Behold a Star: Ozzy Osbourne

Now it devolves into comedic parody.

John Michael Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath through the ’70s, soloed in the ’80s, and with a little help from savvy spouse Sharon branded in the ’90s. He is a punchline for his mush mouthed mumbling, an icon for his fearless geeking onstage, and a Hall of Famer for what his presence did to metal.

So of course Bob Rivers gots to has some of dat. “Have Yourself an Ozzy Little Christmas” is straight-faced and sweet as blood orange pudding.

Behold a Star: Wham!

Wham! was the Top of the Pops sensation created by members Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael. They helped shape the whispery androgyny of the ’80s pop music scene, even if they flamed out quickly.

The Boy Least Likely To chronicles their struggle with fame in “George and Andrew” (no, it IS a Christmas song). This is sung in the style of Wham! (pastiche) but it’s totally a shout out to these boys. Happy Holidays!

Behold a Star: Harry Nilsson

And this song is why i chose this theme this month.

Harry Nilsson was on my young man music radar from the kids’ movie ‘The Point’ and i probably heard ‘Me and My Arrow’ as a personal inner soundtrack throughout my teens. Sure he wrote for the Monkees and Three Dog Night, created the tune for the opening of ‘Courtship of Eddie’s Father’ and most of the songs for the Robin Williams’s ‘Popeye’ movie, and won a Grammy for the love theme for ‘Midnight Cowboy.’ But it wasn’t until SFO Dave hipped me to his cult-like underappreciated 1970s albums that i realized this guy’s an actual artist. (And a carouser, i guess.)

Todd McHatton was also inspired enough to write “A Christmas Song for Harry Nilsson.” So you’re cool by association, Todd. Thanks.

Behold a Star: Johnny Cash

J.R. Cash grew up in the Great Depression and his hard living helped inform country music of today. All the morass of tragedy and heartbreak in CW songs from the ’60s on come largely from his trembling hound dog sorrowful baritone. All 90 million albums.

Jamie Cooper warbles and warps previous Cash songs to mash up “Merry Christmas to You (How the Spirit of Johnny Cash Helped Santa).” It’s a barn burner of a mess and i slowed down to watch it all. (Is there some Bob Dylan in there too–or Cash’s take on Dylan?!

Behold a Star: Bob Dylan

Robert Zimmerman is a Grammy, Pulitzer, Nobel prize winner with more awards than hit songs. He has a pass for everything he’s tried and failed at since 1972 (DO NOT attempt to listen to his Christmas album) because he was cool once upon a time and captured the spirit of disenfranchisement of the Boomers.

Shaun McCrindle sings the true story of a holiday sighting with “Bob Dylan’s in a Joke Shop” with laconic folk rocking. Appropriate.

Adam J Taylor honors Bob Dylan with “Sexy Bob Dylan Christmas,” conjuring a feeling for this time of year that is important, activist, and sexy. Well, that’s what he says. I find the song earnest and odd in equal measures.

Behold a Star: Ringo Starr

Richard Starkey might be the fifth Beatle, a Skiffle player who replaced Pete Best. But boyhowdee did he stand out from the other mop tops. Not handsome or smart or even plain, Ringo was the talking dog of The Beatles. Girls wanted to keep him under the bed and take him out and play with him.

Christine Hunter gets silly with song references in “Santa Bring Me Ringo.” I think she means it.

Three Blonde Mice don’t have quite the quickened vocals as The Chipmunks, but dig that twist/bosa nova beat/sax. Overall, however, “Ringo Bells” is just painful.

Gary Ferrier applied Canadian élan to pop rock to celebrate “Ringo Deer.” That’s right, one of Santa’s fliers (probably Cupid) with a Beatles’ haircut. Check this 1964 fan piece out.

Behold a Star: The Beatles

The Beatles are the #1 highest-certified music artists in the United States based on album certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their reign from 1960 to 1970 can not be overstated. So, whatever.

Dora Bryan might seem to borrow a couple chords from ‘Hippopotamus,’ but “All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle” is so annoying i’ll call it all-original.

Behold a Star: Elvis Presley

I don’t believe Elvis Aaron Presley needs introduction.

Christmas songs ABOUT Elvis get a corner here:

The Christmas Pranksters belabor “The First No-Elvis” to remind the kids of the King.

Bob Rivers snarks one in with a Binging “There’s a Santa Who Looks a Lot Like Elvis.” That’s where he went!

More contemporaneously are the dedications to Elvis:

Mad Milo twerks the DJ comedy (just like Buchanan & Goodman) sampling rock singles in a mock interview bit “Elvis for Xmas.” I guess this comedy stuff is not as easy as it looks.

Eddie Cochran and the Holly Twins twist and shout “I Want Elvis for Christmas.” (Blog repeat!)

Several other torch singers oopeedoo “I Want to Spend Christmas with Elvis” including Little Lambsie Penn, Debbie Dabney (or is that Marlene Paula? Yeah, Paula’s her stage name!), and the updated Stella Jones and some other unnamed coconspirator.

Michele Cody gets sad and lonely (and creepy) with “Merry Christmas Elvis.” This nine-year-old is terminal and praying to sing with dead Elvis in heaven. (Although she does more talking than singing.) Eeek!

Behold a Star: Bo Diddley

Ellas Otha Bates created a signature ‘hambone’ rhythm that was more than blues and generations wailed on it until rock and roll was born. Bob Diddley today might refer to that five-accent infectious dance syncopation.

As it does when The Tractors go to town with “Bo Diddley Santa Claus.” I see you toe tapping under your desk.

Behold a Star: Eddie Fisher

Here’s one of those categories that gives you a peek into my methodoise la démence. I have a couple songs that are dedicated to the great songsters of novelty Christmas music. These are so meta-quirky that i’ve already included some in my previous posts. But as a micro-sub-genre these are not easy to find… ‘Let’s Sing Merry Christmas to Gene Autry!’–as a song? As if! But i’ve tracked down (at great expense to my psyche) nearly a monthful, both stalker-weird and ironic-iconic fan pieces for or about.  Also, look for famous folk beside chanteuses and chanteurs to be celebrated celebs in Christmas songs. Finally, fictional characters get seasons greetings, too (I’m looking at you R2D2). They’ll help pad out the month.

And certainly there is some fun to be had with ‘What if Eminem Did Jingle Bells?’ and the like. But i’ll save those pastiches for another month.

[Sorry–i simply must avoid the political spectrum. Governmental Christmas parodies are shockingly short-lived even if momentarily hilarious (thank you, Capitol Steps, but ‘Happy Holidays, Sarah Palin’ is so over).]

Thus, here is a rerun from a year and a half ago: Betty Johnson with “I Want Eddie Fisher for Christmas.”

Fisher wasn’t just the guy that dumped Debbie Reynolds to become Mr. Elizabeth Taylor V. He wasn’t just Princess Leia’s dad. He was a scream-worthy teen idol between Sinatra and Elvis (and landed a couple cool carols in the ’50s). His only big chart hit was “Sunrise, Sunset” in 1960, after which he supposedly became hideously deformed and disappeared from public view.

One more time–Spike Jones and his Orchestra go all out with Linda Strangis and a cool spoken intro for his “I Want Eddie Fisher for Christmas.” It’s awkward and adorable: you know what that means.