Happy Holidays from Starland Vocal Band

I received an e-mail this morning from one of the members of Starland Vocal Band, detailing the story behind Christmas At Home.  I thought I’d share it with you.  Next year, how cool would it be if we could get all of the artists to submit information on their tracks?  Then again, if we’re ripping them all apart, I doubt it’ll work.  Props to SVB for taking my post with a sense of humor!

Hey Jason,
Thru no fault of your own you’ve entered a sort of time ravine which has brought you to "Christmas at Home" by the Starland Vocal Band.
 
The album was done at the request of a friend of the group for a local charity.
 
The idea, and what they did, was to get together in Bill’s home studio, practice a Christmas song a day, and record it ( not consecutively; spread out over two weeks). The profits, (there were few expenses) went to the charity.
 
The machines were simple and the Steel player, Danny Pendleton engineered.
Only available instruments were used.: a Prophet 5 synthesizer, a steel guitar, piano, guitars, various percussion devices.
 
Since the group members had all grown up Catholic, they knew all the traditional carols and each claimed
their favorite to be included. And then they did the others.
 
"Here Comes Santa Claus" is one of Bills favorites as he tries to be faithful to the Gene Autry version he heard in his youth.
  (JH: Now I feel awful!)
 
The children singing were from Emma Danoff’s (Bill and Taffy’s daughter)  kindergarten class.
The idea was to use "just a touch". SVB took them, with supervision, for an hour to do those simple lines and credited them on the album. It’s those children’s parent who probably own all the existing copies of the recording. 
(JH: Okay, so which parent is selling out their kid by putting it on eBay?  Fess up!)
 
It was a spontaneous act of love that the group is proud of.
 
Peace and Love,
 
CHRISTMAS AT HOME
 

  • <i>Okay, so which parent is selling out their kid by putting it on eBay?  Fess up!</i>Hey, that’s sort of how the Langley Schools Music Project CD originated – someone found an original LP in a thrift store, but no one besides the kids, their parents and maybe a few school administrators ever got one.  It’s hard to imagine what kind of parent (or alumnus) would give such a thing away to Goodwill, but I guess I’m glad they did.

  • Elaine

    Dear Starland Vocal Band member, Thank you for filling us in.  To think that the album was a final production and for-release was a little…weird.  It’s good to know the back story.  That it was a charitable effort is very cool.  Thanks also for not being too mad at us (speaking for myself, but you know what I mean).  We love that goofy mellow era you hail from, and your music was entertaining.  Jason talked about what those albums meant to him and his family, and all of us in the 30something age group have similar stories.  Myself?  I remember asking my mom to explain "Afternoon Delight" to me, and having her change the subject and get all red faced.  Good times.  Merry Christmas!

  • BD

    I can’t hate SVB because they’re proud locals –http://www.clydes.com/main/Whats_Happening_Pop.cfm?Section=History_GeorgetownWe were once eating at Clyde’s near Christmas, and they had carolers walking around. I could’ve sworn one of them was one of the Vocal Bandits. My mother-in-law actually ran up and asked, and alas, I was mistaken.

  • Barb Radcliffe

    Hi Jason,
    I couldn’t find an email address for you so I’m sending this as a post.
    I am the  webmaster for the MySpace Starland Vocal Band page.  I am seeking your permission to post the "Happy Holidays From Starland Vocal Band" article explaining the ‘Christmas At Home’ album.  I’d like to have it as a blog.  During the holidays, I’m planning to have the Christmas music available to listen to and add to people’s pages but NOT downloadable.  Thank you for your consideration.
     

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