Lew White’s Christmas Carol
While rummaging for Christmas organ music, John Apple came across this little gem of “A Christmas Carol.” Originally a four-disc set from 1941, he found it on an LP reissue. I had not heard this side of Lew White; he played a Hammond with the golden voice of Ernest Chappell narrating. There are plenty of other voices, and this is the best radio version of the Dickens classic I have ever heard. It is great to hear the organ used for accompaniment and played by a master. When this was released, no one expected the event of December 7, 1941. In light of our current events, how spooky is this for us today.
Be sure to read the notes for the video to read the cast list. Here’s a review also from that page. From November 16, 1941, in The Washington Post:
Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is done up in an attractive four-disc Victor album which means you can have the famous Yuletide without reading it. Ernest Chappell who has been associated with the annual radio broadcast of the carol for several years, adapted and produced the piece for the records. He also narrates it with the help of a score of actors and musicians. It is all done with the utmost sympathy for the Christmas spirit, with the appropriate exception of the part of Scrooge who is played most villainously by Eustace Wyatt. Lew White supplements traditional Christmas tunes with original music, and plays it all on the organ. The album, G-29, is listed at $3.50.