Salvation Army used record bins are crowded with Christmas albums presented in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ’80s by companies such as Firestone, True Value, and businesses that have since shut down. They often feature cover art that resembles a Christmas present or invokes nostalgic holidays from the past. On this episode of “12 Songs,” host Alex Rawls talks with New Orleans’ Joe Adragna about those albums and particularly one that was important to his family’s Christmases, A Very Merry Christmas Vol. 5, sold by Grant’s department store in Long Island.
They talk about how these albums not only reflect but shape Christmas practices, and what the song and artist choices say the conception of Christmas put forward by these companies.
After that conversation, host Alex Rawls talks about The Molly Burch Christmas Album by indie singer/songwriter Molly Burch (really this time!). The new album is Burch’s third, and Rawls reviews it, talking about how it fits into her body of work and some of the smart musical choices she makes on the album. We also hear her unusual take on “Last Christmas” by Wham!