& the Andrews Sisters
A Merry Christmas With Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (Decca)
Here are 20 grueling Christmas chestnuts, packed in heavy syrup from Der Bingle (Der Führer to his kids) and the Andrews Sisters. Together they take on traditional Christmas fare like "The Twelve Days of Christmas" along with more offbeat Yuletide selections such as "Poppa Santa Claus," "O Fir Tree Dark," and "Mele Kalikimaka," backed by the heavy artillery of a full string section and a blasting battalion of big-band horns. This testimonial to the power of sentiment strenuously props up the old-school Christmas status quo in the most middle-American way imaginable. It's as sweet and easy to swallow as Christmas candy, and like those deliciously sugary treats, it'll make you nauseated if you consume too much. Your parents will undoubtedly love it, while your friends may take a dimmer view. Bearing that in mind, the plan of action would probably be to play this early in the day (maybe while opening presents), then when everyone has a few drinks in 'em, get out your James Brown, Phil Spector, Ventures, Esquivel, or El Vez Christmas disc and sneak it into the player. It won't matter much, though: By that time you'll be so numb to Christmas music anyway that you'll hardly notice what's playing.