Yes, dear friends, it’s that time of year again! This year I’d like to start by rerunning a Christmas playlist I built back in 2017, when I shared novelty songs.
- Gayla Peevey, "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" I never get sick of this one, and the video is priceless, particularly where she starts marching around the stage. Gayla went on to get her degree in education and was a teacher for years, after which she started an advertising agency. She had a few records between 1953 (when this was recorded) and 1962, recording as Jamie Horton from 1959-1962.
- Allan Sherman, "The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas" My favorite recording artist until The Beatles arrived in 1964. He was never the same after that, but in the late fifties and early Sixties, he was the king of song parodies, like this one.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Christmas At Ground Zero" And speaking of the king of song parodies, the current holder of that title is "Weird Al" Yankovic. Here’s a cheery tune about celebrating Christmas after a nuclear war.
- Spike Jones and His City Slickers, "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" From Spike’s Christmas album, It’s A Spike Jones Christmas. That album has one of the most beautiful arrangements of "Silent Night" I’ve heard, showing that, for all the madness, Spike was a great musician.
- Ross Bagdasarian, "The Chipmunk Song" The genius behind Alvin and the Chipmunks with their signature song. Just about everyone knows the trick to Ross used to produce the voices of Simon, Theodore, and Alvin. A friend of mine recorded his version of The Beatles’ "A Day In The Life" that way.
- Cheech & Chong, "Santa Claus and His Old Lady" This was the first Cheech & Chong recording I heard, and right then I knew I wanted their album for Christmas. I ended up having to buy it for myself for my birthday three months later. Mom listened to it, and was not amused.
- Tom Lehrer, "A Christmas Carol" Math professor, musician, comedian and social commentator Tom Lehrer recorded this back in his heyday, the early Sixties, when he was a regular performer on the hit TV series That Was The Week That Was.
- Stan Freburg, "A Green Christmas" Stan was another great one for song parodies, as well as comedy bits like this one, which decried the commercialization of the Feast of the Nativity, all the way back in 1958.
- The Singing Dogs, "Jingle Bells" From Dr. Demento Presents The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD Of All Time. Barry Hansen, a/k/a Dr. Demento, had a weekly radio show where he presented novelty records for two hours and adding his commentary. The radio show is gone, but there’s still an online version you can hear on TuneIn.
- Elmo & Patsy, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" The Christmas novelty song everyone loves to hate. It’s been around for close to 40 years now.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 2, 2019.