Here's Boris Karloff narrating one of your favorite Christmas stories that was later turned into a cool animated special and a not nearly so good live-action remake! No, not the Grinch. (We've already got Zero Mostel doing that one.) This is the story of "The Year Without a Santa Claus" which, I must admit, I didn't realize was a story before the animated version came out. You may be disappointed to find out that, even though the basic story is the same, the stop-motion animated special we know and love added quite a bit to the story. There's no Heat Miser or Snow Miser here, no Jingle or Jangle the Elf, no Mother Nature, not even Mrs. Claus. The only characters I think the two have in common are Santa and the little boy named Ignatius Thistlewhite. This also features some other Christmas songs by a number of different artists, but the best part is hearing Karloff's dulcet tones telling us another Christmas story.
The bottom of the cover states that this is "Presented for the holiday pleasure of young and old by the E.F. MacDonald Incentive Company, 1968". I don't know if that means it was a special giveaway or what. I'd never heard of this album myself until a few months ago. I was looking around online for more info, when I found that Max at "Drunken Severed Head" had featured this album on his blog last year. He has some great background information about the story and the album and, with his kind permission, he's allowed me to link you up to it here. His link to the album no longer works though, so I in turn gave him permission to link over here to me! Isn't the Internet swell? Thanks, Max!
Here's the track list:
- The Year Without a Santa Claus - Boris Karloff
- The Christmas Waltz - The Lettermen
- Old Toy Trains - Glen Campbell
- Don't Forget to Feed the Reindeer - Peggy Lee
- The Little Drummer Boy - Al Martino
- I Sing Noel - Sandler and Young
- Jingle Bells - Roger Wagner Chorale