Ray Conniff was a bandleader and arranger who had a Top 10 hit in 1966 with “Somewhere My Love,” from the movie Doctor Zhivago. He is best known for “The Ray Conniff Singers,” who released three Christmas albums.
The Singers rendition of “Jingle Bells” is notable because it features not only the rarely-heard second verse, but also a third, possibly written by Conniff.
Today, this tune is dismissed as a kitschy novelty song, but it was actually an experiment from the early days of tape recording. Recording engineer Carl Weisman would routinely have his birdsong recordings ruined by barking dogs, so he spliced the barks together, tweaked their speed and pitch, and made music with them. This is before the advent of modern editing equipment, so it took some effort. Jingle Bells was not Mr. Weisman’s first effort, but certainly the best-remembered one.