Saturday, December 12, 2009

The New Christy Minstrels - Merry Christmas - 1963

I'm going to throw a little more effort into today's post. I realize that recent posts have been a little slack on the words side of things.

I have a few things to say about The New Christy Minstrels, dumb stories and references from my life that you may or may not care about. The first thing I think about when I hear the name The New Christy Minstrels is of an old comedy record I heard on Dr. Demento as a kid. It was called "Rock and Roll Doctor" and was performed by Travesty, Ltd. The basic concept was that the Rock and Roll Doctor was a radio host and people called in for advice and the doctor would advise them on what kinds of drugs to take. One caller calls in and says he is going to the The New Christy Minstrels show and he asks what should he bring to the show. The good Rock and Roll Doctor says, "a good book". Ba dum bump. Yes, it is dumb, but it has stuck with me all these years.

As luck would have it some kind person has posted the routine on youtube. Give it a listen.

The second thing the group makes me think of is the movie "A Mighty Wind", Christopher Guests brilliant satire of folk music. In that movie there is a group called The New Mainstreet Singers which is a direct parody of The New Christy Minstrels. I even think they show some of their album covers, which are parodies of New Christy Minstrel jackets. Anyways, the movie is hilarious. The songs are great. Jane Lynch from Glee is hysterical.

The last thing to mention before signing off is that I found some interesting tidbits about this folk group on wikipedia, which I hope to be true. Of course you have to take everything there with a grain of salt, but I'm wanting to believe this. It lists alumni of the group and there were a few names that popped out on me. Apparently Kenny Rogers, Karen Black and Kim Karnes were in the group at one point. Now I have to see if I can ever find a record that has any of them as part of the group. I'll have to do more research, but if anyone has any more info on this I would love it. If you can identify any of them on the album cover, I'd love that as well.

Now to the music. Enough babbling about the group and my pop references going on in my head. As a Christmas record, the album is great. It is upbeat and full of energy. I also take a weird perverse pleasure in hearing extremely white folks sing gospel songs or at the very leave in a gospel style. It should be and probably is a genre in and of itself. It is a strange sort of creature that is birthed when that happens and it happens several times on this record. I hope you like it.


The New Christy Minstrels - Merry Christmas -

01 Beautiful City.m4a
02 Tell It On The Mountain.m4a
03 One Star.m4a
04 Christmas Wishes.m4a
05 The Shepherd Boy.m4a
06 Song Hosanna, Hallelujah.m4a
07 Sing Along With Santa.m4a
08 It'll Be A Merry Christmas.m4a
09 Tell Me.m4a
10 A Christmas Song.m4a
11 Parson Brown (Our Christmas Dinner).m4a
12 Christmas Trees.m4a


Ron said...

Again Many Thanks !!

Spencer said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for this everywhere with no luck. I used to listen to this as a kid every Christmas. I can't seem to find the link on this posting though. Do you still have it?

Spencer said...

Still have it. E-mail me and I'll send you a link.

Greg Boehner said...

Thanks! I e-mailed you, but in case it didn't go through, I'm at

Emmy said...

Because I loved this album as a kid, i thought to buy a copy and find it's no where to be found, except on Amazon, etc. for $899 USED. (???) Co-workers and I scrounged all over looking for an explanation. Then I found your blog. Since the link no longer works, may I email you as well?
Many, many thanks.