Stepping Back Into Christmas - Tire Review Magazine

Stepping Back Into Christmas

Among the various holiday cards and cool stuff we received over the recent holidays was a gem that brought back childhood memories – a Firestone Christmas album.

More properly, “Firestone Presents Your Christmas Favorites Volume 8,” the long awaited follow-up to Volume 7….which had been issued a mere 41 years ago. That’s right, in 1968.

Today, you can find complete collections of the original vinyl on eBay; there is even an online company that is offering CD copies of the originals (they promise no hisses or pops).

Some of you will remember the series, which started in 1962 and continued for seemingly forever (but it was just seven Christmases). Originally an extension of the popular Voice of Firestone series (the first album featured the Firestone Orchestra and Chorus), it evolved to include popular singers of the day, people like Julie Andrews, Vic Damone, James MacCracken, Gordon MacRae, Rise Stevens, Andre Previn and Jack Jones. I know…who?

No Beatles, Monkees, Grassroots or even Rolling Stones, but, hey, those were the times.

Amie MangolaThe newest installment, issued on CD quite quietly through Bridgestone Americas’ company-owned stores and a handful of select independents, gives us something a little more current, with Diana Krall, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Vince Gill, Vanessa Williams, Amy Grant, Patti LaBelle, Donna Summer, Donny Osmond and Elton John doing the classics.

And there is an original track by unknown artist Amie Mangola. Well, not that unknown; she is the daughter of former Am-Pac president and CEO Dennis Mangola, and is an aspiring country singer now based in Nashville.

According to Phil Pacsi, Bridgestone Americas’ vice president of consumer tire marketing, the company had been talking for the last few years about bringing the holiday record back, but never got anywhere. This year, almost by happenstance, they found the right producer and the whole thing was put together in about three weeks. “We felt like it was the right time to try it,” he said.

The CD’s cover is reminiscent of the originals, with a big golden wrapping bow on a red/white background. Licensing the music proved easier than anticipated, and thousands of CDs were shipped out to company stores for sale.

Pacsi told me that they are still pulling together sales numbers and comments from the stores, but the overall take seemed positive. Proceeds from sales of the disc went to Meals on Wheels.

Pacsi said the holiday CD is part of Bridgestone’s renewed focus on the Firestone brand.

As for Volume 9…or beyond? “We’re looking at it,” Pacsi said. “We’ll see how well this one was received.”

Keeping with the times, Pacsi said the company may look at making the disc available for online download.

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