Time hop with Christmas music

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By: Allyson Holliday, Complex Copy-Cataloger

The W.S. Hoole Library has many different musical formats in its sound recordings collections. Considering that most freshman students at the University of Alabama were born around 1996 and don’t remember life before compact discs – how about a hop down memory lane through Christmas music featured on LPs, eight tracks, cassettes, and CDs? Plus– check out those hair styles!


Our LP player and Nat King Cole

Tucked away in the back corner of the reading room, Hoole has an audio-visual room including record, eight track, cassette, and CD players for the use of listening to our materials.

The record player is streaming the smooth sounds of Alabama’s own, Nat King Cole. He introduced “The Christmas Song” (Merry Christmas to You) in 1946 and it quickly emerged as one of America’s favorite Christmas songs of all time. This LP album cover is from 1963.

As technology advanced,  LP records were replaced with eight track tapes. Our funky yellow eight track tape player was donated by Wade Hall. Here we have a couple of treasures from 1964 – Merry Christmas by Brenda Lee, which features the immensely successful “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and Elvis Sings Songs of Christmas with the ever popular “Blue Christmas.”

8 tracks

Elvis, Elvis Sings Songs of Christmas and Brenda Lee, Merry Christmas, both from Wade Hall’s Eight Track Collection (PM.001)

Then it was out with the eight track tapes and in with the cassette tapes through the 1980s and early 1990s. But, by the mid-1990s, CDs began to end the reign of cassette tapes. Many old recordings were digitally re-mastered and released with the crystal clear sound of compact disc technology. For the traditionalists, we’ve got What a Wonderful Christmas by Louis Armstrong & Friends or Silver Bells of Christmas with Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney.

louie and bing

Louis Armstrong and Friends, What a wonderful Christmas, Wade Hall Sound Recording Collection, CDWH 16 and Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, Christmas Classics, Wade Hall Sound Recording Collection, CDWH 30

We even have the boy band craze of the late 1990s-early 2000s covered with N Sync’s Home for Christmas:

So, whatever your musical tastes or preferred format may be, Hoole Library has quite a selection to choose from. And wow – check out that those hairstyles through the years!

Happy Holidays from Hoole Library!

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