The 2008 playlist:
1.) 2008 intro
Yes Rico, ka-boom! With so much to tell, I had to edit my usual opening pastiche. Featuring Brave Combo on "Jingle Bells". To read the article I mentioned in the intro, click here.
2.) The Phil Harris / Alice Faye Show - Jack Benny as Santa Claus
Phil's radio daughters ask Santa his age... can you guess what Jack responded?
3.) Port Authority of the U.S. Navy Band - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
You can get much more 1970s than this amazing rendition from a Navy band no less!
4.) Irwin The Disco Duck & The Wibble Wabble Singers & Orchestra - Donde Esta Santa Claus
The worst Christmas disco song off the worst Christmas disco album of all time. Click on the link and read the disclaimer at the bottom.
5.) The Big Sound / Christmas Greetings - Jerry Lewis
The Big Sound marketed themselves to radio stations in the early 1960s with big name celebrities announcing the time, informing you how many shopping days left on the calendar, and Christmas Greetings.
6.) Molly Bee - Willy Claus (Little Son Of Santa Claus)
Our friend Ernie shared this one about one year ago - this song got stuck in my head for nearly a week. Molly was 13 years old when she recorded this in 1952 - she's 69 now and has her own MySpace page.
7.) Fred Travalena - Son Of Santa
A master impressionist who wrote and sang an original Christmas album (read my review here). This song features some impressions of DeNiro, Pesci, and The Rat Pack.
8.) Sammy Davis Jr - Alka Seltzer Christmas commercial
Back in 1979, Sammy was the spokesman for Alka-Seltzer - whatever happened to Speedy? The audio is from a TV commercial - stay tuned...
9.) Jimmy McGriff - The Christmas Song (TONAL Remix)
We lost McGriff earlier this year and this track is dedicated to his memory. His Christmas album got a rave review from me - surprised?
10.) Marah - Holly Jolly Christmas
In the 24 years I've been creating these Christmas tapes / CDs, I have never used this song - not a big Burl Ives fan. When I reviewed this album earlier this year, their version leapt from the speakers and never let go.
11.) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - Salute to the Christmas spirit (12-16-68)
Dick Martin died earlier this year and since he didn't record any Christmas songs that I know of, I featured him with some repartee with his longtime partner Dan Rowan.
12.) Basil Rathbone - The Christmas Spirit
The Alcoa Hour first broadcast this television special in 1956 - Columbia released a soundtrack, it was finally released on CD in 2006, and I reviewed in early 2007. You normally don't associate the man who played Sherlock Holmes with Christmas but Basil does a remarkable job as a singing Scrooge.
13.) Phil Moore & The Phil Moore Four - Chincy Old Scrooge
My friend Martin Johns sent me an all-vinyl comp that yielded many gems - one of which was this 1953 R&B word jazz story of Scrooge. Tiny Tim said it best: God bless Stubby, one and all.
14.) The Ed Sullivan Show - George Carlin Christmas appearance, 1966
Love him or hate him, Carlin always spoke the truth and his death earlier this year leaves us with no one worthy enough to fill his shoes.
15.) Casey MacGill - Egg Nog
Wonderful little ditty honoring the festive holiday drink. Appropriate followup to Carlin's rant on eggnog.
16.) The Fabulous Fay McKay - ''12 Daze'' Of Christmas
It was an immense privilege to speak with Fay about her Christmas album. When she died earlier this year, a friend of Fay's family chose my blog to announce her death. We'll miss you Fay.
17.) The World According To Garp - Debate over holiday glass eyes
The woman in this audio clip from the movie is Glenn Close in one of her earliest film roles. She played Robin Williams' mother!
18.) The Klaudt Indian Family - White Christmas
I was surprised to hear this great organ solo on this album - it fits in with the audio clip that precedes it.
19.) Marlin L. Ryan - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
I thought I had heard Christmas music on every conceivable instrument - kazoos, ukeleles, carillon bells, rubber bands, power tools, etc. Then this record came along with a factory steam whistle...
20.) The Bob Hope Pepsodent Show - Jerry Colonna describes Santa coming down his chimney
Colonna was Hope's sidekick for the better part of 30+ years. This clip from one of Hope's radio show just worked perfectly with...
21.) Jerry Colonna - Too Fat For The Chimney
"AHhhhh yes!" Colonna's singing hasn't been rated a weapon of mass destruction yet. If that happens, I'm doomed.
22.) Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra - Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town
No, not me. This album is extraordinary and I'm happy to have it in my collection. Yours too, I bet.
23.) Stan Freberg - Excerpt from "The Night Before Christmas"
Uncle Stan prepares the kiddies for bed (with some help from yours truly).
24.) Stan Freberg - Green Chri$tma$
You passed it on the way in... in case you missed it, here's a link to my appreciation of this masterpiece celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
25.) Brad Paisley - Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday
How does one follow "Green Chri$tma$"? With a satire on political correctness from the Christmas album of Paisley's that does a bang-up job even Uncle Stan would be proud of.
26.) John Lennon (w Yoko Ono) - Happy New Year from John
A quick clip from a Japanese radio show that Yoko appeared on in which John called into to say "Happy New Year".
27.) Noelani & Leo Nahenahe Singers - Auld Lang Syne
I couldn't find a Japanese version of this song so I used Hawaiian instead. It almost worked...
28.) The Big Sound / Christmas Greetings - New Year's Eve production with Mitzi Gaynor & Steve Allen
Producers of this album edited together dozens of celebs for this track; "Hi, this is Bobby Darin", "Hi, this is Gogi Grant", etc. to wish all the listeners a Happy New Year.
29.) Contra Costa Health Services - The Flu Song (PSA)
"Wash your hands, wash your hands, flu season is here..." I'll never think of "Jingle Bells" the same way in a public restroom.
30.) Martinn - Brave Bells Of Scotland
Take the versions of "Jingle Bells" by Crosby & The Andrew Sisters and Frank Sinatra, speed them up, speed them down, add some bagpipes, and even a little Janis Joplin, and you'll get this. Bravo Martinn, bravo!
31.) Mojochronic - Yuletide Zeppelin
Who would have thunk that Led Zeppelin and Christmas music would sound damn good? Mojo did and the end result is nothing short of spectacular. Pure genius Mojo!
32.) 2008 playlist rundown
I give the playlist very much like what I just typed out...
33.) Crew of Apollo 8 (w Ormandy / Philadelphia Orch / Mormon Tabernacle Choir) - Silent Night
I originally mixed these two for my 1993 Christmas tape - the 25th anniversary of Apollo 8's Christmas Eve broadcast from moon orbit. I unearthed this (ooooo I kill me) for the 40th anniversary this year.
34.) Outro - short version
I edited down the long version of the outro (see 2000-2002) to 47 seconds.
Please leave your comments at the study guide page - please remember, none of these comps will be posted here in their entirety or made available online or off.