BEST of the GREAT SONGS of CHRISTMAS ALBUM 10
* 1970 COLUMBIA SPECIAL PRODUCTS - GOODYEAR *
CSP1a LABEL - NM 9/10
Album 10 of the Great Songs of Christmas, is a highly collectible album that is comprised of fourteen (14) favorite traditional and modern Christmas songs chosen from the Goodyear albums 1 through 9 of the decade preceding its issue. While some reviewers might consider this "Best of album" as repetition, many listeners will just enjoy this new blending of joyful songs for Christmas and the holidays.
A Note on the History of the Columbia Goodyear Albums: Who is Stanley Arnold, and what does he have to do with the Goodyear Christmas albums? Everything, as it turns out. The liner notes for the first nine albums gave credit to a firm known as “Stanley Arnold & Associates,” and I always wondered what that meant. I found the answer in a book called “Tale of the Blue Horse and Other Million Dollar Adventures”, authored by Stanley Arnold himself.
Simply put, Stanley Arnold was an idea man. He originally worked for the ad agency Young & Rubicam, then struck out on his own. He didn’t want to start an ad agency, he started an idea agency, coming up with marketing ideas for companies but letting them (or their ad agencies) handle the details themselves. One of those ideas was getting Goodyear to put out an album of Christmas songs. His logic was simple: “Santa Claus never used a tire, but it occurred to me that Christmas had two deep connections with Goodyear. First, everyone is interested in Christmas; second, Goodyear sells many, many tires during the pre-Christmas season. That would be the million dollar idea for Goodyear, I decided: an album of Christmas music.” He was adamant that the album not be one of “cutie” songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” or “Rudolph”, but rather of classic tunes done by quality artists – a collection worthy to be called “The GREAT Songs of Christmas.”
Arnold was savvy business-wise, not just in the idea department. He had Goodyear act as the outlet for the album, but did not require them to actually invest anything in it; that way, Goodyear couldn’t lose a penny on the deal even if no one actually bought the record. But he did have to convince Goodyear to think big: they initially thought 30,000 copies nationwide would be sufficient for Columbia to make; Arnold was thinking 3 million. They eventually compromised at 900,000. The success was proven by a simple act: by December 1, Goodyear ordered its advertising agency to stop all advertising for the record –because there weren’t any left! The print order for the 1962 album was 1.5 million, and almost 2 million for the 1963 album. History repeated itself, and those albums sold out well before Christmas also. (One additional note: the ad agency that created, and prematurely had to cancel, the ads for the albums was Arnold’s old firm, Young & Rubicam.)
“Tale of the Blue Horse” was published in 1967, and the Stanley Arnold acknowledgment stopped on the albums two years later. I don’t know if the contract ran out, or Goodyear decided to take over, or if Columbia decided to deal directly with Goodyear. But at least we know how this whole thing got started. Based on his writing, Arnold thinks quite a bit of himself. But that ego has given millions of us a million memories – and the fact that you’re reading this shows that those memories carry on many years later. God bless you, Stanley Arnold! (DSC)
Various – Best Of The Great Songs Of Christmas - Album 10
Label: Columbia Special Products – CSS 1478, Goodyear – CSS 1478 [CSP 1a Label]
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Compilation, Limited Edition
Country: US Released: 1970
A1 –John Davidson First Noel
A2 –The New York Philharmonic* Carol Of The Bells Conductor – Leonard Bernstein
A3 –Anna Moffo Joy Of The World
A4 –Richard Tucker (2) The Lord's Prayer
A5 –Mahalia Jackson Away In A Manger
A6 –Isaac Stern Ave Maria
A7 –Barbra Streisand Silent Night
B1 –Petula Clark Happiest Christmas
B2 –Tony Bennett The Christmas Song
B3 –Percy Faith And His Orchestra & Chorus* The Little Drummer Boy
B4 –Andy Williams Do You Hear What I Hear
B5 –Doris Day Toyland
B6 –Steve Lawrence (2) The Night Before Christmas
B7 –Ray Conniff & The Singers* We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Notes; Limited Edition - Collectors Album
Matrix / Runout (Side A): XSV 223414
Matrix / Runout (Side B): XSV 223435
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