Welcome to the remastered edition of Episode 4 of Holly Jolly X’masu! In this episode, I discuss the granddaddy of all Japanese Christmas compilation albums: King Records’ “Merry, Merry X’mas,” from 1963. This revered classic really established the gold standard for Christmas compilations in Japan.
I considered redoing the whole episode, but due to time constraints, that wasn’t plausible. Instead, I redid my introduction and included the full songs from my recently-obtained vinyl copy of the album. You can’t imagine how thrilled I was to finally get this. I’d bid on it several times before but dropped out when bidding got over $50. I paid far less than that for the copy I finally won. The cover isn’t in great shape, there’s no obi, and the record is extremely warped, but it plays beautifully, which is the most important thing.
I’ve also managed to get two of the singles that were included on the album. I have “Silent Night” by Yasuo Tanabe and Michiyo Azusa, and the Peanuts’ “Jingle Bells.” I also managed to get the “Merry X’mas” flexi-disc journal featuring the Peanuts and Hajime Hara & Crazy Cats. It’s one of the more sought-after flexi-disc journals, so I was lucky to get a copy. I don’t have Yukari Ito’s Christmas EP yet, but it goes for almost as much as the album. As far as I can tell, the other songs were never released as singles, although a couple show up on other later compilations.
It was interesting redoing this episode. I’ve made a lot of changes to how I write and edit an episode, so it was a bit of a challenge readjusting. One big change I made was to take out the clip of “March on the River Kwai,” since I don’t own a physical copy. I did find a couple copies for auction, and based on the starting bids, I don’t think I ever will own a copy. I do have “Mothra’s Song” on a CD, though, so I kept it in.
I also got a kick out of looking back on how far I’ve come since this episode came out. A couple days before it was released, I had just ordered a copy of one of my first true Holy Grails, Jun Fukamachi’s “Now Sound Christmas,” which brought my Japanese Christmas collection up to 40 whole items. Since then, I’ve managed to track down a lot of my most-wanted albums, and I’m to…well, a fair deal more than 40 LP’s, CD’s and singles. I’m also closing in on my 40th episode. Considering how much I struggled to get out one episode per month at first, I’m pretty pleased with how things are currently going.
I hop you’ve enjoyed this refreshed and expanded episode. Join me here every Saturday this month for all new episodes, as well as a special bonus episode on New Year’s Eve. I have a lot of great music lined up to help you enjoy your Christmas, most of which you can’t hear anywhere else.
As always, any feedback on this episode would be appreciated. If have any suggestions, or if you’d like to recommend a song or album for a future episode, drop me a line and let me know.
Remember, I’ve added a button to my Ko-fi page. If you’d like to support me one cup of coffee at a time, a donation is only $3. I’ve also opened a Redbubble store. I only have a couple designs up, but keep an eye on it as I’ll be trying to add more. Any proceeds or donations received will be put towards purchasing new Japanese Christmas music to review for future episodes. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And if you get a chance, leave me a review on iTunes. Thanks!
Listen to this episode of the Holly Jolly Xmasu Podcast
Author: Holly Jolly X’masu