Charles Spencer in The Spectator: “The splendid nostalgia label Past Perfect, which specialises in music of the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, has also come up trumps with a super album called Vintage Christmas including festive hits by the likes of Fats Waller, Nat King Cole and a particularly enjoyable ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town’ featuring Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters.
“I’m impressed as always as to how clean and vibrant the old songs on your CDs are. I appreciate the excellent work you do, since it makes this wonderful music more than just nostalgia.” J Orvis
In the depths of winter and so soon after the shortest day of the year, the celebration of Christmas is a sure antidote to those grey day blues. Particularly so for children, who have been looking forward to the great day with eager but impatient anticipation for weeks. To help you get in the mood we have gathered together a veritable cornucopia of treats for your delectation and delight.
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – and you’d better believe it when intoned by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters, then at the height of their popularity. This song, dating from 1934, had to wait nine years for this best-selling version to come along and give it a new lease of life. The same team gives us The Twelve Days Of Christmas, a yuletide evergreen with an interesting history. It is much more than a novelty song for children; it dates back to the period between 1558 and 1829 when Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning, plus a hidden subtext known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember. The ‘true love’ mentioned in the song is God himself, and the partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
Frank Sinatra is the kind of singer who comes along once in a lifetime – but why did it have to be my lifetime?’ quoth Bing Crosby. But the two top American crooners were on good terms and had a great deal of respect for one another. Bing’s White Christmas was the original, top-selling record from the 1942 film ‘Holiday Inn’. Frank Sinatra’s version from a couple of years later, whilst not necessarily ‘better’, is equally relaxed and perhaps more ‘modern’ sounding. In Christmas Dreaming we can well understand why Frank is doing his ‘Christmas dreaming a little early this year’.