My Favorite Christmas Albums – Part 2

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

On December 16, 2018, I posted a Vintage Vinyl post titled “My Favorite Christmas Albums.” On Christmas Day 2019, and on Christmas Day 2023, I continue the theme of my favorite Christmas albums. This year, I’ll focus more on albums that I grew up with – these were the records that Mom and Dad played way back in the day. And…they are on my album shelf today, since I inherited all of those records.

If you want to learn more about the history of Christmas music, check out my post from December 23, 2018.

Sing We Now of Christmas, by The Harry Simeone Chorale

Christmas With Glen Campbell, by Glen Campbell

Harry Simeone was a music arranger, composer and conductor who started his music production career in the 30s, working on motion pictures. By the late 40s, he was leading orchestras for television shows. In 1958, a record label contracted with him to make a Christmas album. He hired singers, calling the group The Harry Simeone Chorale. Looking for music for the album, a friend introduced him to an obscure song called Carol of the Drum. Simeone changed the title to The Little Drummer Boy and created an arrangement that soon became the most famous version of this Christmas song. It was included in the Sing We Now of Christmas album, along with 30 other Christmas carols. I spent hundreds of hours singing along with this album during the 60s and 70s.

The Campbell album was released in 1971. Glen Campbell was Mom’s favorite artist, so his albums were on the turntable often, and of course, at Christmas time, she would play his Christmas album when she was working in her sewing room. It was his second of 10 Christmas albums that he released between 1962 and 2018. Joining Campbell on the record are The Hollywood Pops Orchestra, and The Voices of Christmas – these artists contribute the orchestration and choral interpretations on several of the tracks. Probably the best known track is Campbell’s reading of The Night Before Christmas. 

Here are both The Little Drummer Boy by The Harry Simeone Chorale and The Night Before Christmas by Glen Campbell. Merry Christmas everyone! Let me know in comments what your favorite Christmas records were when you were growing up!


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