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The Legacy Vault Opens For Christmas With Ray Price, Jerry Vale, John Davidson, More

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Ray Price Christmas AlbumWithout a doubt, 2014 has shaped up to be another joyous year for fans of Christmas music. Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings has been at the vanguard of delivering holiday music with a recent batch of titles from Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and others as part of its Classic Christmas Album Series. Sony has also licensed festive titles from Robert Goulet, Rosemary Clooney, The Brothers Four and Frank DeVol and the Rainbow Strings to Real Gone Music. Those titles have recently been joined by 20 digital-only releases from the Columbia and RCA libraries which can be found in The Legacy Vault, all of which are new to the digital format.

Since its inception in 2013, The Legacy Vault has allowed fans to suggest undigitized titles from the vast Sony Music Library for digital release. The Legacy Vault Christmas Series is open for business now, and has something for everyone to place under the digital Christmas tree.  Four titles were added to the Christmas series last year, with another 16 having recently arrived in time for this year’s merriment.

John Davidson - ChristmasFans of classic vocalists will appreciate the holiday titles from musical theatre star, actor and television personality John Davidson, talk show host Mike Douglas and the late, great Italian-American singer Jerry Vale. Also on the television front, the Vault has trips down Memory Lane via The Waltons Christmas Album and Bonanza star Lorne Greene’s Have a Happy Holiday. Other warmly nostalgic albums being issued digitally for the first time include easy listening favorites John Gary’s Christmas Album and The Melachrino Strings’ Christmas Joy, and one for fans of the Bronx Bombers: Yankee Stadium organist Eddie Layton’s 1964 The Organ at Christmas! NFL fans aren’t left out, either, thanks to the reissue of John Facenda’s The Nativity. Many football fans knew the broadcaster and NFL Films narrator, simply, as “The Voice of God,” but on this 1964 release, he celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Jerry Vale - Christmas GreetingsA number of vintage country-and-western titles are also part of this release slate, from legends like Ray Price, Boots Randolph, Hank Snow, Jimmy Dean and even the satirically-minded Homer and Jethro, known as the “Thinking Man’s Hillbillies.” The Beers Family’s 1967 Appalachian folk-flavored Christmas album for a Columbia is a rare slice of Americana. Other releases available now include RCA’s 1972 A Golden Age Christmas with songs from the earliest part of the twentieth century (from artists like Enrico Caruso, John McCormack, and Richard Crooks), a treat from Polka King Frankie Yankovic, a holiday set from instrumental group The Three Suns (reportedly Mamie Eisenhower’s favorite group!) and a groovy winter wonderland courtesy of The Moog Machine’s Christmas Becomes Electric. More reverent is The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ gospel-R&B holiday fusion, Peace is Blowin’ in the Wind, from 1969.

Hit the jump for more information on these titles including a complete list! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 8, 2014 at 14:01

Release Round-Up: Week of March 11

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Sid Selvidge - Cold of the MorningSid Selvidge, The Cold of the Morning (Omnivore)

A long out-of-print classic, produced by Big Star producer Jim Dickinson and featuring a killer set of tunes written or arranged by the late Memphis folk master (and father of Steve Selvidge, current guitarist of The Hold Steady, who produced this new reissue) and featuring six unreleased bonus tracks.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Todd Cochran - Worlds Around the SunBayeté, Worlds Around the Sun (Omnivore Recordings)

The debut album by jazz keyboardist Todd Cochran, known for his work with names as diverse as Carl Palmer, Peter Gabriel and Joey Scarbury, is released on CD for the first time with two bonus tracks from the vaults. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Songs Our Daddy Taught UsEverly Brothers, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us (Varese Vintage)

Varese expands the classic Everlys collection – recently covered song for song as Foreverly by Norah Jones and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong – with six previously unissued alternate takes of tracks including “Barbara Allen,” “Roving Gambler,” “Down in the Willow Garden” and “Put My Little Shoes Away.”  Expect a review from Joe soon! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Chicago Live in JapanChicago, Live in Japan (Rhino)

A Japan-exclusive live set released in 1972 makes its first appearance on CD in almost 10 years. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Time for Judy CanovaJudy Canova, Time for Judy Canova: The Rare Recordings 1928-1962 (Sepia)

Sepia collects 27 rare sides from singing comedienne and Republic Pictures star Judy Canova beginning with tracks recorded in 1928 and ending with her final recordings made in 1962. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Lena on the Blue SideLena Horne, Lena on the Blue Side Plus Bonus Tracks (Sepia)

This 1962 album by Lena Horne makes its CD debut outside of Japan with eight bonus tracks!   All bonus tracks are rare singles also making their CD debut, including four songs from her Broadway musical Jamaica that were recorded with Neal Hefti in pop arrangements! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hank Snow Souvenirs Country HitsHank Snow, Souvenirs/Big Country Hits (Sepia)

This two-fer presents two complete LPs from Canadian country singer Hank Snow and adds four bonus tracks Snow recorded with Anita Carter of the Carter Family! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

LoleattaThe Salsoul Orchestra, Street Sense: Expanded Edition / Loleatta Holloway, Loleatta Holloway: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

Salsoul Orchestra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Loleatta Holloway: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

ICON Blue NoteVarious Artists, ICON: The Best of Blue Note (Blue Note/UMe)

With an ambitious Blue Note vinyl campaign underway, UMe also honors the jazz label with a new two-disc compilation as part of the ICON series. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)