Welcome to 1956, where Kruschev denounces Stalin–but USSR tops the Melbourne Olympics; where Montgomery faces a bus boycott–but we re-like Ike; and Elvis begins his own Ascension.
Granted, it was a year where the biggest selling single (Doris Day’s ‘Que Sera, Sera’) was still more grownup thrown up than the runners up (Elvis and Fats Domino). So don’t let’s give up on middle of the road musical fool-de-rol.
Dave King sings “Christmas and You” like the second coming of Bing. The strings are weepy, the percussion tinkly, the backup mush mouthed. Eyes half closed, lips parted, heart unmoved.
I hate to say it, but Harry Lillis Crosby Jr. is STILL making Christmas classics like “I Heard the Bells.” It ain’t novelty, but it is history. You’re right, i should not have included that.
Harry Belafonte helps us escape the conservative crud for Christ music with his down-home/island plain-spoken canticle “Mary’s Boy Child.”
But let’s get back to our ’56 schmaltz, already in progress. Here’s an amazing record on a postcard from Ford Motors, featuring Rosemary Clooney sending up ‘Jingle Bells’ with a jingle that smells.