THE AUDIO RESTORATION OF THE WPIX YULE LOG

 

We have restored the WPIX Yule Log audio soundtrack to the “classic” 3-hour program that aired in various forms for a total of 22 years from 1973 until 1989, and then again from 2001 to 2005. The original Yule Log soundtrack that aired from 1966 through 1972 consisted of fewer musical artists, but multiple songs by those same artists. It also included songs that were not in keeping with the standard that was set in 1973, when the musical content of the program was revamped and improved. This revised program that premiered in 1973 was more eclectic, had a much better balance between vocals and instrumentals, and was a superior blend because of the new artists and songs that were added to the bulk of the great program that already existed. It is this definitive program that aired for the duration, and consequently the majority, of the Yule Log’s run on WPIX-TV. It is also the version that the great majority of people today are familiar with.

As a result of its many years of broadcast on WPIX-TV, the quality of the program (both video and audio) had degraded considerably. In addition, since it had been shown in various forms and lengths over the years, the soundtrack had become quite edited, and as a result, seriously compromised. Therefore, our 2006 audio restoration is the perfect accompaniment to the video restoration that was previously done in 2001 by WPIX.

The restoration was a long and tedious process that took us many hours of numerous days over several months to complete. It involved extensive research to correctly establish the original sequence of the six half-hour tracks, as well as all the songs within those tracks; the digital re-mastering of a number of songs that had to be pulled from their original vinyl records as they have never been previously released on CD (out of 70 selections on the program, 34 are currently out-of-print, and out of that 34, 12 have never been in print on CD and are quite rare); and a prodigious amount of production work -- especially the segueing of the songs that took painstaking attention to detail in order to exactly duplicate the timing and pace that the original program had.

In this audio restoration of the “classic” 3-hour program, all the missing songs (a total of 18 in all) have been added back into the program, and the six half-hour tracks, and all the songs within those tracks, have been arranged in their original order. This was done based on a consensus of various video and audio tapings of the program from the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, all the songs that previously had always been aired in an abridged form (a total of 8 in all) are now presented in their entirety in this restored program. There was extra time in the program for this as a result of eliminating the old practice of interrupting the music every half-hour for station ID breaks. There was even time for two bonus songs that were never included in the “classic” 3-hour version of the program that began airing in 1973: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by the Living Strings (from a medley that had always been cut) and “The Christmas Tree” by David Rose (a song that aired prior to the advent of the 1973 “classic” program).

It is by virtue of this anniversary year audio restoration, that now, for the first time in 40 years, all the songs are presented uncut, unedited, and digitally re-mastered. The WPIX Yule Log has been faithfully restored to its former glory and splendor in time to celebrate its 40th birthday.

As for us, truly we tell you that this project was in every sense of the word a labor of unbridled love, and it was the distinct honor and pleasure of our lives that our restored Yule Log presentation premiered here in New York on WPIX-TV, December 25, 2006, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

 


THE WPIX YULE LOG 40th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
"The WPIX Yule Log: A Log’s Life"

Also in 2006, WPIX aired a 60-minute special commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Yule Log. Joe and I went to WPIX-TV in New York on July 12, 2006, to film the special, and most importantly, to present the station with our restored Yule Log program of the “classic” 3-hour broadcast – which we had just recently completed. On this special, Joe appeared on camera, and among other things, very graciously spoke of me, my record collection (which was the source of the music for the restoration), and my knowledge of Christmas music. He also spoke about the website and the write-in campaign that he started in 2001 to get the program reinstated.

More details about the restoration can be found in my first edition of Chip's Tips and the Yule Log Message Board.
If you have any questions regarding the restoration, I will be more than happy to answer them there, or you can email me directly via the link at the bottom right of the website homepage.

Well folks, all I can say in closing is WE DID IT and we hope you and all the millions of people across the country truly enjoyed our restored Yule Log program and will do so for years to come!


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster of The Yule Log.com

 

***Update: In 2009 I added a new fourth hour to the Yule Log telecast. For details, Click Here.***