Jolly joyful music has now become codified as novelty nuttiness. Ho ho ho.
In terms of stright comedy, this year Tom Lehrer recorded his “Christmas Carol” both live and in studio. Once more, a reminder, how much the 1950s shaped novelty Christmas music.
Unintended comedy sounds like “Wistful Willie” by Jimmy Rogers. This was a clear miss despite the jazz drums and upbeat story. The guy just couldn’t learn from Jimmy Dean’s Sandy Sleighfoot.
We find another over-orchestrated promo 45 from Line Materials (this time w/word-jazz narrator, Ken Nordine): “The Kinds of Christmas.” Do kids today get such manipulative messages for free?
Unfortunate comedy results from Russ Regan triying some more of the Chipmunks’ schtick with “Dancer, Prancer and Nervous” The Happy Reindeer Song. Wow, that’s bad.
By 1959 The Three Stooges have dwindled to Joe DeRita trying to look like ‘Curly’ Howard. But kids’ shows are big bucks. So it’s a wise guy renaissance. Their shorts are making the rounds, full-length movies and cartoons are just around the corner. Hence, novelty tracks like “Wreck the Halls.”
Despite the hit-and-miss laughs, i’ve got to highlight a country-swing-rock mix from reliable Johnny Horton. It ain’t what i’d call funny. But “They Shined Up Rudolph’s Nose” is fun for kids, twisting teens, alcoholic dads… durnitall, it’s jolly and joyful for one and all. That’s music!