CHARLES BROWN’S COOL CHRISTMAS BLUES COMING TO VINYL

Set for a November 13th release date and available for pre-order today, this pressing of Charles Brown’s Cool Christmas Blues marks the very first vinyl release of the blues titan’s 1994 Christmas album. In addition to the wide release, Craft Recordings’ online store will offer an exclusive white and blue marble vinyl variant, limited to 350 copies worldwide. Lacquers were cut by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram at Fantasy Studios, while the vinyl was pressed at Noiseland Industries. 

Nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 1995 GRAMMY® Awards, Charles Brown’s Cool Christmas Blues offers a warm, laid-back set of primarily original material—including Brown’s modern yuletide classics “Please Come Home for Christmas” and the U.S. Billboard R&B chart Top 10 hit “Merry Christmas Baby.” The artist also performs lesser-known gems like “Santa’s Blues” and “To Someone That I Love,” while he puts his own stellar twist on “Silent Night.” 

Recorded in San Francisco, the session features Brown on vocals, piano and celeste, with Clifford Solomon on tenor saxophone, Dannon Caron on guitar, Ruth Davies on acoustic bass and Gaylord Birch on drums. BB King’s longtime sideman Bobby Forte also makes a special appearance on tenor saxophone, while the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues” Johnny Otis jumps in on the vibes.

Brown also revisits two of his most famous songs, including “Merry Christmas Baby.” While the tune is credited to Lou Baxter and Brown’s bandmate, Johnny Moore, it has long been noted that Brown was instrumental in co-writing the classic track. Although the true story behind the composition has never been confirmed, it was Brown, unmistakably, who made the song a hit when he recorded it alongside Moore with the Three Blazers in 1947. Released in November, “Merry Christmas Baby” added a wink and a romantic twist to the standard holiday fare—and America loved it. That season, the song went to No.3 on the Billboard R&B Juke Box chart, while it would become a holiday cannon over the decades. It has since been covered by many of music’s greats, including Elvis Presley, Bonnie Raitt, John Legend and, perhaps most famously, Otis Redding.

Brown’s body of work and artistic impact was celebrated throughout his final decade. The artist, who influenced many of the biggest names in R&B and blues—including Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Sam Cooke and Chuck Berry—was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996 and, just months after his passing, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Perhaps his crowning achievement, however, was becoming a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship in 1997. Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the fellowship marks the highest honor that can be bestowed upon traditional and folk artists in the U.S.

 

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Rudy: The Deluxe Edition (CD)

Rudy: The Deluxe Edition (CD)

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Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

Jerry Goldsmith’s favorite projects, especially late in life, were films that spotlighted people—their hopes, feelings and relationships. And no film was a better fit for Goldsmith’s artistic passion than Rudy: the 1993 true-life story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin), an undersized grinder whose quixotic dream to play Notre Dame Fighting Irish football came true for a few brief plays in 1975.

For Rudy, Goldsmith reteamed with Hoosiers director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo for another crowd-pleasing, critically acclaimed Indiana sports movie that became part of the pantheon. The score is heartfelt, warm and melodic, speaking to the universal grandeur of one man’s underdog quest. Goldsmith’s propulsive melody for the football sequences—an uplifting, balletic, driving approach—is a majestic triumph, and quickly became repurposed for trailers, commercials and actual sporting events. 

“There are so few things in the world that you can stand up and scream from the rooftops and not care what anyone says, because you know there’s absolute right and absolute wrong,” says Rudy himself, in a new interview for this release. “And it is an absolute right and an absolute truth that this score by Jerry Goldsmith is perfect. It’s a perfect score.”

Varèse Sarabande released the Rudy soundtrack in 1993 in a 37-minute program. This Deluxe Edition expands the sequence to 67 minutes, including the film’s a cappella recordings of the classic “Hike, Notre Dame!” and “Notre Dame Victory March.” Liner notes by Tim Greiving feature new interview material with Rudy, Pizzo, Anspaugh and Astin—as well as Get Out composer Michael Abels, who worked at the sessions—and archival comments by Goldsmith and contractor JoAnn Kane.

1. Main Title 3:34
2. No Catch 1:05
3. The Speech/Last Game/Be Grateful 1:33
4. The Jacket 1:38
5. To Notre Dame 6:53
6. A Start 2:24
7. More Girls :42
8. Hike Notre Dame! 1:24
9. The Plaque 2:34
10. Empty Stadium/The Key 3:40
11. Training 1:24
12. More Training 1:26
13. Accepted 1:43
14. Tryouts 4:25
15. Notre Dame Victory March 1:36
16. For Father :46
17. Waiting 2:33
18. Back On The Field 2:04
19. Team Play/Ready Champ? 1:46
20. Take Us Out 1:48
21. The Final Game 6:12
22. Tryouts 4:25
23. The Key 3:52
24. To Notre Dame 6:56

• Limited Edition of 3000 copies
• This Deluxe Edition expands the sequence to 67 minutes, including the film’s a cappella recordings of the classic “Hike, Notre Dame!” and “Notre Dame Victory March.”
• Liner notes by Tim Greiving feature new interview material with Rudy, Pizzo, Anspaugh and Astin—as well as Get Out composer Michael Abels, who worked at the sessions—and archival comments by Goldsmith and contractor JoAnn Kane.