Christmas Cocktails

Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Part One and Part Two

The first Saturday in December always means my annual Christmas party. It's nice to be able to kick off the holidays with my friends, and it also gets my apartment cleaned up and decorated early so I can relax enjoy the rest of the month. So it seemed like a good day to post about the Christmas compilations that will be in my CD carousel this evening, the Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails series.

There are probably a hundred different Christmas compilations that collect Swing/Lounge/Jazz songs from the 50s and 60s, but these two are absolutely my favorites. Capitol Records started the Ultra Lounge series in the mid-90s during the swing revival, and each of its 28 volumes generally has some kind of theme. The Christmas Cocktails collections are both full of fun, upbeat, and sometimes quirky holiday songs from Capitol's vaults, featuring both artists you do know (Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole) and probably a few that you don't (Eddie Dunstedter or The Dinning Sisters anyone)?

I'll be posting several songs from these compilations over the next couple weeks, but to get things started, here is Billy May's take on everyone's favorite Reindeer song.

Billy May Orchestra - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo" (mp3)


One of the Dinning Sisters, Dolores, was part of the backup group on "Hee Haw" from the beginning to the end. Their brother, Mark, had a rather large teeny bopper hit, "Teen Angel" in the late 50's.
These are some of my mom's favorite Christmas albums :)
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