Capitol Tower Christmas tree to be lit today in Hollywood as new holiday album is announced
Capitol Tower Christmas tree to be lit today (Nov 20) in Hollywood as new holiday album is announced
Capitol Records Continues Celebration Of 75th Anniversary With Second Installment Of Holiday And Seasonal Classics, "A Capitol Christmas Volume 2," Featuring Label's Legendary Artists
Iconic Capitol Tower Tree Lighting To Take Place Today, November 20 At Sundown, Heralding Hollywood's Holiday Season
Capitol Records' celebration of its 75th anniversary continues with the release of A Capitol Christmas Volume 2, a collection of 24 timeless holiday and seasonal classics sung by the label's unmatched list of legends. Available now digitally and on 2CD, and December 1 as a double LP in gatefold cover, the album brings together some of pop music's most iconic holiday songs with extremely rare recordings originally issued in very limited release. Volume 2's list of singers includes Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys, Wayne Newton, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mercer, The Louvin Brothers and many more, with each contribution lovingly chronicled in liner notes provided by compilation producer Jay Landers.
Tonight, the historic Capitol Records Tree atop the iconic Capitol Records building will be lit at sundown for the 59th time, ushering in the holiday season in Hollywood. Designed by Ollsen Lighting and featuring more than 4,373 bulbs, the tree has been a part of the Los Angeles skyline each December since 1958.
A fitting companion to last year's timeless collection, A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 continues to mine Capitol's deep reservoir of holiday and seasonal standards sung by millions of celebrants each winter. The album features Wayne Newton's jubilant takes on the rockabilly Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock" and perennial favorite "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," both originally released in 1966 on his first holiday album, Songs For A Merry Christmas, three years after his debut record on Capitol. Glen Campbell was one of Capitol's most iconic stars of the '60s and '70s, recording a remarkable 40 albums for the label. In 1968, on the heels of a string of hit albums – the Grammy Award-winning By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Gentle On My Mind and the #1 record Wichita Lineman – Campbell teamed back up with Capitol's in-house producer and arranger Al De Lory for That Christmas Feeling. The album is showcased here with Campbell's exquisite rendition of the Elvis Presley-immortalized "Blue Christmas" and the lesser known "Old Toy Trains," which was written by his good friend Roger Miller and shows off a different side of the singer. Second only to the Beatles, The Beach Boys were Capitol's most popular recording act from the '60s until the end of the decade. For their fifth Capitol release, Brian Wilson turned his attention to the holidays, asking Four Freshmen's arranger, Dick Reynolds, to write the charts for a 40-piece orchestra. The result was 1964's The Beach Boys' Christmas Album which featured their sunny take on "Frosty the Snowman" and Wilson's original "Christmas Day," which marked rhythm guitarist Al Jardine's debut as a lead singer, both included here.
The album spotlights some of the best of Capitol's Christmas recordings from the 1940s, '50 and '60s and transports listeners to a simpler time. Take thirteen-year-old Molly Bee's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," which caused a stir in 1952 when the song's lyrics were condemned by the Catholic Church of Boston, but has survived to become a modern holiday classic, as easily recognizable as more traditional fare like "White Christmas." Irving Berlin's iconic song is represented here with a tranquil guitar and vocal-driven version by six-string legend Les Paul and his foil Mary Ford. Other chestnuts include crooner Al Martino's lush, orchestral "Silver Bells" and Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians instrumental "Auld Lang Syne," a song so ubiquitous it's the soundtrack to New Year's Eve around the world.
In addition to the beloved seasonal standards, the holiday compilation also features rare and interesting takes throughout like Nancy Wilson's perfect interpretation of Frank Sinatra's "The Christmas Waltz," a true rarity that only appeared on a December 1968 limited-press promotional LP, The Capitol Disc Jockey Album. The incomparable Dinah Shore's delivers a lightly swinging rendition of "Jingle Bells" originally issued on an unknown number of complimentary vinyl discs that were distributed as Christmas cards in Chevrolet dealerships around the country. Accomplished recording artist and movie star Lena Horne is spotlighted with the joyous "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and the beautiful, pensive "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" That song was a rare non-musical theater entry by Frank Loesser, composer of "Guys & Dolls" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." In Horne's hands, the song becomes an alluring jazz ballad. And "Away in a Manger" in the hands of Charlie and Ira Louvin is nothing short of miraculous, full of raw emotion and the unrelenting shadow of sin the Louvins were so great at conveying.
In the true spirit of the holidays, A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 collects two dozen magical recordings that have helped to make the season bright for generations, bringing joy to the hearts and ears.
A CAPITOL CHRISTMAS CD/DIGITAL TRACK LISTING
A CAPITOL CHRISTMAS VOL. 2 LP TRACK LISTING
November 20, 2017 5:55pm by UMe