John Denver & The Muppets A Christmas Together

Louise Gold featured as a Muppet Performer providing background vocals, recorded in London in 1979

Catalogue number: (RCA Records, LP) AFL1-3451, (RCA Records, Cassette) AFK1-3451, (Laserlight, 1996, Cassette) 72 761, (Music Club, 1990, CD) MCCDX007, (Laserlight Digital, 1996 CD) 12 761, (Laserlight, 1998 CD) 12 761, (Laserlight 2001 CD) 12 761, (Laserlight Digital 2002, CD) 12 761, (Laserlight Limited Edition, 2006, CD) 32 831

 

Cast

Cast (Muppet)

Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and, Animal - Frank Oz

Robin, Floyd, and, Lew Zealand - Jerry Nelson

Scooter, Janice, Staler, and, Beaker - Richard Hunt

The Great Gonzo, Zoot, Beauregard, and, Dr Bunsen Honeydew - Dave Goelz

Kermit The Frog, Waldorf, and, Dr Teeth - Jim Henson

Also featuring The Muppet Performers- Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, and, Steve Whitmire

 

†††† Soloís In The Twelve Days Of Christmas

†††† 1. John Denver - John Denver

†††† 2. Fozzie Bear - Frank Oz

†††† 3. Gonzo - Dave Goelz

†††† 4. Robin - Jerry Nelson

†††† 5. Miss Piggy - Frank Oz

†††† 6. Scooter - Richard Hunt

†††† 7. Lew Zealand - Jerry Nelson

†††† 8. Rowlf - Jim Henson

†††† 9. Bunsen and Beaker - Dave Goelz and Richard Hunt

†††† 10. Stadler and Waldof - Richard Hunt and Jim Henson

†††† 11. Beauregaurd - Dave Goelz

††† 12. Kermit The Frog - Jim Henson

 

Musicians

 Vocals, 6 & 12-string guitars - John Denver

Drums, and, Percussion - Hal Blaine

Electric & Acoustic Guitars, and, Dobro - James Burton

Bass - Emory Gordy Jr

Keyboards - Glen D Hardin

Reeds - Jim Horn

Banjo, Electric & Acoustic Guitars - Herb Pederson

Acoustic Guitar - Denny Brooks

Mandolin, and, Harmonica - Danny Wheetman

 

Production Team

 Produced by - Milton Okun

Concept by - Jim Henson, and, John Denver

Tracks arranged by - Hal Blaine, James Burton, Emory Gordy Jr, Glen D Hardin, Jim Horn, Herb Pederson, Denny Brooks, Danny Wheetman, and, John Denver

Orchestral arrangements - Lee Holdridge

Vocal arrangements & conductor - Ray Charles

Art Direction - Michael K Frith

Photography - Nancy Moran, and, Donal Holway

Special Thanks to (ďfor tea and gleeĒ) - Calista Hendrickson, Kathryn Mullen, Martin Baker, Anne Gayler, and, Barney Wyckoff

Recording Engineer - Ed Barton

 

Track Listing

Note: ĎCastí in the listing below refers to the Muppet cast above.

 

CD: Music Club (1990) MCCDX007, Laserlight Digital (1996) & Laserlight Limited Edition (2006) 32 831, Laserlight (1998), and probably also Laserlight Digital 2001.

 

1. The Twelve Days Of Christmas - John and The Cast (John Denver and The Cast)

2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - John and Rowlf (John Denver and Jim Henson)

3. The Peace Carol - John, Scooter, and the cast (John Denver, Richard Hunt, and, The Cast (definitely includes Dave Goelz and probably includes the rest of The Eight)

4. Christmas Is Coming - Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Scooter, and, Robin (Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and, Jerry Nelson)

5. A Baby Just Like You - John (John Denver)

6. Deck The Halls - The cast (The Cast (includes: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen, probably includes Steve Whitmire))

7. When The River Meets The Sea - John, Robin, and the cast (John Denver, Jerry Nelson, and The Cast (not sure if it includes all of The Eight, but possibly)

8. Little St Nick - Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem (Jim Henson with Richard Hunt, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, and, Dave Goelz)

9. Noel: Christmas Eve 1913 - John (John Denver)

10. The Christmas Wish - Kermit The Frog (Jim Henson)

11. Medley

†††† Alfie: The Christmas Tree - John (John Denver)

