Thursday, July 13, 2006
There hasn't been a rush of children's Christmas albums this summer. So I decided to unveil this little pink gem. This is our second album that we're offering as part of FaLaLaLaLa's Christmas In July celebration.
This album comes from the good folks at Kid Stuff Records, a label that sprouted up back around 1982 and released strictly kiddie fare for a full two years then prompty disappeared. Strawberry Shortcake, The Care Bears, Masters Of The Universe, and the like weren't good enough for these hardy fellows.
They soon began released kiddie records based on video games as well: Missle Command, Asteroids, Yars Revenge, and Pac-Man (whose Christmas album I did share late last year over at FaLaLaLaLa.com).
Does anyone know more about Kid Stuff Records? Was it another name or separate branch for Peter Pan Records? How about that label that released all those Caroleer Singers albums back in the day?
I don't particularly like kiddie Christmas albums. I never had them growing up at Christmas time and until last year, I never understood the fascination with them.
At a Christmas party last year, a friend came up to me who received my annual Christmas compilation and began talking about Christmas music in general. He distinctly remembered all the Firestone albums that his mother would play repeatedly at Christmas time and wanted me to locate some of them for him. I reminded him there were around 22 volumes of the Firestone albums but he didn't care.
"To me, that's Christmas." he stated matter of factly.
And there lies the secret of Christmas music. Many of your most intimate, favorite Christmas memories are forever interlinked with the Christmas music you remember as a child. That's why kiddie records like A Merry Monster Christmas and A Cabbage Patch Christmas remain for some as the most precious Christmas music of all time.
This album was released in 1981, a year after the untimely death of Peter Sellers (the original Inspector Clouseau - sorry Steve Martin; you plain sucked in that remake) and one year removed from the end of the long-running Pink Panther animated series that this album is based on.
It follows the Kid Stuff formula to a tee: play a song, tell part of a story, repeat. Listen for yourselves:
A Pink Panther Christmas
I must admit that the first song (the title track) DID rattle around in my brain after hearing it. It took me several hours to get the tune out of my head... maybe my attitude towards kiddie Christmas albums is softening...
On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...