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Fred Waring Twas the Night Before Christmas/Christmas Time

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Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians: Twas the Night Before Christmas/Christmas Time. CD


Though He Is Largely Forgotten Now, Fred Waring Was One of 20th Century Pop Music’s True Innovators

His Firsts Ranged from Putting a Vocalist in Front of an Orchestra to Creating Weekly Musical Spectaculars for Television

But Probably His Most Enduring Breakthrough Was Bringing the Choral Sound to Pop Music, Which Band Alumni Like Robert Shaw and Harry Simeone Helped to Cement as His Legacy

Waring’s Band Had over 50 Chart Hits, but His Most Beloved Recordings Are Probably the Two Christmas Albums He Released in 1955 for the Decca Label, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and Christmas Time

The Two 12” Long-Players Reflected Over a Decade of Performing and Recording Christmas Music, as Waring and the Pennsylvanians Had Recorded Seasonal Repertoire in the Early ‘40s for the
78 RPM Format, Then Later for 10” 33 1/3rd RPM Releases

The Band Also Recorded and Re-Recorded New Tracks in the Mid-‘50s for These Two Releases

Ranked by the Christmas Music Website The Yule Log as the #5 and #6 Christmas Albums of All Time, Neither Album Has EVER Been Released on CD

Detailed Liner Notes by Tom Pickles

Original Album Art Featuring the Famous Norman Rockwell Cover Art on ’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Remastered by Mike Milchner
Two All-Time Christmas Classics on One CD, Long Requested

If there was ever a pair of Christmas albums crying for the twofer treatment, it would be these two 1955 Decca-label albums from Fred Waring and his band, The Pennsylvanians. Waring doesn’t get his due these days, but the man was one of 20th century pop music’s foremost innovators; as Virginia Morley Waring wrote in her biography of her husband, "Fred Waring was the first to have a singing band, the first to use megaphones, to feature vocalists with an orchestra, to combine an orchestra with a glee club, to originate the show choir concept, to make a full length musical talking picture, and the first to present weekly musical spectaculars on television.” Top it off with the fact that he launched the careers of Robert Shaw and Harry Simeone—and still found time to invent the Waring blender!—and it’s no exaggeration to say that Fred Waring introduced the sound of a choir to pop music. That sound propelled many a pop hit, over 50 of ‘em, in fact, but his most enduring recordings just might be the two Christmas albums he put out in 1955, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Christmas Time. Dubbed as “companion releases,” their repertoire had been polished and perfected by Waring and the Pennsylvanians for over a decade, as Waring had recorded Christmas music under both of those titles for the 78 rpm format in the early ‘40s, then as a 10-inch 33 1/3rd releases before re-recording and adding new songs in the mid-‘50s for these two full-length 12” releases. As befitting its classic Norman Rockwell cover art, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is the more spritely of the two, with some of the greatest renditions of “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” on record, but Christmas Time is every bit as beguiling; together they make an irresistible pairing. In fact, the Christmas music website The Yule Log ranks them as the #5 and #6 greatest Christmas albums of all time, but neither of them has appeared on CD before; for this most momentous debut, we’ve enlisted Tom Pickles to write detailed liner notes and Mike Milchner to remaster. A must-have for any Christmas music lover!

  1. Jingle Bells

  2. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  3. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
  4. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
  5. Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)
  6. Beautiful Saviour
  7. The First Nowell/O Little Town of Bethlehem/Carol of the Bells
  8. Cantique de Noel (O Holy Night)
  9. Oh, Gathering Clouds
  10. Silent Night, Holy Night
  11. When Angels Sang of Peace
  12. It Came upon the Midnight Clear
  13. Deck the Hall
  14. Joy to the World
  15. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)
  16. Coventry Carol
  17. Musical Christmas Card/Christmas Tree/The Sleigh
  18. Kentucky Wassail Song/Parade of the Wooden Soldier
  19. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  20. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  21. Heigh Ho, the Holly/See Amid the Winter's Snow
  22. Behold That Star/Carol of the Bells
  23. Luther's Cradle Hymn
  24. Alleluia
  25. Gloria in Excelsis

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