This time of year, the music of Ray Conniff is ubiquitous on the radio and in the malls, with its patented stereophonic chorus and bright backing. He made a number of Christmas albums, two of which were big hits: “Christmas with Conniff” in 1959 and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in 1962.
“The Ray Conniff Orchestra and Singers epitomized the lounge-singing style of the 1950’s and 60’s with a mix of wordless vocal choruses and light orchestral accompaniment,” The New York Times wrote after his death in 2002.
The reason I bring this up is because Conniff was actually born in Attleboro in November 1916. He played trombone in the AHS band and returned to the city in 1994 for the big tricentennial celebration. Just last year, Attleboro posthumously dedicated the century-old bandstand in Capron Park to Conniff.
Personally, I can’t stand Ray Conniff’s music, which is sort of disappointing since he’s from my hometown. (Give me Vince Guaraldi any day.) But I’m always glad to celebrate a local boy who made good, so here’s a sample of the Conniff singers doing their thing on TV back in the day: