Phantom Sway

Christmas With Conniff

Folks, if there is one night of the year that is truly magical, it’s Christmas Eve, and for me, this album is the mistletoe-key that just puts it over the top. So, do yourself a favor get a copy of ‘Christmas With Conniff’, you won’t be sorry. (Hey, what in the hell is ‘Yuletide’ anyway?)

Ahhh, once again, the Yuletide brings out the nostalgic in me. Christmases of old, back when I was a little kid—no cell phones, no internet, no Lena Dunham, you know, when things were so much simpler. 

It’s been said that music and smells are the closest thing we have to time travel. Well, today I won’t share any transporting odors with you. I’d just like to share some great old Yuletide music. I have a lot of Christmas records. Many of them are 45 rpm discs that play in my old 1956 Seeburg jukebox. They’re old standards from classic artists like Bing, Nat King Cole, etc. I also have a decent collection of Christmas albums. 

Out of these, I’d have to say that my two favorite Christmas albums are Ray Conniff’s Christmas with Conniff and Mitch Miller’s Holiday Sing-A-Long with Mitch. If I had to pick between the two, I’d have to give the edge to the Conniff record (I’ll probably feel different next year, but this year that ol’ old Yuletide is telling me to choose the Conniff record). 

Included on Christmas With Conniff are some top-notch Christmas songs: “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Greensleeves”, “Jingle Bells, “Silver Bells”, “Frosty The Snowman”, “White Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”, and “The Christmas Song”. Holy Tinsel! It’s got every great Christmas song all wrapped up in glorious lush, dripping reverb. 

Even with all these wonderful classics jammed pack into this album, there’s one song that rises above the rest, and that song is the wistful waltz, “The Christmas Bride”. Wow, talk about Christmas spirit! Every time I hear it, no matter how cheesy (and awesomely sexist) the lyrics are, I just can’t help getting all Yuletide misty. 

The recording has a big sound (as only the late fifties could bring to our ears), featuring those wonderful Conniff singers singing out in octaves. Folks, if there is one night of the year that is truly magical, it’s Christmas Eve, and for me, this album is the mistletoe-key that just puts it over the top. So, do yourself a favor get a copy of Christmas With Conniff. You won’t be sorry. 

(Hey, what in the hell is ‘Yuletide’ anyway?)

Ernie Mannix

Ernie Mannix is the author of the critically acclaimed Hollywood novel; Six Devils In The San Fernando Valley. He is also an award-winning film composer and avid model train collector.

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