Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
This date, December 23, saw the release of one of Walt Disney's biggest, most important—and best—live-action motion pictures: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954). Go to the link here and read The Big Fish in Walt Disney's Special Effects Masterpiece, written by Jim Fanning for D23.com.
Monday, December 15, 2014
A sad day in Disney history. On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died and an era ended. Let's salute Walt and his legacy by focusing on his Magic Kingdom, still magical after all these years. 2015, in fact, brings the Diamond Anniversary of Disneyland Park. As we remember the master Imagineer and chief architect of Disneyland, here is the 2014 holiday "guide map" (along with one for Disney California Adventure Park, both with the daily flyer with times for parades and other events, coincidentally dated December 5, Walt's birthday—the day I went to the resort this year, again coincidentally) to the place still known today as Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
As has been said so many Yuletides here in the 'Wood, comic books and Christmas just go together. Tulgey Wood has showcased many a classic comic book from another merry era but heaven be praised, many of the comic publishers still release holiday-themed issues each year. One of the houses that reliably prints festive funny books each December is Archie Comics. Brand new for 2014, this edition of Archie (#661 November cover by Dan Parent) boasts some fun Christmastide tales. The lead story finds Santa ready to pack it in because of society's cynicism but he agrees to reconsider if he can find teens who believe in him. To help the once jolly, now disillusioned gent on this unlikely mission, Mr. Claus turns to the one teenager he is certain still believes. And if you guessed that's Archie, you get a candy cane, not a piece of coal. The unfolding of this Santa-centric story is quite delightful. Here's a idea worthy of Santa himself: this Christmas Eve, why not give comic books as a gift. As Archie himself might say they make swell stocking stuffers.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
From the 1964 Sears Christmas Catalog (aka the "wish book"), here's a glimpse into the past: a selectional of pleasing platters of Christmas music. This catalog page includes such perennials as Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas, Andy Williams' A Christmas Album and (one of my favorites) Tennessee Ernie Ford's The Star Carol.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
This musical presentation of the Hallmark Hall of Fame debuted on December 6, 1969, and was rebroadcast for several years thereafter by NBC. The soundtrack album for The Littlest Angel was a particular treat as it featured a decorative pop-up made up of photos of favorite moments from this television holiday classic.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Some Yuletide LP albums from Dot Records of yore are highlighted in this colorful ad from TV Guide for December 15, 1962. This vintage advertisement gives a glimpse at the artwork as well as the artists that were being presented for Christmastime that year. Though some of thee covers and the singing stars they represent may have been somewhat forgotten over the sprawling decades they are still timeless, as this ad attests. In operation from 1950 through 1977, the Dot label was revived just this year. Interestingly, the Christmas LP ads of the 1960s usually spiced things up by adding one or two non-holiday albums and this ad is no exception. Included is the 2-LP set of the original soundtrack score of The Ten Commandments (1956) by Elmer Bernstein—but perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising as Paramount Pictures (the studio behind The Ten Commandments) owned Dot records at the time.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Monday, December 1, 2014
It's December and that means it's time for the annual Christmas celebration here at Tulgey Wood. This year I hope to focus at least a little on that seasonal staple, the Christmas LP album. To start things spinning here's what a lot of folks might consider an unlikely inclusion. Believe it or not, A Partridge Family Christmas Card is one of my favorite Christmas albums. This album was originally issued in 1971 in conjunction with the TV series, which ran on ABC from to 1970-1974. Perhaps even more surprisingly i never even heard this album until a few years ago. I am not a fan of the series so I felt no desire to listen to it—but I accidentally stumbled across it on the internet and decided why not? I'm so glad I did because there are some terrific covers of classic Yuletide tunes here. To take one example I have never cared for the song "Blue Christmas"—that's right, not even Elvis Presley's famous recording of that seasonal standard. But now that I have heard this album, I'm a fan of the song, or at least David Cassidy's version. Some of David Cassidy's (or should I say Keith Partridge?) other songs are just as fun and intriguing. For example, his rendition of frosty the Snowman is so underplayed it's over the top. As you can see from the images below, the album featured an actual photo card from the fictional fam. The fact that the card is often missing from the album makes this a highly sought collectable's item. Reportedly, this was the top-selling Christmas album of 1971.