A Holly Jolly Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is brought to you by Norelco shavers. Even our name says “Merry Christmas”!

I know I ran this last year, but it ain’t Christmas without Santa riding on the floating heads of the Noëlco shaver.

The Week That Was

Bought my Christmas gift the other day, a radio that picks up AM, FM, shortwave, weather, and air bands. No special reason, just thought I’d like to get back into world radio listening, and even though a lot of it is moving to the web, there’s still plenty to listen to, and the air band will bring back memories of the times an airline would play the tower communications over the inflight entertainment system. I know, I’m strange. (In case you’re wondering, Mary already has her gift, a rather detailed knitting book written in Norwegian. She can still read the charts, of which there are many.)

Programming note: this feature will not run next week. I’ll post something, of course, just not a summary of the week. And speaking of which…

I chose songs that honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who had a big part in Christmas. I told Arlee in a comment on his Battle of the Bands that, like most Catholics, I find it easier to relate to Mary and the saints, and leave the communication to God in their able hands. Arlee said his favorite Blessed Mother song is Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” It’s a favorite of mine, particularly Luciano Pavarotti’s version. He also does a wonderful rendition of the Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria.” Dan liked the “O Sanctissima” from The Bells of St. Mary’s, a particular favorite movie of mine, at Christmas or any time of the year, really. Birgit recommended a singer named Ivan Rebroff, who does a great version of the Bach-Gounod “Ave.”

And I heard from my Aunt Jinx, whose real name is Mary Virginia, who loved the choices and says she and Aunt Moe sing the Carey Landry tune on Christmas Eve


Alana ran a “happy birthday” post to the wonderful Brenda Lee, who celebrated her birthday last Sunday, and I liked the idea so much I made her my featured artist. She’s called “Little Miss Dynamite” because of this song.

The guy who posted the clip modified it so he could get the whole song in. Brenda is about sixteen here and already had a couple of hit records behind her, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “I’m Sorry.” Dan said his father had an 8-track tape of her he used to play in the car. Is it just me, or does country music just sound better on an 8-track?


I ran a line from a news story about a guy who lost his privilege of being represented by counsel when he kept stabbing his lawyers in the neck with a pencil. Actually, the third time it was a pen. Janie said that maybe she should quit regretting not going to law school. When you see stories like this, can you blame her? Linda liked the Aerowax commercial from the Fifties I included at the end, and says she remembers it even though it was a long time ago. I remember it ran during the game shows back in the day. I’m sure you can still find floor wax, but I think the world is moving more to no-wax floors. Vinyl requires a lot less care than linoleum, I guess.


We have a tight battle running with the song “Yellow River,” in which both contestants (The Tremeloes and Christie) are using the same instrumental track, so if you haven’t voted, you have until Wednesday night. I’ll publish the results this coming Thursday. I already have my January 1 song chosen, one appropriate for the start of a new year.

The prompt was to share a favorite quote, so I shared my favorite line from the original The Producers. Annalisa (who just moved her blog to WordPress, so be sure and visit her at her new address) wondered if she could use the line on agents. I know I would, though I don’t think it works as well if you’re pitching a TV or movie script. Eugenia, Ally, Janie, and Joey all shared their favorite quotes, so be sure and check them out.

I played your choices of songs with “yellow” in the title, including “Yellow Bird,” which I had to do or, as my brother Kip said, I would be in trouble with my aunts who sang it ad nauseum in the Sixties. I shared a video of The Mills Brothers doing “Basin Street Blues” with Dan to demonstrate their amazing abilities to sound like a horn section, and I found the French version of “Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” that Joey said is a favorite of hers.


No idea where Linda got the idea of using “moot” as the prompt for the day, but she did. It made me think of the cartoon character Snappy Sammy Smoot from the underground comix back in the Sixties and Seventies. Like I told Joey a minute ago, it sounds like a cartoon character from the Twenties, kind of like Moot Mullins. (Yes, I know it’s Moon Mullins. I remember the cartoon well. I read it every Sunday when I was a kid, and every day when I started reading the Tribune on the commute to work. Never figured it out. Same with Gasoline Alley, which started running in the Tribune in 1918, meaning it’s almost a hundred years old.) “Moot” means “irrelevant” or “of no consequence,” although many of us (me included) got tripped up by the other definition, which means “arguable.” Anyway, it gave me a chance to talk about my days in debate, when I learned “you idiot” was not an appropriate thing to say to an opponent, no matter how idiotic their argument was.

This coming week, look for my review of The Reporter Who Knew Too Much, my favorite Christmas songs, another chanteuse, another one-liner, a couple of replies to prompts… you know, the usual stuff. See you soon!

13 thoughts on “A Holly Jolly Week That Was

  1. Thanks for showcasing the wonderfully eccentric Ivan and having a listen to him. Brenda Lee is dynamite for sure and this scene looks like it comes from the Danny Thomas show. I love that commercial and wish SANTA on this shaver came back


    1. I looked it up; it was a Danny Thomas show from 1961, meaning she was 16 when the show was filmed.

      I think if you ask anyone who was around in the Sixties, they’d remember Santa on the shaver. I tried to find one with the choir singing “Floating heads, floating heads” to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” because that’s the one I remember, but no luck. Considering it first came out in the Sixties, the animation on that is great. Stop-action animation had been perfected long before (see “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) but this was exceptionally smooth.


  2. Thanks for the mention. The calendar says it’s the holidays, but our weather is anything but festive. Wet & gray, no snow. Guess I’d better kick back & watch Christmas movies to get in the spirit!


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