Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card: The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings

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Real Gone's 2015 compilation Jimmy Dean's Christmas Card: The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings combines Dean's 1965 LP Christmas Card and adds a 1957 single ("Little Sandy Sleighfoot"/"When They Ring the Golden Bells") and the 1964 single version of "Yes, Patricia, There Is a Santa Claus," a song which was recut for the 1965 LP. Naturally, the focus is on Christmas Card, which is a nicely warm and lush '60s production -- lots of strings, but they never overwhelm Dean's amiable presence. Certainly, there's a fair amount of country corn here -- the near recitation of "My Christmas Room," where Jimmy longs for a sanctuary where the spirit of the season lives year-long -- layers on the honey and finds its match in "The Cowboy's Prayer," while elsewhere there are children's choirs. This unabashed down-home show biz, however, turns the record into something of a charming little artifact: it's not perfect, but it evokes its era as vividly as it does its season.

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