Fum, Fum, Fum: Cactus Jim and The Wranglers

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10 Comments on “Fum, Fum, Fum: Cactus Jim and The Wranglers”

  1. Birgit Says:

    I don’t think I ever heard this lovely acappella song before and the result of a quick web search surprised me: a traditional Catalan Christmas carol originated in the 16th or 17th century (fum as strumming of a stringed musical instrument) on a 1960 country soaked record “Western Christmas”.

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      I really enjoy posting a wide variety of Christmas music.

      I don’t know how it happened but I became a fan of western music, particularly western swing. This appears, as you found, on Western Christmas, one of two different western Christmas records I have, the other being Western Swing. I thought this one as wonderful and as unexpected as you did. Thanks for looking up the meaning of the Fum.

  2. Mark Anderson Says:

    Dear Kat,

    Wow – who could imagine! A Western swing version of the Catalan song that was arranged by Alice Parker (one of my favorite arrangers) for the Robert Shaw Chorale. It is still a favorite in school and university Christmas programs – usually not done so well. My favorite though was a version recorded by the Dartmouth College Glee Club back in the 50s. That record has somehow disappeared from my collection.
    Here’s a link to the Shaw chorus, though:

    • Mark Anderson Says:

      The link brought up the wrong one – but you can scroll to it – sorry!

    • Kat Says:

      Mark,
      The link above did bring me to the correct song which sounds so very different than Cactus Jim and the boys. The Robert Shaw Chorale has more majesty while Cactus Jim’s is far simpler.

      Until I heard Jim and the boys I hadn’t ever heard the song before. I like their simple sound.

      • Mark Anderson Says:

        Yes, I agree. They are both using Parker’s arrangement, but the smaller group makes for an excellent clarity that a large chorus cannot match – no matter how well trained.
        It’s like listening to the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus and then hearing it done by a small baroque choir of 8-12 voices. I’ll go with the smaller group (if they are good) most every time.

    • Birgit Says:

      Mark,
      as you mentioned Parker & Shaw, I just noticed we sang their Drunken Sailor-arrangement. Never thought that it wasn’t by Barbershop arrangers. It’s a great arrangement. Our old 2004 video is even on YouTube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH0QpCrhY5k

  3. Kat Says:

    Mark,
    This one was quite the most pleasant surprise.


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