James Leo Oliver | A Marshall Celebration... Wanting Christ for Christmas

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A Marshall Celebration... Wanting Christ for Christmas

by James Leo Oliver

We live in a society where Christmas has become for many a secular holiday. The Knights of Columbus promote a “Keep Christ in Christmas” campaign each year as a reminder that at Christmas we honor the birth of Jesus Christ. A Marshall Celebration…Wanting Christ for Christmas is the title of a CD of all original seasonal songs by James Leo Oliver. Song titles that reinforce the message are “You Don’t Want To Miss This Christmas”, “Christmas Came Just The Same”, “Born In Bethlehem” and “It’s Christmas Eve”.
Genre: Holiday: Easy Listening
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Candy Cane Lane
3:06 $0.99
2. Christmas Cards
2:05 $0.99
3. You Don't Want to Miss This Christmas
2:56 $0.99
4. On Christmas Day
1:52 $0.99
5. Momma's Christmas
2:34 $0.99
6. Ho-Ho-Ho Song
2:02 $0.99
7. Christmas Came Just the Same
3:05 $0.99
8. Selfish Elf
2:42 $0.99
9. (Love Is) All I Want for Christmas
2:14 $0.99
10. Ready or Not (Santa Mix)
2:49 $0.99
11. Mrs. Claus
2:03 $0.99
12. Born in Bethlehem
2:13 $0.99
13. It's Christmas Eve
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Produced by Jim Oliver. Recorded at Brayton Productions and J.E.M.CAST Studios. Greg Brayton: harmony vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards. Tom Haupt: piano. Justin Spates: electric guitar. Andy Bommarito: bass. Bob Armstrong: guitar & harp. Bill Wentworth: sax. Eric Burtrum: trumpet. Joe Young: keyboards. Tom Scharsmith: drums. Cliff Babcock: guitar. Jack Minear: keyboards & guitars. Jim Oliver: vocals. Drums by Drums On Demand. Scott Buttrick & Mary Tinsley Young: photography. Jeanette Dyer: design. In holiday memory of Scott Harnden.

Oliver began recording one Christmas song per year back in 1991 with his friend Greg Brayton at his studio in Coldwater. They would get together every November at Brayton and Sons Productions. Brayton played all the instruments and Oliver did the vocals. Some years they would organize Christmas song projects with other artists and release compilation albums. During those years the number of holiday songs written and recorded would increase dramatically. In January of 2013, Oliver began a seasonal CD project with songwriting partner Tom Haupt to be recorded at Brayton’s studio. The goal was twelve Christmas songs written and recorded in twelve months.

In February, Tom and Jim contacted Greg and recorded with the first song. The last was completed in December and the year was over. Seven songs in twelve months.

The next song didn’t see the light of day until March of 2014. Finally, “Angel In The Snow” (another Oliver solo piece) was recorded May 23, 2014. Four songs in five months. Eleven songs total.

“Angel In The Snow” was to be the last song of any genre to be recorded by Jim Oliver and Greg Brayton after 23 years of recording music together. Greg Brayton, as they say, had been battling cancer. He had battled cancer all of his life. Blind since birth by a cancer that had robbed him of his eyes, Greg lost a 12 year battle with a new cancer when it finally took his body on June 18, 2014. He was fifty-eight.

Oliver had written the twelfth song entitled “Christ The King”. He had nowhere to record it and nobody to record it with. Brayton had asked Oliver before he died to sell all of his recording studio equipment on behalf of his widow, Sally. Oliver agreed. After Greg passed away, Jim met with Sally and began to inventory and dismantle Greg’s studio.
Oliver had built a studio in the basement of his Battle Creek house in 1986. That home had been purchased a few years ago by his friend and former band mate Jack Minear. As the equipment was being sold in the fall of 2014, Jack was contacted and agreed to buy all of Brayton’s microphones, recording counsel, digital files and mixing board.

Oliver began recording Christ The King with Minear’s expertise and even gave him a co-writing credit for his contribution to the song. One last song in six months. Twelve songs total. “It’s Christmas Time” was the thirteenth song on the album. This song is copyright secured by James Leo Oliver & Gregory Lee Brayton. It was on the CD to honor Greg’s huge contribution to the project.

This is the third in a series of four, thirteen song, fully produced and already recorded albums of Christmas music written and performed by James Leo Oliver with a number of co-writers and musicians most notably Thomas Haupt and Gregory Lee Brayton.



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