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Harry Simeone Chorale (Holiday)

Holiday chorale conductor and arranger Harry Simeone was responsible for popularizing the yuletide perennial "The Little Drummer Boy." Born in Newark, NJ, on May 9, 1911, Simeone had a childhood affection for the Metropolitan Opera, which inspired him to pursue a career as a concert pianist. After graduating from the Juilliard School of Music, he went to work at CBS Radio as an arranger for popular bandleader Fred Waring, even marrying one of Waring's vocalists, Margaret McCravy. In 1939 Simeone relocated to Hollywood to work as an arranger at Paramount Pictures, collaborating with composer Victor Young on a series of films, including 1944's Bing Crosby vehicle Here Come the Waves as well as several of Crosby's "Road" movies with Bob Hope. Simeone rejoined Waring in 1945, then in 1952 signed on as the conductor and choral arranger for television's The Firestone Hour.

In 1958 Simeone contracted with the 20th Century Fox label to record a Christmas LP. In the midst of assembling the 25-member Harry Simeone Chorale, he also began seeking material to record, discovering "The Little Drummer Boy" via friend Henry Onorati. The song, of unknown origin but presumably based on melodies of both Czech and Spanish descent, was given English-language lyrics by Katherine Davis in 1941 but not recorded until 1957, when it appeared on the Jack Halloran Singers' Onorati-arranged Christmas Is A-Comin'. Simeone loved the song, and made it the first single from his 1958 LP, Sing We Now of Christmas. "The Little Drummer Boy" was immediately hailed as a modern classic, generating some 150 cover versions and global sales topping 25 million. In 1960 Simeone returned to the charts with "Onward Christian Soldiers," and in 1962 returned to Bethlehem with a second enduring seasonal favorite, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" He died in New York City on February 22, 2005. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Comments

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mhill.2001
I wish...... Never Mind
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drolmatara
Elegant and so beautiful.
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Same here classicrocke r ! Really good memories growing up...decorat i n g the Christmas tree(NOT holiday tree!) and listening to this. Miss my parents too!
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Brings back fond memories of the sixties as a child. Miss my mum & dad.
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Don't read this because it actual works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However I you don't post this you will die in two days. You've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 mins When you're done press f6 and you're lovers name will appear on the screen. This is scary but works.
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Love this album ! All songs are great! Especially , "The Night Before Christmas." rendition.
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Luv this song!!!
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houghtongirl
Good job
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Love it
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When I was a kid, I'd listen to this album, along with Gene Autry's Christmas album all year long.
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firstbaptist c h 1
Like many others who've already commented this album was brought out each Christmas at our house and played on the large stereo console my folks bought in the 60's. I can still sing the song from memory and it takes me back to thoughts of Christmas past
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The has always been THE Christmas album for my family growing up--I was thrilled when it was released on disk a few years ago. Now it is my children's favorite. I can still see in my mind's eye the family tree and how my childhood home was decorated. Some of my family has since passed, but it comes back as a warm rush when I hear this album
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williamsonam b e r 2
It is great but I don't really like how high they sing someone should do a remix
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My mom, dad and I would always sing along with this version in the car on the way to my grandmother' s for Christmas. Always loved hearing my dad sing the deep rum rum bum bum lol
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ccarterboyz
Memories of childhood, my mom singing along with the 33 rpm record, baking Christmas cookies and me hoping it would continue to snow.
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My favorite version of this song
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gsmaher
I have not heard this version since I was a little boy in grammer school...a fond memory!
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what a great song what some people are missing!! Happy Holidays to all! Happy New Year and peace to all!!!
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i agree my mom always played this record!
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Reminds me of the great childhood Christmas' I always had.
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Absolutely stunning...t h i s album truly captures the true spirit of Christmas-th e beauty, joy,and most of all the love and peace of the season...
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What is Christmas without this original version of "The Little Drummer Boy". Brings back great childhood memories of my Christmas with my Family. Keep "Christ" in Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ... AMEN.
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This was one of my gifts when I was 12 or 13; I played it until the record (45) about wore out! I still love it, and the message in it--the gift of love.
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msprogressiv e
Harry Simeone Chorale original version of Little Drummer Boy has always been my favorite. Since a child it has always brought tears to my eyes and invokes the true spirit of Christmas which always seems to get lost in the commercializ a t i o n of Christmas. Little Drummer Boy always reminds me of what Christmas is really about - the gift of love.
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gwenshonk
Great childhood memories are evoked whenever I listen to this album! Love it.
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Pa-rum-pa-pa - p u m on my drum, the words say it all...Merry Christmas
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The HSC always sings about the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our savoir, Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas to all!
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Thi is an old Family favorite for as long as I can remember

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