When Gordon Anderson sold Collectors Choice Music and the new owners announced that it was unlikely they'd be continuing Gordon's practice of rescuing Christmas classics of olde that had yet to see the digital light of day, there was much sadness in the land. Few labels that had re-issued the wonders of Christmases past survived the economic downturn and it seemed Collectors Choice was the last domino to fall. As we all know, it's always darkest just before it all goes completely pitch black.
But Gordon had something else in mind. He wasn't leaving the game; he was simply starting a new team.
As originally reported on The Yule Log, Gordon has teamed up with Gabby Castellana (formerly of Hep Cat Records and Super D Independent Distribution) to form Real Gone Music, a label dedicated to issuing classic out of print gems--dedicated to "serving the collector". In other words, Gordon left Collectors Choice to get back to his reason for starting it in the first place.
And there was much rejoicing!
Real Gone is still real new, but, if you're at all interested in the kind of thing Collectors Choice used to be known for (Christmas and/or non-Christmas), you should definitely go to their web site and sign up for the newsletter. First releases are due November 8 and they're shooting for about ten new titles a month, which will make them America's premier indie reissue label in very short order. Soon after those first Real Gone releases, Gordon will unwrap some very special Christmas presents for we Christmas music maniacs.
Hitting the streets on November 22 (give or take and subject to change) will be the classic 1968 "David Rose Christmas Album" (reissued the following year as "The Little Drummer Boy"). This album has never before been available on CD!! Among the highlights any listener to the Beautiful Music stations of the 70s will recognize are "The Christmas Tree" and "The Christmas Waltz". Here is the original track list:
01. Carol Of The Bells
02. Little Drummer Boy
03. The Christmas Waltz
04. The Christmas Tree
05. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
06. I Saw Three Ships
07. Medley: Deck The Hall - The First Noel - Joy To The World
08. Medley: Silent Night - O Come All Ye Faithful
09. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
11. Medley: Christmas Is Coming - Angels We Have Heard On High
1. Deck The Halls
2. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
3. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
4. Away In A Manger
5. Do You Hear What I Hear
6. Joy To The World
7. The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey
8. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
9. I Wonder As I Wander
10. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
11. The First Noël
2. See The Light
3. Silent Night
4. The Little Drummer Boy
5. O Holy Night
6. O Bambino
7. Little White Donkey
8. Some Children See Him
9. The Lord's Prayer
10. What Child Is This
11. Christmas Is The Warmest Time Of The Year
Odds are pretty good these will be combined onto a single disc, but both original covers will be preserved.
Thank you Gordon and Gabby for some tremendous Christmas presents. And thank you Yule Log for your reportage and your efforts to keep the classic music of Christmas alive.
Real Gone Music isn't the only source of classic Christmas reissues this year. The Shout Factory is bringing back an old favorite, releasing "Peter, Paul & Mary: The Holiday Concert" on DVD for the first time ever!!
"The Holiday Concert" was originally broadcast on PBS stations in the mid-late 80s. There was an album released in 1988 and a VHS video released somewhere around that time as well. The album has been reissued periodically. The video? Not so much. And that's a shame because it was really the best of the post 1980 Christmas music specials and even more enjoyable visually than as a record. The video was also longer than the album, including many more songs.
Among the highlights: "A Soalin", "The Friendly Beasts", "I Wonder As I Wander", "Twas The Night Before Christmas", "Light One Candle" and, of course, "Puff The Magic Dragon".
"Peter, Paul & Mary: The Holiday Concert" will hit store shelves on October 18. And it's 29% off at Amazon, if you pre-order now.
There's an awful lot of great Country Christmas music from the golden age of vinyl that's yet to find it's way to CD. At least one of those "lost boys" finally gets its moment in the digital sun this year.
Coming to CD for the first time ever on October 25, it's Buck Owens and Susan Raye and their 1971 LP "Merry Christmas From Buck & Susan".
No word, yet, on who is releasing this one. Sundazed owns the rights to the two Buck Owens Christmas albums that remain steadily in print--"Christmas With Buck Owens and His Buckaroos" and "Christmas Shopping"--and Varese Fontana issued "The Very Best of Buck Owens & Susan Raye" earlier this year (so my money's on them). But I guess we'll have to wait a little longer to learn the identity of our Secret Santa. In the meantime, feel free to pre-order "Merry Christmas From Buck & Susan" at Amazon. Track list follows.
1. One Of Everything You Got
2. Home On Christmas Day
3. All I Want For Christmas Is My Daddy
4. A Very Merry Christmas
5. Its Not What You Give
6. Good Old Fashioned Country Christmas
7. Christmas Ain't Christmas Dear Without You
8. Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
9. Santas Gonna Come In A Stagecoach
10. Tomorrow Is Christmas Day
11. Here Comes Santa Claus - Susan Raye
Psst. The Secret Santa is Rock Beat, a subsidiary of S'More Entertainment.