Christmas Portrait

Catalogue Number: A&M SP-4726; 394 726 2 (W. Germany)
Date of Release: 10/13/78
Chart Position- U.S.: #145
Album Singles: “Christmas Song”/”Merry Christmas, Darling”
Medium: Vinyl/Cassette/8-track/CD (West Germany/U.S. “Special Edition”, Japan,
U.S. Christmas Collection, Disc 1)

Track Listing:

1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel*** :28 (P.D. Arrg. & Adapted by Richard Carpenter)
2. Overture*: 4:38
 – a. Deck The Halls (With Boughs Of Holly) / (P.D. Trad French Carol)
 – b. I Saw Three Ships (P.D. Trad Welsh Carol)
 – c. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane)
 – d. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (P.D. Trad English Carol)
 – e. Away In A Manger (Luther’s Cradle Hymn) / (P.D. Luther/Mueller/Spilman)
 – f. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) / (P.D. Will C. Dix)
 – g. Carol Of The Bells (P.D. Trad Ukranian Carol)
 – h. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) / (P.D. English version: Oakeley/Wade/Reai)
3. The Christmas Waltz* 2:15 (Cahn/Styne)
4. Sleigh Ride** 2:39 (Parish/Anderson)
5. It’s Christmas Time/Sleep Well, Little Children* 2:53(Young/Stilman/Bergman/Klatzkin)
6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas** 3:55 (Martin/Blane)
7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town* 1:05 (Giliespie/Coots)
8. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)** 3:39 (Torme/Wells)
9. Silent Night* 3:19 (P.D. Orig. Music by Franz Gruber, Arrg. & Adapted by Peter Knight)
10. Jingle Bells* 1:10 (P.D. Orig Music: James Pierpont, Arrg. & Adapted by Peter Knight)
11. The First Snowfall/Let It Snow (Medley)* 3:35 (Webster/Burke) & (Cahn/Styne)
12. Carol Of The Bells* 1:39 (P.D. Trad Ukranian Carol, Arrg. & Adapted by Richard Carpenter)
13. Merry Christmas Darling+*** 3:05 (Pooler/Carpenter)
14. I’ll Be Home For Christmas** 3:48 (Gannon/Kent/Ram)
15. Christ Is Born* 3:13 (Charles/Bartolucci)
16. Medley**: 5:31
 – a. Winter Wonderland” (Smith/Bernard)
 – b. Silver Bells” (Livingston/Evans)
 – c. White Christmas” (Berlin)
17. Ave Maria* 2:35 (P.D. Original Music: Johann Sebastian Bach, Adapted by Charles Gounod, This arrg & adaptation by Peter Knight)


Produced by Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer Karen Carpenter
Lead Vocals: Karen Carpenter and Richard Carpenter
Arranged by Peter Knight*, Billy May**, and Richard Carpenter***
Keyboards: Pete Jolly and Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt and Cubby O’Brien
Guitars: Bob Bain, Tony Peluso and Tommy Tedesco
Harp: Gayle Levant and Dorothy Remsen
Oboe: Earl Dumler and John Ellis
Tenor Sax: Bob Messenger
Vocals: The Tom Bahler Chorale and Karen & Richard Carpenter
Engineered by Ray Gerhardt, Roger Young and Dave Iveland
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman
+”Merry Christmas Darling” Produced by Jack Daugherty
Special Thanks to: Ed Sulzer
Personal Management: Jerry Weintraub / Management Three
Art Direction & Design: Tim Bryant / Gribbit
Illustration: Robert Tenenbaum

© 1978 A&M Records, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Carpenters’ entry into the Christmas records market was a big one. Released a year after PASSAGE, CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT was an immediate seasonal favorite, that only built its reputation over time. Every year, the album would appear in the Christmas racks, and every year it seems to grow in stature. The reason has to be Karen’s enthusiasm. She thoroughly enjoyed Christmas music and really put her heart and soul into the efforts on this album, and it shows.

When it came time to release the album on CD, Richard and A&M elected to beef it up as an extended “SPECIAL EDITION” by combining elements of AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS, resulting in a hybrid of the two. PolyGram in West Germany however mysteriously released the original CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT on CD for a time, making those now highly sought after. Meanwhile, a decade went by before A&M released a remixed version of the original album, but to date never the original mix.

Original promotional ad for this album:

Billboard Christmas Portrait Promo Advert Dec 23 1978