It has been eight years since I did a Christmas album review (Christmas Album by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 2016(!)). Which is odd, as I have accumulated many more Christmas albums in the interim–so much so that I will probably not listen to all of them before they get put back up the day after Christmas and I start listening to new acquisitions. So I have had blog fodder for the nigh-past decade, and the Christmas album posts drive some search engine traffic, so one would think I would have posted between then and now. Oh, but no.
On to Evie: I have seen a lot of Evie records available for a buck or so, including this one which I picked up at Vintage Stock in 2020. She was a folk-sounding Gospel singer from the 1970s (Wikipedia says she married a pastor in 1979 and retired to focus on other ministries, but her Web site has more recent work and her Facebook page indicates she has a more recent Christmas album out, but probably not on vinyl and not for a dollar. The prevalence of her inexpensive albums stems from the fact that a lot of a certain generation had a lot of Gospel albums, but the modern record collectors pass them over–as I generally do. But this is a Christmas album.
Come On, Ring Those Bells definitely is a product of its time. The sound matches the 70s folk sound you get from the Olivia Newton-John or Lynda Carter records of the era, but with religious themes. Christmas themes, as it were. The album includes a couple of carols you recognize and some different songs that you have not:
- “Come On, Ring Those Bells”
- “Away in a Manger”
- “Medley: No Room / Have You Any Room For Jesus”
- “Mary’s Boy Child”
- “Silent Night”
- “O Holy Night”
- “What Child Is This?”
- “Some Children See Him”
- “One Small Child”
- “A Thousand Candles”
I don’t know why you don’t hear Evie in rotation on the Christmas stations. Perhaps it’s because she’s primarily a Gospel singer, perhaps it a question of the rights packages the radio syndicates can buy, or maybe she falls in that gap between the great orchestrations of Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and the other records from the forties and fifties and the contemporary renditions from the artists from the 80s, 90s, and now that afflicts anyone not named Carpenter. Maybe all of the above.
But it’s a pleasant record to listen to, and better yet if you can find a copy of it for a buck like I did.