07 December 2011

Mannheim Steamroller's "Deck the Halls"

Tonight's video selection is Mannheim Steamroller's "Deck the Halls."  Long before the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was capturing the imagination of audiences everywhere, Chip Davis was creating "18th Century Classical Rock" under the name of Mannheim Steamroller, using the funds he made from his single "Convoy" (released under the name C.W. McCall) and the subsequent movie inspired by that very popular single.  After being rejected by several record companies, Davis eventually formed his own label, American Gramaphone.   After continuing to be unsuccessful in record stores, Davis eventually found success as the "recording artist of choice" for stereo salesmen.  Davis' Fresh Aire series became very profitable and helped to establish the New Age music genre.

In 1984 Davis decided to try doing a Christmas album, which was a risky move at a time when Christmas music was not selling well.  His electronic version of "Deck the Halls" hit the Top 40, selling over 5 million copies in short order.  Not long afterwards Davis got together several friends to form Mannheim Steamroller into a band and began touring.  Twenty-seven years later, "Deck the Halls" is still a popular staple on the radio every Christmas.  To this day, I am hard-pressed to say whether I like Mannheim Steamroller or TSO better, but I've certainly been a fan of Mannheim longer.  Plus, it's hard to resist that cute little steamroller on all of their albums.

Source:  http://shop.mannheimsteamroller.com/content/About_Chip.htm

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