A talk with the co-president of Real Gone Music, one of the finest reissue labels around.
When you’re ranking the Best Christmas records of all time, The Ventures Christmas Album is definitely near the top of the list. Not only is it incredibly clever, the way the guys used current songs of the Sixties and morphed them into holiday classics, but it’s also a whole lotta fun to listen to.
Real Gone Music has just reissued the classic album in remastered form, and for the first time, the set includes both the stereo version, and the must-sought after mono version of the album.
From Real Gone Music, we welcome in Gordon Anderson, who is co-president of the label. Gordon spent over 17 years overseeing things at Collectors Choice music, before co-founding Real Gone. We chat how this Ventures reissue came to fruition, and future projects.
Gayla Peevey was all of ten years old when she recorded the now-classic Christmas song, “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.” She cut the track back in 1953 for Columbia records and even performed the single on the Ed Sullivan show. The song’s popularity allowed her hometown zoo to obtain a real hippopotamus.
But, Gayla found following up her hit song difficult, and trying to break out as a serious singer even more challenging. She eventually wrote and recorded songs under a different name before walking away from the business altogether to raise a family.
But then something funny happened: the Hippopotamus song continued to grow in popularity, until now it’s one of the most played Christmas songs of all time, and she even has reconnected with the Oklahoma City Zoo to perform the song there as a holiday tradition.
David Lanz has been putting out music for over 30 years, so you’d think there wouldn’t be any “firsts” left for the award-winning pianist. Yet, his new record, Forever Christmas, is his first-ever album to feature a songwriting partner from start to finish, and his first record prominently featuring a vocalist. The songwriting partner & vocalist is also the love of his life, Norwegian born Kristin Amarie. Lanz talks about constructing the album during last year’s brutal winter, the fabulous artwork that adorns the CD, and plans he has for the new year.
Canadian singer/songwriter Luke McMaster recorded a hit duet with pianist Jim Brickman earlier in 2013 called “Good Morning Beautiful.” Now the song has been retooled just in time for the holidays as “Merry Christmas Beautiful,” which McMaster is supporting by touring with Brickman, doing a series of holiday shows. He’s also just issued “NYC,” a collaboration with DJ Titus 1 and featuring vocals by Bek Phillips, which shows off a completely different side to his music. Icon Fetch talks with the busy songwriter about his soul album, All Roads; his love of recent Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees Hall & Oates; and taking his music in a more dance-oriented direction.