Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Christmas, 1961, At Mom Mom's"

"Record, Daddy, I wanna see what happens..."

Thus begins a lovely little 28 minute tape labeled "Christmas 1961 at Mom Mom's".  I am enchanted by this sort of tape, which capture special moments within families, or friends or neighbors, or all three.

Very shortly into the tape, we are treated to much of the Chubby Checker/Bobby Rydell remake of "Jingle Bell Rock" (which we'll later learn was among one child's favorite records at that moment). But this is an exception: the rest of the tape features music, singing and talking featuring Mom Mom's family.

I will not do a moment by moment summary here, but I will mention a few favorite moments. I adore the little song that a couple of kids sing starting at the 8:30 mark. The communal singing of "Silent Night" at 13:30 is sweet. There is also a boisterous version of "Sweet Sue - Just You" around the 16 minute mark, and a nice rendition or two of a Hebrew song at the 22:00 mark.

Oh, and it's not your speakers: around 18:20 there is a weirdly double-recorded section, with both a piano piece and a separate vocal piece having been recorded on the same part of the tape.

(There are a few truly dull moments, too, including some badly played guitar licks which start around the six minute mark and which - at two minutes - go on too long, but even these give a flavor of who these people were and what the gathering was like.)

I hope you enjoy this little slice of Christmas from 54 years ago. Another Christmas recording will follow early next week.

(A final word on the ticking that can be heard through much of this recording: I mentioned a few months ago that my reel to reel machine was sick and in the shop. Well, you see, it was imprinting everything I played with that damn ticking, and this was one of the tapes where I realized that it was happening. The imprinting is permanent. The various loudnesses of the ticking is an indication of how much or how little I've boosted the sound to any given segment of the recording.)

Download: Christmas, 1961, at Mom Mom's


  1. Duke University
    Duke University Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina,

  2. Thanks again for a sweet recording, Bob. And w/o your background commentary, I think most of us would still listen, but would be scratching our heads trying to guess what's going on, let alone the facts.

    And now I know everything I ever wanted to know about Duke University. Before today, I always thought that Duke University was a subsidiary factory where they made professional-grade basketball players for the NBA and beyond.

    This blog is full of interesting factoidal nuggets!