Christmas chorus albums offer some of the best christmas music you will ever hear. This album by the LIVING VOICES titled THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY from 1965, is one of the best. It is arranged and conducted by Anita Kerr and contains the four singers of the ANITA KERR SINGERS plus four other singers to bring a total of eight fabulous singers to this christmas chorus classic.
It's very much in the cheerful style of FRED WARING AND THE PENNSYLVANIANS, MITCH MILLER AND THE GANG, THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR, and especially the RAY CONNIFF SINGERS. You will find, most likely, huge comparisons with RAY CONNIFF'S 1959 album - CHRISTMAS WITH CONNIFF. I'm currently leaning towards this LIVING VOICES album as being the better one between it and the CHRISTMAS WITH CONNIFF album but it's really a toss up as they're both fabulous.
On this LIVING VOICES album - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY, songs like HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS and even THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY are the best versions of the songs ever recorded as far as I'm concerned. Both SILVER BELLS and IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK ALOT LIKE CHRISTMAS are in medley's but they are beautiful versions of each song.
Of special note, though, is a rare song called BE A SANTA that could be the best song on the album. Very cheerful and a really great upbeat sound. It stands out on this album like MUST BE SANTA does on MITCH MILLER AND THE GANG'S christmas album, HOLIDAY SING ALONG WITH MITCH.
And best of all, every other song is great and no skipping a song to get to the next one (which I always find important).
My all-time two favorite christmas classic chorus albums (meaning the musical backing should be minor with the focus on the singing) are the MITCH MILLER AND THE GANG'S 1961 album - HOLIDAY SING ALONG WITH MITCH and FRED WARING AND THE PENNSYLVANIANS 1961 album - THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. But this LIVING VOICES album that I am reviewing here may be the third best chorus christmas album after the two above. This third spot is a toss up between this LIVING VOICES album, the first two RAY CONNIFF SINGER'S albums - one being the 1962 classic, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS and the other being the 1959 one mentioned above, NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR'S 1964 album - CHRISTMAS WITH THE NORMAN LUBOFF CHOIR, another MITCH MILLER AND THE GANG album, from 1958 - CHRISTMAS SING ALONG WITH MITCH, and another FRED WARING AND THE PENNSYLVANIANS album from 1959 - THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS. Again, I'm still leaning towards this LIVING VOICES album - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY as it is just so good, but it's a real tough decision. However, if you like chorus christmas albums, all of these are a must.
If you can ever get this LIVING VOICES christmas album, I'd highly recommend it as it is great for everybody, kids, adults, and family.