Collectors' Choice Music will definitely get something good in their stockings thanks to this compilation of classic Christmas melodies circa the 1940s. More than two-dozen vintage seasonal songs are gathered on 2004's A Merry 1940s Christmas, many made available for the first time on compact disc. The ageless nature of these entries has ensured that most have been passed from generation to generation. Titles such as "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (Jerry Wayne), "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Frank Sinatra), "Winter Wonderland" (Buddy Clark), "White Christmas" (Charlie Spivak), and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (Gene Autry) will be familiar to kids of all ages. Conversely, "Merry American Christmas" (Kate Smith), "Jingle Bell Polka" (Modernaires), "Ol' Saint Nicholas" (Doris Day), "Little Jack Frost Get Lost" (Frankie Carle), and "When You Trim Your Christmas Tree" (Les Brown) might be best remembered by those who lived through the World War II era. While primarily a secular anthology, there are a few notable sacred selections, including a medley of "The First Noel" with "Angels from the Realms of Glory" (Richard Keys Biggs), as well as "Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)" (Lyn Murray Singers) and "Ave Maria" (Hour of Charm All Girl Orchestra and Choir). The sound quality is striking in its richness, especially as these recordings are over a half century old, making A Merry 1940s Christmas recommended for all interested parties.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer