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CD REVIEW: Gene Autry - Here Comes Santa Claus
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Gene Autry
Genre: Holiday
CD Review:
There are 2 reasons you need to have Gene's new compilation album in your collection if you expect Christmas to be any kind of hit this year. 1. Gene is the man responsible for the classic 'Here Comes Santa Claus' tune, and hearing the man himself sing the original is worth the price of admission. 2. The short cd booklet tells some interesting and intriguing facts about the way Gene's top flight Christmas songs came about; chart facts; a few pictures; even the opening times/contact info for The Autry Museum of Western Heritage!

Perhaps there's a 3rd reason. Track 3 includes Mr. Autry's mega-famous 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', which is reported to be the 2nd most popular Christmas song ever ('White Christmas' has to be #1 for those who don't have to drive on snow). And did you know that in a little over 20 years from its birth, Gene's own Rudolph had sold 6.5 million copies, and was Columbia Records' top-selling record of all time? How this song came about is absorbing reading itself. I won't give it away. You'll have to buy the cd now.

Some songs might not sound familiar right away, but like old friends, you'll soon recognize - or Think you recognize - them because of their short, tuneful nature, with lots of harmonizing in the back. Good stuff for the kiddies, especially fun little ditties like 'Santa's Coming In A Whirlybird', and 'Nine Little Reindeer' (sung to the tune of 'Ten Little Indians').

Happily, the tracks have never sounded better thanks to modern technology. So, auction off those old scratchy 45s and put your feet up to 16 tracks of nostalgic beauty for the Yuletide season. Even if you're not a country music or western movie fan, you will soon forget everything except the songs, their time-honored tradition of promoting family sing-a-longs, and you'll thank Varese Sarabande for letting these hits and hard to find candies out of the vault and into your warm stockings.

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