My house was not musical.  My dad enjoyed listening to Boots Randolph, Johnny Cash and Theresa Brewer and not much else.  Mom didn’t listen much to music.  The largest album genre we had was Christmas.  There was a large stack of Christmas albums.  Mostly classics from Perry Como and Harry Simeone.

There was an album titled a Christmas Sing with Bing.  It was a recording of a 1955 radio broadcast.  These were annual events for quite some time on Christmas Eve.  On the 1955 show, a little girl living in an orphanage recited a letter about the meaning of Christmas.  It could make tears well up in your eyes.

Turn out the lights but for those on the Christmas tree and with a roaring fire and the haunting sounds of the German voices…

Another favorite, or at least personally, was a rare album in German.  O Tannenbaum (Christmas on the Rhine) was choral music.  I don’t understand German but I was familiar with the English versions and pretty well could follow what I was hearing.  A conductor named Werner Muller was the leader of the orchestra.

Turn out the lights but for those on the Christmas tree and with a roaring fire and the haunting sounds of the German voices…

It made me “feel” how momentous was the season.

Over the years as my siblings and I grew up I inherited some of the old albums.  Even though I lacked a turntable in later years I kept them in boxes as I moved across the country.  Somehow, they’ve all been lost in multiple moves.  I’ve been trying to locate both Bing and the Germans online.  There are a handful of O Tannenbaum records on Amazon.  Used and probably worn out.  It appears it was never issued on CD or in more modern formats.  Bing Crosby is also sparingly available.

Some good soul has posted the German album to YouTube.  It’s rough in spots because the album it was dubbed from has seen some age.  It still conveys the same haunting melodies.  And unlike last year, I found Bing on YouTube.  Enjoy.