Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Novelty Christmas

Two weeks ago, I purchased this CD from eBay and promised a review when it arrived at my home.

When I first saw this on eBay, I thought this might have been a homemade compilation someone put together and was selling on the side.

But with songs such as "Santa Got A Sunburn" and "All I Want From Santa Is A Girl From Atlanta", it looked very promising.

The CD arrived yesterday and I discovered this wasn't printed off someone's computer.

TRACK REVIEWS:

Track 1 - "White Christmas (3 O'Clock Weather Report)" by the Sicknicks. Not only was the group mislabeled (it was actually Senator Bobby who had a Top 40 hit with "Wild Thing" earlier that year), the sound quality was not great - an obvious 45 rpm to MP3 transfer.

Tracks 2 & 3 - Things improved with the break-in record "Santa Under Analysis (Pts 1 & 2)" by Chris Clay. Break-in records were popularized by Dickie Goodman and Clay does a fun job doing his best trying to analyze Santa using 1950s and 1960s pop records ("Welcome to analysis Santa... INSERT the Big Bopper singing "Hellooooo baby!").

Track 4 - "It's Another Joyful Elvis Presley Christmas" by the Serious Brothers tells the story of a family who can't get through Christmas without their Elvis blenders, velvet paintings, you get the idea.

Track 5 - The Stompers "Stomping Around The Christmas Tree" was a disappointment due to its bad sound quality (the right speaker kept going quiet).

Track 6 - "Stick 'Em Up Santa" by Bobby Salvatore. Here's the classic "cute kid" singing (more like threatening) track. Seems Bobby has all his cowboy gear on and won't let Santa in the house unless he gets everything on his list! A pretty funny track!

Track 7 - "I Should Have Left The Lights On For Santa" is credited to Mona Savant. At least they got the first name right. This is Mona Abboud - the same person who gave you the Christmas classic "The Pretty Little Dolly" off the Dr. Demento album "Holidays In Dementia".

Track 8 - "Santa Got A Sunburn" by The Barefoot Man. "Brought his gifts across the ocean... but forgot his suntan lotion!" This track scorched me (no pun intended).

Track 9 - Amos & Andy had their own radio show from 1928 to 1960 and their annual Christmas episode featured Amos explaining to his daughter Arabella "The Lord's Prayer". This was taken from a Amos & Andy TV show DVD.

Track 10 - "Ya Dis Ist Ein Christmas Tree" by Mel Blanc deserves better than what is offered here. The musical intro is edited and the sound plain sucks. Better versions of this song are easily found on other compilations

Track 11 - Dora Bryan - the British Carol Channing - sings "All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle". This was released in the UK at Christmastime of 1963. The sound quality suffers here too.

Track 12 - "The White House Christmas Party" by Nick Nack & Patty Wack is quite a unique break-in record (see track 1). This records uses nothing but Christmas songs for their break-ins ("The First Lady is singing to each arriving guest... INSERT Karen Carpenter singing "Merry Christmas Darling"). By the third minute however... Next!

Track 13 - The Ravens' "Silent Night" is a long lost R&B record, not novelty, and it's featured here... A very nice change of pace!

Track 14 - "White Christmas" by the Four Lovers. I can't classify this tune... It's either electric bluegrass, rockabilly R&B, or 1950s garage rock / doo-wop. It's got a distinct style and fun to listen to!

Track 15 - Sherwin Linton's "Santa's Got A D.W.I." is a fun song but if you want a better sounding version, check out Rhino Records "Bummed Out Christmas".

Track 16 - "All I Want From Santa Is A Girl From Atlanta" by Skin Tight. This song has a definite mid-1980s sound. The song reminds me of Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." with some Huey Lewis & The News mixed in. I'm betting this one never got past the Georgia border.

Track 17 - Mad Milo's "Elvis For Christmas". Yet another 1950s break-in record. This one has Mad Milo asking people on the street why they want ELVISSSSS for Christmas (any time Milo says Elvis' name, he cranks the reverb!). The non-Elvis songs used for the break-ins are obscure (just like this track itself) and it gets pretty messy and bizarre!

Track 18 - "Santa Looks Just Like My Daddy" is another Christmas gem from Little Barry Gordon. From the same kid who brought you "Nuttin' For Christmas", "Zoomah the Santa Claus From Mars", and "I Like Christmas, I Like It I Like It".

Track 19 - Jimmy Allen & Tony Bartella - "When Santa Comes Over The Brooklyn Bridge". This is a wonderful song with the early 1960s pop sound but my only complaint is there's no Brooklyn accents to be found here! Sounds like two Midwest guys singing about a New York landmark!

Track 20 - "Santa Jaws" by the Homemade Theatre was released for Christmas 1975 (the same year "Jaws" was released). They mix "Twas The Night Before Christmas" with an encounter on the beach... Truly inexplicable.

Track 21 - Bill & Shaken's "Woodolf The Petrified Red-Nosed Reindeer" is very much sung in the same vein as Homer & Jethro but after about 30 seconds, it gets real dull and unfunny.

Track 22 - "Zoot Zoot Zoot, Here Comes Santa In His New Space Suit" by Tiny Tim. I have been searching for this song for nearly four years and this was the main reason why I purchased the CD. What I didn't know was this was a DISCO tune... Expect to hear this one on my annual Christmas compilation at the end of the year!

Track 23 - The Geezinslaws sing "Lighten Up For Christmas". A very appropriate song around Christmas and taken from their Christmas single... I'm still looking for the B-side ("Santa Claus Is Coming To Town").

Track 24 - "I Want A Baby Brother For Christmas" is by Carolyn Bnikley and is another cutesy kiddie Christmas single (with lisps included). The title says all...

Track 25 - The Quackers - "Jolly Old Saint Nick". Cross the story telling style of Walter Brennan and his Christmas songs with Donald Duck... you get the idea!

Track 26 - "Surfin' Santa" by The Ramblers is an appropriate entry from the surf guitar / Beach Boys / era. With its Frankie & Annette type intro, this tune hangs ten!

Track 27 - Gary Segar's "The Christmas Equalization Act" is from December, 1983. He sounds like a long-winded Congressman introducing a bill on the House floor. I'm guessing this one's played at Christmas parties all over Washington, D.C. and everyone gets a great laugh. Anyone else who listens will scratch their head!

Track 28 - "Baby Sittin' Santa" - Barry Richards. Clearly inspired by "The Purple People Eater", this one features a baby cooing and gurgling as the story of Santa as baby-sitter is told. Sound quality is fair.

Track 29 - Diana Williams sings "Goodbye Bing, Elvis & Guy"... one of the most bizarre country tribute songs I've ever come across. Released at Christmastime of 1977, Diana write a letter to Santa, laments about being older, and the losses of Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and Guy Lombardo... what a way to end this CD!


Overall, this was a fantastic buy! Copies are out there on eBay and GEMM if you look hard enough!

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...


Capt

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