I recently discovered a copy of this wonderful book, A Calendar of Hymns: 52—and One More—Hymns for the American Christian Year, compiled by Frederic Fox and published by Doubleday back in 1961. It included several gems as well as few new hymns that I wasn’t familiar with. The presentation was lovely, with brief introductions on the left and hymns on the right, and seemed well suited for family use. It turned out that there was a copy on Amazon for a few bucks—well worth it!
According to the brief biography opposite the title page, Mr. Fox was “a Congregational minister and one of the editors of the new Pilgrim Hymnal, published in 1958. He was served churches in Arizona, New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts, and has written feature stories for the New York Times Magazine on small-town life in America. For four and a half years, until January 1961, he served on President Eisenhower’s staff, where a part of his duties was to prepare the Proclamations for various days, months, and years.”
Fox (1917–1981) has a New York Times obit here and a Wiki entry here. Princeton keeps his papers here and wrote about him in some detail here. Princeton University President William G. Bowen described Fox as a “cross between a curator, a ringmaster, and a storyteller.”
Here’s the opening spread for December, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”: