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Holly Jolly X'masu

Nov 11, 2021

Welcome to episode 33 of Holly Jolly X'masu! In this episode, I talk about Yujiro Ishihara’s 1966 album, “Xmas Carol.” It’s a fantastic vocal album that should appeal to any fans of Perry Como or Andy Williams.

Xmas Carol - 1966

Before finding the LP, I first came across the flexi-disc version, which was released at the same time. Due to some misinformation, at first I thought it was a double-LP, then a set of two 45’s. I finally found an extremely affordable copy of it online which showed the flexis. I wasn’t collecting flexi-discs at the time, so I passed. The copies I’ve found since then are a little more than I’m willing to spend.

After receiving and listening to the album, without knowing anything about Ishihara, I developed a picture of him in my mind of a Ricky Nelson type who transitioned from teen idol roles to similar family-friendly fare as he got older. I was really surprised to read about his long career in tough guy roles, and his Sinatra-esque reputation in the industry.

One disappointing aspect of my research was that I couldn’t find a lot about his actual singing career. Wikipedia was light on the details, providing little more than a few lists of his albums and singles. He apparently started out as a brash, rebellious sort, before settling into more of a crooner role. However, he did maintain his rough, onscreen persona throughout his acting career.

Thanks for listening, and I hope you appreciated Yujiro Ishihara as much as I do. Join me back here on the 18th when I discuss the 1965 album, “Christmas Guitar Beat,” by the surf rock band, The Lotus. Then tune in on the 25th for Satoru Oda’s splendid “Tenor in X’mas” from 1964.

As always, any feedback on this episode would be appreciated. If have any suggestions, or if you’d like to recommend a song or album for a future episode, drop me a line and let me know.

Remember, I've added a button to my Ko-fi page. If you'd like to support me one cup of coffee at a time, a donation is only $3. I’ve also opened a Redbubble store. I only have a couple designs up, but keep an eye on it as I’ll be trying to add more. Any proceeds or donations received will be put towards purchasing new Japanese Christmas music to review for future episodes. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And if you get a chance, leave me a review on iTunes. Thanks!