Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Countdown 2008: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Original Soundtrack (Decca Records, 1964)


For years, I've had a deep and heartfelt love for the Rankin-Bass "Animagic" work, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the reason for it....

One of the things I find utterly amazing about this Christmas special (along with A Charlie Brown Christmas, which I'll talk about later this month) is the longevity of this thing. Rudolph alone has been airing continuously every holiday season for 44 years, it's first broadcast having been December 6th, 1964 on the NBC network.

I was going to rant along in this blog about the fact that a sign of the decline of our civilization in the new century can probably be traced back to the fact that It's A Wonderful Life is no longer in the public domain...Christmas just doesn't seem right these days when outside of my DVD copy, the only way I can watch Frank Capra's classic is the now-annual single broadcast that NBC provides us (who sanpped up all rights to the flick around 1992 or '93, I believe), when as a youth it was a staple of the holiday season to see it broadcast multiple times all over the television dial, especially on those crazy independent stations on the UHF band, and....outside of holiday childrens' programming on specialized basic cable channels such as Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network, there have been no new animated (cel-based or "Animagic") Christmas specials produced for network television in nearly 20 years. But, I gave it a second thought...and figured it just wasn't right to complain about one's lot in life during the holidays, because if Rudolph and Hermie taught me anything as a child, it was that no matter how bad things look....every dog (or reindeer, in this case) has his/her day.


I also gave some thought about going into a long-winded and detailed history behind the holiday special, but another site, TVParty, has already done an amazing job at doing this and I highly recommend you take a look.

So.....all that's really left to do is share some holiday cheer by sharing the soundtrack album of this holiday classic, I guess...though, as an added bonus, right click here to get an MP3 of Smiley Burnette's version of the classic Christmas tune. Everybody's heard Gene Autry's version (a guy who Burnette played comedy relief to in about a dozen or more films), but hardly anyone remembers this one....

Track Listing:

01. Overture And A Holly Jolly Christmas = Burl Ives
02. Jingle Jingle Jingle = Stan Francis
03. We Are Santa's Elves = Videocraft Chorus
04. There's Always Tomorrow = Janet Orenstein
05. We're A Couple Of Misfits = Paul Soles
06. Silver And Gold = Burl Ives
07. The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year = Videocraft Chorus
08. A Holly Jolly Christmas = Burl Ives
09. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Finale) = Burl Ives
10. Christmas Medley: The Night Before Christmas Song /
A Merry Merry Christmas / When Santa Clause Gets Your
Letter = Decca Concert Orchestra
11. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer = Decca Concert Orchestra
12. There's Always Tomorrow = Decca Concert Orchestra
13. Jingle Jingle Jingle = Decca Concert Orchestra
14. We're A Couple Of Misfits = Decca Concert Orchestra
15. Silver And Gold = Decca Concert Orchestra
16. We Are Santa's Elves = Decca Concert Orchestra
17. The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year = Decca Concert
Orchestra
18. A Holly Jolly Christmas = Decca Concert Orchestra
19. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day = Decca Concert
Orchestra


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