The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2008 #4

The Melodeers-Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
(Studio 9908, 1960)

Today's disc is an interesting novelty that's been kicking around my 45 collection for years, but I'd never bothered to play before because of my general loathing for the song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (although Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians have a fun Spike Jones-esque take on it). Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess, but when I put this on, I heard a fun doo wop version that bears little resemblance to most versions of the Johnny Marks classic, including a completely different melody that owes more to The Book of Love than any previous reindeer games.

As for the Melodeers themselves, the most I can find out is that they were one of many acts in the stable of late '50s/early '60s rock and roll impresario Vinny Catalano who ran a variety of labels, managing and producing dozens of acts, many of whom were simply Catalano himself teamed up with different singers and musicians. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (with the Catalano-penned b-side Wishing Is For Fools) came out on the Studio Records label, although as you can see my copy is courtesy the Canadian vinyl clearing house Quality Records (via the 20th Fox imprint).


Ernie said...

Ooh, this one looks good. What's the b-side? Is it Christmas, too?

Thanks for the share!

swac said...

Nope, the B-side is just a standard doo wop ditty, nothing spectacular.