†††† Carol For A Christmas Tree - The cast (The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

†††† Itís In Every One Of Us - John and the cast (John Denver and The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

12. Silent Night, Holy Night - John and The cast (John Denver and The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas - John, Miss Piggy, Animal, The Great Gonzo, Kermit, and, Floyd and the cast (John Denver, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson, with Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen)

 

CD: Laserlight Digital (2002) 12 761

 

1. The Twelve Days Of Christmas - John and The Cast (John Denver and The Cast)

2. The Peace Carol - John, Scooter, and the cast (John Denver, Richard Hunt, and, The Cast (definitely includes Dave Goelz and probably includes the rest of The Eight)

3. Christmas Is Coming - Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Scooter, and, Robin (Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and, Jerry Nelson)

4. A Baby Just Like You - John (John Denver)

5. Deck The Halls - The cast (The Cast (includes: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen, probably includes Steve Whitmire))

6. Noel: Christmas Eve 1913 - John (John Denver)

7. The Christmas Wish - Kermit The Frog (Jim Henson)

8. Medley

†††† Alfie: The Christmas Tree - John (John Denver)

†††† Carol For A Christmas Tree - The cast (The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

†††† Itís In Every One Of Us - John and the cast (John Denver and The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

9. Silent Night, Holy Night - John and The cast (John Denver and The Cast (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen))

10. We Wish You A Merry Christmas - John, Miss Piggy, Animal, The Great Gonzo, Kermit, and, Floyd and the cast (John Denver, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson, with Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen)

 

 

The Cassette (Laserlight, 1996) 72 671 and the LP (RCA Records)AFL1-3451, follow the same listing as the CD (Music Club, 1990) MCCDX007, with tracks 1 to 7 on Side A, and tracks 8 to 13 on Side B.Cassette (RCA Records) AFK1-3451 also follows this listing, but some of the tracks (notably: Silent Night, and,. We Wish You A Merry Christmas) have cuts made to the actual tracks to shorten them.

This album, John Denver & The Muppets A Christmas Together, was actually made in England the year before the TV special of the same name was made in America. Although the TV show and the album were similar, they were not exactly the same, some of the arrangements of the songs were varied, and a number of additional performers brought in to do the TV show. Also, because the TV show was made in the United States, one important Muppet singing talent featured on the album was not involved with the TV show, namely the British performer Louise Gold.

All of the cast, and, musicians, and ten of the tracks from the album have since found their way onto the compilations Christmas For Kids, and, John Denver Christmas.

Three tracks from the album, using all of the cast, were released on a 45rpm single John Denver & The Muppets Merry Christmas 45RPM, which was also produced by Milton Okun.

The album features the eight main puppeteers from The Muppet Show, which John Denver had been a guest star on; And on which Calista Hendrickson, Michael K. Frith, Ray Charles, and, Martin Baker also worked.

TheMuppet Show Eight (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen)ís singing talents are also to be found on the albums Favorite Songs From Jim Hensonís Muppets (which includes another version of When The River Meets The Sea), Put Some Zing In Your Spring, Muppet Hits 1 , Muppet Hits 2, Muppet Music Sampler, Muppet Music Mix (although Louise Gold seems to be uncredited) and Music Mayhem And More (although Jerry Nelson, Louise Gold and Kathryn Mullen seem to be uncredited)

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen also star on Muppet Show Music Album which Ray Charles was also involved with.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen allpuppeteered on The Great Muppet Caper ( on which Calista Hendrickson, Martin Baker, and, Michael K Frith also worked); The Eight also sang on The Great Muppet Caper film soundtrack album, which Michael K Frith was also involved in producing.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen all puppeteered on The Muppets Go To The Movies, on which Calista Hendrickson also worked.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, and Louise Gold are also featured on: The Muppet Show Music Hall, The Muppet Show 2, For What Itís Worth, and Jim Henson Presents Silly Songs, they also appeared on The Royal Variety Performance (1977).

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen puppeteered on The Dark Crystal, for which Jerry Nelson did some voice-work, and on which Martin Baker also worked.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, and, Kathryn Mullen puppeteered on Labyrinth.

Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, and, Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer on The Muppet Christmas Carol, and, Muppet Treasure Island, on both of which Martin Baker, and, Michael K Frith also worked.

Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, and Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer on Sesame Street (in the early 1990s).

Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, and, Steve Whitmire went on to sing on The Muppet Christmas Carol (Soundtrack album). They also went on to contribute to the documentary I Love The Muppets.

Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt and Louise Gold went on to sing on Born To Add.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and, Louise Gold went on to sing on Elmoís Lowdown Hoedown.

Jim Henson, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Kathryn Mullen appeared in The All Time Get Around Sometimes Play Together Every Other Friday Night Vaudeville Show.

Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold with an introduction by Jim Henson can also be heard on Jerome Kern The First 100 Years (although they are credited simply as ĎThe Muppetsí, rather than as individuals).

Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, and, Louise Gold went on to puppeteer on The Animal Show, on which Frank Oz did a guest puppeteering appearance.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and, Steve Whitmire puppeteered on Tale Of The Bunny Picnic, on which Martin G. Baker also worked.

Jerry Nelson, and, Dave Goelz (besides puppeteering on Fraggle Rock itself) went on to do voice-work on the UK Co-Production of Fraggle Rock, on which Louise Gold puppeteered.

Martin G Baker went on to be involved with the German Co-Production ofFraggle Rock, on which Louise Gold also puppeteered.

Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Kathy Mullen, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Steve Whitmire, and, Michael K. Frith went on to take part in Jim Hensonís Memorial Service (where Jerry Nelson, and, Louise Gold sang When The River Meets The Sea, and, Jerry Nelson and the other Muppeteers sang Itís In Every One Of Us).

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, and, Steve Whitmireís recording credits include A Green And Red Christmas. It is not clear whether the guitarist Denny Brooks was also the songwriter D Brooks credited on that album. However, interestingly Kermit (now performed by Steve Whitmire) sang Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Louise Gold, and, Richard Hunt went on to puppeteer on The Ghost Of Faffner Hall.

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, and, Louise Gold went on to puppeteer on The Secret Life Of Toys.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, and, Martin Baker all featured on the television documentary Of Muppets And Men.

Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and, Louise Goldís recording credits include The Countís Countdown, however there has been some debate as to whether Louise Gold actually sang on it.

Steve Whitmire probably puppeteered on ITVís 50 Greatest Shows.

A proportion of the proceeds from the sale of he 2001 issue of the album, Laserlight12 761, went to the charity Plant-It 2000, which has been founded by John Denver.

 

Review

by Emma Shane

This is one of those albums that will appeal to two groups of people, John Denver fans and Muppet fans alike.It starts off with a jolly Muppet version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas, sung amusingly by various Muppet characters. Another very funny number is Frank Oz (as Miss Piggy)ís version of Christmas Is Coming, accompanied by Dave Goelz, and those excellent muppet vocalists Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson.

The album covers a wide range of songs, some are just light hearted Christmas cheers such as the Muppet cast singing Deck The Halls, some are funny such as Electric Mayhem singing a bizarre rock number Little Saint Nick. Meanwhile others are very moving.

One of the most beautiful and touching numbers on the whole album is Jim Henson (as who else but Kermit) singing The Christmas Wish, it is a lovely song, not least because it really encompasses the spirit of love, peace, Christmas, puppets, The Muppets, Kermit, and Jim Henson! It doesnít matter what race creed or colour you belong to, if you believe in love and peace you can celebrate the season of goodwill with this song. A similar spirit of harmony is also echoed by John Denver and the cast in Itís In Every One Of Us.

I very much enjoyed this albums recording of Silent Night, Holy Night. Although Iím not usually that keen on the song (especially not in English) the Muppets sing it so beautifully, that I could not help but admire it. I particularly like it when they sung it in German, where the vocals seemed to be dominated particularly by two performers voices, one, a man, is probably Frank Oz, although it could be Dave Goelz; the other, is the beautiful, rich, strong, powerful voice of that doyenne of Muppet musical numbers, Louise Gold.

The album concludes with a song which has always been one of my favourite Christmas carols, it is another jolly song, and indeed another song where race creed and colour do not matter, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, sung by the entire cast, with some very Muppet twists. All in all a fun, and sometimes moving album, quite suitable for playing in the background at Christmas time.

 

Critics Comments

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Links about John Denver & The Muppets A Christmas Together

 Muppet Wiki page for this album: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/A_Christmas_Together

Plant-It 2000ís website (now known as Plant-It 2020): http://www.plantit2020.org/

 

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