Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas MusicO, Little Town of BethlehemPerry Como ~ Mr. Saturday Night!

Words and Music by Phillips Brooks and Lewis H. Redner
 
1st recording 1946 ~
 
With Organ and Choir Conducted by Russ Case
 
Recorded at RCA Victor Studio 2, New York City
Recording Time 2:54
 
Recorded August 20, 1946   ~  Matrix No. D6VB-2680 Take 1 - 1A
1946 Lyrics
Single release: RCA-78RPM-20-1970-B
Single Flip Side: "Silent Night"
 
UK Single release: HMV-78RPM-BD-1219 ( November 1948 )
Single Flip Side: "O Come, All Ye Faithful ( Adeste Fidelis ) "
 
Original 78RPM Musical Smart Set "Merry Christmas Music"  P-161 1946/47
 
In 1947 Perry recorded Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" which replaced "O, Little Town of Bethlehem" within all subsequent single releases and album compilations. This Christmas song was never re-released by RCA Victor in any other format but it has been pirated by UK companies who specialize in bootleg releases mastered from original phonograph records.
 
Original Musical Smart Set 1946/47

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This recording was originally included within the 1946 RCA Victor Musical Smart Set "Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music" but was excluded in versions following 1947 in favour of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" which Perry recorded with Lloyd Shaffer's Orchestra and a Mixed Chorus on July 10, 1947. It was not included within the 1956 RCA Victor compilation album nor within the RCA Camden re-release in 1961.  One additional song "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town ( with The Satisfiers )" was also excluded from the 1961 re-release.
 
Note:  this track was replaced in compilations following 1947 with Perry's recording of "White Christmas" and never replaced thereafter. Only in recent years has it become available again in a CD compilation from PastPerfect.
 
2nd recording circa 1950 ~ medley "The First Christmas"
 
Included as part of the medley within Perry's recording of "The First Christmas", believed to have been recorded at the Manhattan Center, New York City ( not confirmed ). Story adapted by John A. Richards  Recording Time 7:00 ( approx. ) Told and Sung by Perry Como and recorded as Part 1 and Part 2 ~ Perry Como tells the Complete Story of the First Christmas and Sings beloved Christmas songs With Chorus & Orchestra under the direction of Mitchell Ayres
 
The Story of the First Christmas ~ Little Nipper JUNIOR Series
 
Single release: RCA Little Nipper Junior Series WY-422 ( 47-0259-A/B ) ( 45-5290-A/B )
Also released single side EYA-19 with flipside "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town ( with The Satisfiers )" & "Jingle Bells"
Recorded August 15, 1950, Manhattan Center, New York City ( not confirmed )
 
3rd recording 1959 ~ medley "The Story of The First Christmas"
 
With Mitchell Ayres' Orchestra and The Ray Charles Singers
Produced by Charles Grean and Lee Schapiro
 
Recorded July 13, 1959 in Webster Hall, New York City
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
Matrix No. K2PB 454 ( ? ) Take ( ? ) ~ Recording Time 10:01
 
Stereo Compact 33 Double release: RCA VP-5-2066 ( M2PO-5364 1S )
Christmas Medley: includes O Little Town of Bethlehem / O Come All Ye Faithful / Silent Night
Single Flip Side: "O Holy Night"
 
Album issue: RCA-LP12 "Seasons Greetings from Perry Como" LSP-2066 STEREO 1959
Album issue: RCA UK-LP12 "The Songs of Christmas" SF-5045 STEREO 1959
Album issue: RCA-COMPACT 33 DOUBLE "Seasons Greetings from Perry Como" VP-2006 STEREO 1961
Album issue: RCA-CAMDEN-LP12 "Christmas Greetings" PICKWICK UK CDS-1113 STEREO 1972/76
Album issue: Pickwick-LP12 "The Christmas Collection" PDA-027 STEREO 1979
 
Season's Greetings from Perry Como ~ 1959The Songs of Christmas - UK Release 1959Season's Greetings from Perry Como ~ 1959
 
Christmas Greetings from Perry Como ~ UK CamdenThe Perry Como Christmas Collection
 
Notes: ~ This popular Christmas carol was written by Phillips Brooks and Lewis H. Redner in 1868. Brooks, pastor of the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem in December 1865. Three years later the impressions of Bethlehem remained clear in his mind. In early December 1868, Brooks wrote a five-stanza poem (modern hymnals omit the third stanza) about Bethlehem. He asked his church organist and Sunday school superintendent, Lewis Redner, to write music to the poem. Redner wrote the music on the night of December 26-27, 1868. That Sunday morning (the 27th), "O Little Town of Bethlehem" was sung for the first time by a chorus composed of six Sunday school teachers and thirty-six children. Originally, Brooks called his Christmas carol "St. Louis" - a different spelling of Lewis Redner's first name.

The Shepherds hurry to the manger, fall on their knees before the baby, and they worship him! For He is Christ the Lord!

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First Edition Summer 1992
Second Edition Christmas 1993
Web Page Edition Christmas 1997
Revision Easter 2015
 
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PERRY COMO
50 YEARS OF MUSIC AND A LIFE WELL LIVED.
AN EXAMPLE TO ALL.
 
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Saturday, April 04, 2015