Posts Tagged ‘White Christmas’

Contrary to what this broadcast is called, this isn’t a rehearsal. It’s a program that was produced in Detroit featuring Gus Haenschen and his orchestra. I found a great site that gave a history of Gus Haenschen (Tim’s Phonographs and Old Records), who also went by the name of Carl Fenton until 1927. Here’s the info that’s pertinent to this recording:

During the World War II years he conducted an all-string orchestra for a weekly show from Detroit sponsored by beer manufacturer Stroh’s. The show was broadcast in the Mid-West (Stroh’s was not sold in the Eastern states at the time). Singers included Margaret Daum and baritone Thomas L. Thomas.

That’s exactly what we have here, including Margaret Daum and Thomas L. Thomas. Unfortunately this show is not complete. My disc is marked #2 of 2, and I don’t seem to have #1. It also ends abruptly during an awesome commercial for Stroh’s Bohemian Beer. I do have quite a few other recordings of “Gus Haenschen’s Rehearsal” (15, I think), many of which are complete—and some of which I’m sure will have that great commercial in its entirety.

This program includes “I’m Making Believe,” “Tango of Roses” (in a rumba arrangement), and “White Christmas.” The first piece on the record is not credited during the program, but my grandpa’s index cards include a song called “Wang Wang Blues.” I’m guessing that’s what the first piece is.

One thing that makes me chuckle every time I hear this is the enthusiastic applause of the studio audience… which sounds like about three people.

If you’re using a screen reader, click here to go to my BandCamp site for a Flash-free download.

Christmas 1945

December 12, 2009

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to put this recording up. You see, I didn’t think it was possible. This record is cracked. Not just scratched or delaminating, but cracked all the way through from rim to label. In fact, I think the label is the only thing holding it together.

I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I had nothing to lose, except maybe my stylus. I put the record on the turntable and had to press it down to snap it together. But… it worked! I am amazed at how well this recording turned out.This is also my first recording using the noise reduction program. It did a really good job. Unfortunately it doesn’t take out clicks/pops, so those are still audible.

This is a record my grandpa made for his own use, for Christmas 1945. It includes “All Around the Christmas Tree,” by Warnow and Todd; an instrumental medley of “Skip to my Lou,” “Polly Wolly Doodle,” “Baby Bumblebee,” and “Jingle Bells” (performer unknown); “White Christmas,” by Bing Crosby (from the White Christmas album); and the hippest, coolest big band arrangement of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” that I’ve ever heard. I wish I knew who it was by!

Here is a link to the page with the audio file: Christmas 1945. Those of you using screen readers should have better success with downloading if you go there. For everyone else, here you go: