The Wonderland Singers And Accompaniment "Spooky Halloween" (Wonderland Records, LP-293, 1974)
In 1974 this collection was issued as "Halloween Songs That Tickle Your Funny Bone" through Michael Brent Productions (part of their children's educational aid series), and apparently it was commercially viable enough that Wonderland records decided to license it for general release that same year. The material was written by professional songwriters Ruth Roberts & Bill Katz ("Meet the Mets", the official tune of the New York Mets since 1963, numbers among their many accomplishments) along with Gene Piller, but the reissue's new cover design found the credits changed to highlight the "Wonderland Singers and Accompaniment". In the transition process Wonderland also dropped the "how-to" insert explaining the potential use of the songs in a classroom setting, then gave the album a somewhat altered running order which (due to the intro sound effect sequence being moved from "A Halloween Song" to "There Is A Haunted House In Town") created a few slightly different edits.
Clearly aimed at a very young audience, you'll find no real sense of menace or fright here at all -- but there's still a weird kind of sideways appeal. Personally I can remember that when I got my copy as a kid I was initially excited by the scary sounding intro, only to find myself wincing almost immediately once the friendly and well trained chorus of voices began to sing about the simple joys of Halloween. "I won't be playing this very often", I smirked. But for whatever reason -- The comforting nature of the singers? The CleverSimplicity of the lyrics? The bizarre alternate universe the settings of the songs seemed to inhabit? -- I did end up playing it often, and snippets from puh-LENTY of these numbers still get stuck in my head to this very day.
Well played, Roberts, Katz & Piller. Well played.
By the way, Michael Brent Productions is still going strong today and you can get the original sequencing of these songs on a CD (complete with a lyric book) here, along with lots of other great kids collections. Check it on out!