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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Chicago Swedish Glee Club - Songs At Christmas

This second share for the 2009 Christmas downloading season is special in many ways. Let me explain.

The origin of the album is my original hometown of Chicago - home of my beloved Cubs, deep dish pizza, and multi-ethnic neighborhoods that blend together seamlessly into one giant melting pot by Lake Michigan. The fact this album was performed by Chicago Swedes should come as no surprise.

Another reason this album is special is because it's Swedish. Over the past several years, I've become friends with a fellow blogger/Christmas obsessive named Anna-Lena Lodenius. Hailing from Stockholm, Anna-Lena has been posting amazing Swedish Christmas fare at her blog Jul Igen - Christmas Again - be sure to visit and say hello! Hope you like this one Anna!

The final reason why this album is special is because it allowed me to re-establish an old acquaintance from my days as a used CD store manager. If you lived in the south suburbs of Chicago back in the day, you knew there was truly one record store for all of your rock/pop/R&B/indie needs.

That place was Record Swap in Homewood. It was one of the last great independent record stores of its era. And the man whose hand was on the throttle was its manager, John Laurie. I knew of John through my brother John - they were running buddies at the same high school and we were friendly competitors when I ran CD Exchange ("into the ground" as John would say).

Shortly after I left the Chicago era, Laurie left the store and its collapse was soon to follow. John decided to open up a new record store in the Lincoln Village area of Chicago and called it appropriately Laurie's Planet of Sound.

Earlier this year, I found the store, reacquainted with John, and found this album in their bin of Christmas music. Click on the link to see what I mean - heads up, most of those albums are LONG gone (darn it!) Still sealed in its original shrink wrap, this was in pristine condition and it was $4.

I wish I knew more about the Chicago Swedish Glee Club. It did have a website that I looked at several months ago but it seems that's been taken down. I would love to know more about the year it was recorded, what studio did they record it in, etc..

In any case, you're in for a treat. Side one is chock full of Swedish Christmas carols sung to the hilt by the fellows in the glee club. Side two is American Christmas carols and one gleeish version of "It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas"!

The Chicago Swedish Glee Club - Songs At Christmas

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