christmas (50th Anniv) is September 18, 2007. Still no cover art or details as to possible new material on this issue.

    [Added:] CD Universe lists it as an Import CD with a "Bonus Track." Same date. Nothing further yet.

    It's just a guess on my part, but maybe they've tacked on the Nat King Cole "The Christmas Song" electronic duet. I can't think of any other FS Christmas material from Capitol (except possibly the Frank and Bing TV stuff).

  14. #74
    A lovely idea to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary (I wish they did this as all of Frank's Capitol albums came up to that anniversary - re-issued under supervision of Charles Granata - in mini- LP covers, etc, etc - oh, there I go again. In my dreams) I will certainly be looking out for this - although maybe my Larry Walsh remaster will remain the definitive issue with the extra Christmas singles attached. Has anyone heard the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl version of this album? How does the mastering there compare?

  15. #75
    I'm sure this will have the two extra Christmas singles. It wouldn't be much of a 50th Anniversary issue if it had anything less than the many CD versions produced during the past 20 years.

    From the sound of "Bonus Track" (singular), I would expect yet one more (as yet unannounced) track to be added to the album.

    I just hope that THIS year they get the mastering credits right.

    Ian: If you have a Larry Walsh version (not the one from last year which just said "Larry Walsh"), you're better off than with one of the Bob Norberg remasters.

    P.S. I shouldn't pass judgement until I see the details, but if Capitol's idea of an anniversary tribute is anything like their 90th birthday tribute for Duets and Duets II....I'll just pass.

  16. #76
    I've just seen on and EMI's British homepage that there will be a British re-issue by EMI Gold on September 17. It has new cover artwork and is titled as "The Christmas Album" (in the same manner as the late 1980s re-issue):

    Link to EMI UK homepage

    As the catalog number does not match with the one on the Canadian site linked by Bob (and EMI usually uses the same numbers in the US and Europe), it is quite possible, that this is yet another re-issue having nothing to do with the upcoming Capitol edition...

    Best regards,
    Stefan Huber

  17. #77
    Per HMV website the bonus track is a "Christmas Seals Public Service Announcement".

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Sarbo View Post
    Per HMV website the bonus track is a "Christmas Seals Public Service Announcement".

    Somehow, that has the faint aroma of performing......Christmas Seals.

  19. #79
    Bob loves Christmas at this time of year.

  20. #80
    Bob: Don't lose patience. Capitol is hard at work searching for Sinatra's version of "The Hanakkuh Song".