You could call this a Memory Lane test. Who remembers these songs? Well actually, You don’t have to be an old timer to recall some of them. But even with all the holiday music on the radio, most of these don’t seem to get air play.
1. In 1952 Jimmy Boyd was 13 years old when he recorded “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” This heart-grabbing song rose to number 1 on America’s hit parade charts. He died at age 70 in 2009.
2. Spike Jones and his City Slicker Band was well known for their outrageous sound effects in a string of hits 60 or 70 years ago. “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” was also a number 1 hit in 1948. The voice on the song was George Rook. Jones passed on at age 53 in 1965.
3. Tom Lehrer was a Harvard-trained mathematician and one of the country’s top parody performers in the 1950s and ’60s, producing nearly a dozen record albums. “A Christmas Carol,” heard here, was from the 1959 LP “An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.”
4. “Snoopy’s Christmas” released in 1967, was the third of four Royal Guardsmen pop songs about the famed cartoon character. The Florida-based group was another of the dozens that formed during the famed British invasion rage of the mid-’60s.
5. Weird Al Yankovic has sold over 12 million record albums since “Christmas at Ground Zero” came from his fourth album “Polka Party” in 1986.
6. Singer, songwriter, producer Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (under the name David Seville) created the rapid, high-pitched voices of The Chipmunks. “Christmas Don’t be Late,” one of several record/film/TV productions, scored high on BIllboard in 1958, then again during Christmas seasons in the early ’60s. There are very few people who don’t recall this one. Bagdasarian died in 1972 (age 52), but for many years his son reprised his father’s success.
7. Bob Rivers was a long-time Seattle deejay whose near endless Twisted Tunes productions got national attention, particularly “Walkin’ Round in Women’s Underwear.” His “Twisted Christmas” album was RIAA certified gold. His last on-air show Bob, Spike and Joe was last heard on KJR-FM in August 2014.
8. In 1949 “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas” was a top-ten hit. Tacoma-born Harry Skarbo, longtime singer, comedian and songwriter, got a lot of laughs in the Pacific Northwest with his comically exaggerated Swede Yogi Yorgessen. You might still hear this played at local Christmas parties. Skarbo died at the young age of 48 in 1956.
Each of the eight songs featured here was edited to fit time constraints. (>Running Time 5:12)
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