Obscure 1962 Bing Crosby Christmas Album Revisited

“I Wish You A Merry Christmas” is a long-playing vinyl album of Christmas themed songs recorded by Bing Crosby for his own company, Project Records, at Radio Recorders, Hollywood and issued by Warner Brothers Records (W-1484) in 1962. The tracks were arranged by Bob Thompson, Peter Matz and Jack Halloran and each conducted the orchestra for their own arrangements. The musical accompaniment was recorded on the 23rd and 25th of July 1962 and Crosby over-dubbed his vocals in one session on October 5th, 1962.

The album was re-released by Capitol Records  in 1977 on vinyl and in 1988 on CD as “Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics” with one track, “Pat-a-Pan/ While Shepherds Watched Their Sheep, omitted. All the songs from the original album were included on an EMI Music CD called “Winter Wonderland” (7243 4 96829 2 4) in the UK in 1998 and on a Capitol CD in the USA in 1999 called “Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics”.

Billboard reviewed the album saying “Crosby is a perennial holiday seller, and this LP should prove an important Christmas item for all dealers. The Crosby touch is everywhere evident and the material is drawn from the great Christmas catalogue. Chorus and orchestra assist der Bingle on such Christmas standards as “Winter Wonderland”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

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Track listing

SIDE ONE

  1. ”Winter Wonderland” – 2.27
  2. ”Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – 2.52
  3. ”What Child Is This? / The Holly and the Ivy” – 3.23
  4. ”The Little Drummer Boy” – 3.02
  5. ”O Holy Night” – 3.36

SIDE TWO

  1. “The Littlest Angel” – 4.03
  2. ”Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” – 2.09
  3. ”Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / It Came upon the Midnight Clear” – 3.08
  4. ”Frosty the Snowman” – 2.16
  5. ”Pat-a Pan / While Shepherds Watched Their Sheep” – 2.53
  6. ”I Wish You a Merry Christmas” – 1.54
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Acknowledging Sacrifice, Loss And The Horrors Of War On Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is a day for giving thanks and expressing gratitude, acknowledging sacrifice, loss and the horrors of war. The man who wrote this song, Roger Waters, was a five month old baby when his father was killed serving his country during World War II. Eric Fletcher Waters (1914-1944), the son of a coal miner and Labour Party activist, was a schoolteacher, a devout Christian, and a Communist Party member. In the early years of the Second World War, he was a conscientious objector who drove an ambulance during the Blitz. He later changed his stance on pacifism and joined the British Army, and as a 2Lt. of the 8th Royal Fusiliers died at Aprilia, between Anzio and Rome in Italy, on 18 February 1944. On that day a Mother and a Father lost a child, siblings lost a brother, a wife lost her husband and a little boy lost his Daddy. Today we take a moment to reflect on sacrifice and loss and pledge our support to those families and folks who have given and continue to give. Thank you. Lest we forget ‪#‎RemembranceDay

“When The Tigers Broke Free” by Roger Waters

“It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black ‘forty four.
When the forward commander
Was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the Generals gave thanks
As the other ranks held back
The enemy tanks for a while.
And the Anzio bridgehead
Was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

And kind old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard that father was gone.
It was, I recall,
In the form of a scroll,
With gold leaf adorned,
And I found it one day
In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed
With his own rubber stamp.

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free.
And no one survived
From the Royal Fusiliers Company Z.
They were all left behind,
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying.
And that’s how the High Command
Took my daddy from me”

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