The latest Christmas album from eclectic musician Chip Davis's Mannheim Steamroller group, to be called "A Fresh Aire Christmas," will be a gold record as soon as it is shipped to stores in October. Advance orders exceed 500,000 copies - a first for any holiday album.
The 12-cut album on the American Gramaphone label features musicians from the Chicago Symphony, the Eastman School of Music and England's Cambridge Singers under director John Rutter, backing Mannheim Steamroller.A nationwide advertising blitz will include a $125,000 music video of "A Little Drummer Boy," using fantasy, animation and real ballet dancers in Santa's workshop.
The first holiday album, "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas," has sold more than 1 million copies since its 1984 release. It reached No. 2 on Billboard magazine's 1987 holiday album charts.