Wade Denning & Kay Lande "Halloween: Games, Songs and Stories" (Golden Records, LP-242, 1969)
Hands down this was my most played Halloween record as a little kid. My family can all still sing the title track (which rather brilliantly spells out "H-A-LL-O-W-EE-N" to the tune of Saint-Saëns' "Dance Macabre" (or "Danse Macabre" if you prefer). Listen to it once and you'll never forget it), and it's no real exaggeration to say that I nearly played "Guess What I Am?" 'til the grooves were bald.
Wade Denning's career in spooky records (primarily through Pickwick) has been fairly well documented on Scar Stuff before (click here, here & here for more info), and he's joined on this album by Kay Lande who had a pretty long running career with kids records herself (she and Denning had also worked together before on "ABC, 1-2-3: Counting Rhymes, Alphabet Songs, Riddles and Tongue Twisters" for MGM Records in 1966). The overall vibe here is pretty playful, upbeat and active (the original pressing was aimed at educators and came with a booklet outlining the games described in the songs), but there's also an undercurrent of creepiness that seems more tied in to childhood to me than with many Halloween records. By that I guess I mean that a lot of times the vignettes that are being told in this genre revolve around adults, and as a kid you had to visualize them more abstractly (6 year olds aren't likely to be driving around picking up hitchhikers for example), but on this record there are stories much more related to the age group they're being directed at; a child takes a shortcut through the woods on the way back from Trick-or-Treating and encounters a spook, there's an eerie telling of the James Whitcomb Riley classic Little Orphan Annie poem, and so on. Of course I don't know if that's the sole reason why this album clicked in my tiny head (I think I also just liked the '60's surf beat on a lot of the songs), but at the age of 5 it certainly all worked for me and (perhaps not so surprisingly) it really still does.
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Direct YouTube link
Psst! Visit the official Golden Records Facebook Page for a free download of the "Halloween" MP3! It's a "Limited Time Only" type deal so act fast!