The Blind Boys of Alabama are a gospel music group from Alabama that first formed at the Talledega School for the Deaf and Blind in 1939. Although the Blind Boys of Alabama have been singing gospel music for more than five decades, it's only recently that the group has had the benefit of a major record company behind them. The founding members were Clarence Fountain, Johnny Fields, George Scott, Ollice Thomas, and Vel Trayler. The current group consists of Eric McKinney, Billy Bowers, Jimmy Carter, Joey Williams, and Donald Dillion.
Christmas Celebration is a compilation album by Mannheim Steamroller. It is the group's seventh Christmas album overall. The album was released in 2004 on CD and DVD by American Gramaphone to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the group's first Christmas album. The album features eighteen Christmas songs in progressive rock and Renaissance styles, and includes two new tracks: "Celebration" and a vocal version of the previously released "Traditions of Christmas".
Amazingly, Darlene Love, a superb vocalist, hasn't had much of a track record as a solo singer, at least not in terms of hits. Love was a founding member of The Blossoms in 1957. They did several sessions and were resident singers on the television show Shindig. Love sang lead vocals on " He's A Rebel," which was credited to The Crystals, and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," which was issued as Bob B.
Happy Holidays was Rauan Klassnik and Wayne Water. Rauan Klassnik was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His first book of poems, Holy Land, was published in April 2008. He currently lives in Mexico.
Keola Beamer (b. Keolamaikalani Breckenridge Beamer) is a master of Hawaiian slack key guitar playing. The composer of "Honolulu City Lights," one of Hawaii's top selling songs of all time, Beamer was one of the first to blend traditional Hawaiian chants and instruments with contemporary influences. Representing the fifth generation of musicians in his family, Beamer traces his roots back to King Kamehemeha and Queen Ahiakumai, 15th century rulers of Hawaii.
Kurt Bestor is an American composer, arranger, and performer. He was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and raised in Orem, Utah. His grandfather played trumpet in Tommy Dorsey's band and his great uncle played trombone in Jack Benny's band. Kurt Bestor has released over a dozen CDs including several Christmas CDs.
Mannheim Steamroller actually began as an alias for record producer/composer Chip Davis. Before the fame of Steamroller, Davis had been best known for creating the country music character "C.W. McCall" (of "Convoy" fame) for his friend Bill Fries.
The Joy of Christmas features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein conducting. It is the only Christmas album ever recorded by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Richard P. Condie directed the choir.