For me and my immediate family, the personal favorite is the ORIGINAL VERSION
of The Little Drummer Boy
album circa 1962 from the Harry Simeonne (sp) Chorale.
In this album, the title song is the 2nd song on the second side. Between songs there are narrations of the Christmas story (as written in Luke Chapter 2) thoughout the whole album.
I'm not sure if a cassette or CD
version of this album was ever made. Back in 1988, we were thankfully still able to purchase another vinyl album copy since our old album (my mother bought it in 1962) was getting scratchy and worn.
A number two favorite for me was the Columbia Records compilation album Great Songs of Christmas
that came out in the '60s and was sold at either Goodyear or Firestone tire dealers. My father bought it back then. The album featured artists like Andy Williams, Johnny Matthis, Tony Bennett, Robert Goulett, Carol Lawrence, Sally Anne Howes (of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
fame), Percy Faith (orchestra), and so forth.
The first song on the first side of the album was Andy Williams' Most Wonderful Time of the Year
. All the songs on the first side were contemporary carols; the flipside had the more traditional carols and hymns. Interestingly, 2 of the more traditional songs on the album actually focusing on Christ's birth (Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
& Silent Night
) are sung by Barbara Steisand. This compilation album was probably a one-year, one-shot deal.
My third favorite (my brother gave me this CD
last Christmas) is Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981