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'Yule Log' Christmas Tradition Continues


'The Yule Log'

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- A Christmas tradition celebrating its 40th anniversary, "The Yule Log" is a famous film loop of a burning log in a hearth that has mesmerized viewers since it first premiered on New York City's WPIX-TV in 1966.

"The Yule Log" has always served as a holiday card to New York viewers on Christmas Day, and this year it will be paired with "The WPIX Yule Log: A Log's Life." The historical special, produced by WPIX, traces the history of 'The Log,' including the first filming at Gracie Mansion in 1966.

"A Log's Life" also contains interviews with Mitch Thrower, the son of 'The Log's' creator Fred Thrower; Ellen Stern, author of "Gracie Mansion: A Celebration of New York City's Mayoral Residence"; Thomas Vinciguerra, The New York Times contributor who has extensively researched 'The Log'; Joe Malzone, the creator of the fan site www.theyulelog.com.

As a result of its many years of broadcast on TV, the quality of the video and audio of "The Yule Log" had begun to degrade so WPIX decided to restore "The Yule Log." In 2001, the original 35mm 'Yule Log' film was found in the station's New Jersey archives where it was misfiled in a "Honeymooners" film can titled "A Dog's Life" (hence the title of the anniversary special, "A Log's Life").[/ i]

At that time, the original film was color corrected and cleaned of scratches. In 2003, 'The Log' was up-converted to High De finition and WPIX now airs a simultaneous HDTV 'Yule Log' on WPIX-DT. In 2005, WPIX made "The Yule Log" available to viewers as a downloadable podcast. In 2006, Lawrence 'Chip' Arcuri and Joe Malzone, the creator of theyulelog.com, restored the audio of "The Yule Log" for WPIX.

The restoration process took several months. The restoration involved extensive research to correctly establish the original sequence of the music tracks. This also required the digital remastering of a number of songs to be pulled from their original vinyl records. Since many of the songs in "The Yule Log" have never been released on CD (out of 70 selections on the program, 34 are currently out-of-print, and of that 34, 12 have never been in print on CD).

In addition, a vast amount of production work was required to exactly duplicate the timing and pace of the original program. With 'The Log' now digitally re-mastered, "The Yule Log" has been fully restored in time to celebrate its 40th birthday.

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