I first heard “Stop The Cavalry” by the Cory Band (with the Gwalia Singers) in 1981 on Larry Nelson’s show. He used to play it a lot and sometimes even on a hot summer day. The song really is not a Christmas song, but anti-war. But, in the lyrics a soldier is singing “wish I was at home for Christmas”. The song became very popular in the Pacific NW. I am not sure how Larry got his copy, I think from a friend who heard it in London. I loved the recording and over the years there may have been as many as 20 stations that played the song. Most stations getting a dub from someone at another station.
I really wanted a copy, but it turns out it was as rare as hen’s teeth. I did a bunch of research and found the company that owned the copyright. As a matter of fact, the same company issued the song a year earlier by the actual composer, Jona Lewie (John Lewis). The following year Jona (apparently) wanted the Cory Band to record it. They were an award winning brass band from Wales.
I was able to contact “Stiff Records” the owner of the copyright and asked about licensing the recording in 1997. They agreed. Two days later, I received a phone call from them informing me they could not find the session tape. Ultimately, it had been bulk erased and the tape was used to record a punk band, which Stiff Records was noted for. They told me I would have to find a vinyl copy to transfer and use as a master. I had a Seattle contact who happened to know of someone owning a copy and they graciously agreed to loan me the disc to do a transfer to DAT. The disc was not mint, but still usable. I had some primitive restoration done on it to improve the quality and had 1,000 copies pressed. They sold out in three weeks. Eventually, on Ebay I located two mint copies and chose the best of the two to transfer to cd this time and another company did a superb job of making a digital master. I sold 13,000 copies in the NW until I retired two years ago from having more pressed. Now, for your Christmas enjoyment, here is Stop The Cavalry.
Mr. Music Man