This is one that I just got off of Ebay. It’s very groovy.
I put it at 1965 (or possibly 66). There is definitely a bit of a Merseybeat influence in some of the arrangements. Apparently there is a stereo pressing as well (Columbia CS 9191) which I would love to get a hold of.
The version of Deck The Halls from this album is available on the CD Really Swell Christmas.
Here’s a little sample:
And here’s some info from the back of the sleeve:
“The Glad Singers’ new album is a gay holiday package brimful of musical treats that have brightened the world for centuries. It is no matter that the origins of some of them are lost in the mists of time, for these are the songs that everyone hears and sings in the festive holiday season. Like Christmas itself, they never wear out their welcome–they are imperishable.
In researching the material for this album, The Glad Singers discovered how these wonderful songs that we call carols have evolved over the years. The way carols are performed today differs considerably from their performance a hundred or even fifty years ago. Words have been altered from time to time, melodies have been modified and, most striking of all, styles of accompaniment have varied. Yet each song remains essentially unchanged, and the thought it expresses is the same thought that cheered our ancestors at this most joyous of seasons.
For this collection, The Glad Singers’ guiding spirits, arrangers Don Walker and Arnold Goland and conductor Hal Hastings, decided that the evolution of Christmas carols should be carried logically one step further by presenting the songs in versions consistent with today’s musical styles and tastes. Why, they asked themselves, need carols be solemn and stodgy when the emotions they express are exuberant and inspiring? And what are more exhilarating than the infectious tempos that today’s young people like to sing and dance to?
Thus, with all due respect for their essential reverence, the carols were molded into modern arrangements. While The Glad Singers were recording the songs, a genuine Yuletide excitement filled the studio, even though the Christmas season was not yet officially at hand. The sessions proved a joyous occasion for everyone involved, and the infectious enthusiasm of these young singers communicates itself brilliantly throughout the album.”
There is a good chance you’ll be hearing more of this during the official holiday season…