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Shoppers like sound of music

December 21, 1997

Shoppers like sound of music

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

Teenybopper sensation Hanson, veteran songstress Barbra Streisand and English band Chumbawamba are among the hottest-selling musical artists this holiday season, local retailers say.

As in previous years, compact disks, books and videos have been popular with this season's holiday shoppers, retailers say.

Hanson, a pop trio of young brothers from Tulsa, Okla., is cashing in on more than one those gift categories at local stores, according to retailers.

Hanson's new Christmas CD, "Snowed In," has been a strong seller at Wonder Book & Video at the Valley Plaza in Hagerstown, said salesman Chris Panico.

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"Snowed In," the group's debut CD, "Middle of Nowhere" and their video, "Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere," have been popular gift picks, especially with parents of pre-teenagers, said Beth Martin, a salesperson at Waxie Maxie's Record Shop in Hagerstown.

"Men in Black" has been another cross-category hit, with both the video and soundtrack CD selling well this season, Martin said.

Movie soundtracks and Christmas music always seem to do well during the holiday season, said Panico, who said he has sold a lot of copies of the Enya Christmas CD "Silent Night" this year.

CDs in general seem to be a little hotter gift item this year than in previous years, said Merv Freshman, manager of Wall to Wall Sound & Video at the Valley Mall.

Leading the pack in sales have been Celine Dion's newest CD, "Let's Talk About Love" and the new Chumbawamba CD "Tubthumper," Freshman said.

Other strong sellers in the past month have been Puff Daddy & the Family's "No Way Out;" "Yourself or Someone Like You," by Matchbox 20; Sugar Ray's &Floored;" "My Way," by Usher; "Reload," by Metallica; "Harlem World," by Mase; "Higher Ground," by Barbra Streisand; and Shania Twain's "Come On Over."

The fact the lineup includes several rock artists this year is interesting because rap and rhythm and blues have dominated the last few holiday seasons, Freshman said.

"Higher Ground" and Garth Brooks' new release, "Sevens," have been the most requested CDs at Books'N Things in the Longmeadow Shopping Center, said manager Linda Thompson.

Among the hottest sellers at local book stores have been "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," by John Berendt; "Cold Mountain," by Charles Frazier; "Wizard and Glass," by Stephen King; Lorrie Morgan's new biography "Forever Yours, Faithfully," with George Vecsey; and Princess Diana memory books, retailers said.

Other in-demand videos have included "George of the Jungle," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" and "Christmas Vacation," they said.

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