Christmas Countdown: 1944

World War II raises its head, perhaps ironically, for the mashup of spoken, rebroadcast, and NewAge noodling that is Family Friend’s “Christmas, 1944.” Whut?

No-No Boy handcrafts historical plaints as songs. “Where the Sand Creek Meets the Arkansas River” at first seems to address the genocide of First Nationers, but the lines about a small marker: There is a date marked Christmas Day, 1944 and not even a name, Just Matsuda Baby point us in the direction of Japanese-American internment camps. Heavy duty folk.

Christmas Countdown: 1948

1948, Xmas eve, with a full moon over town,Stagger Leeshot Billy DeLions, according to The Grateful Dead. See, the way i heared it, was back in 1895… but never you mind. It’s the song that goes along. American funk rock. (P.S. it keep hearing 1940, but tells me otherwise.)

Ben Hammer’s “1948 Christmas Day Photo” is even more funky with howling blues putting down the problems of the season. I guess; can’t get past the cacophony to tell what the hello-there is going on.

Christmas Countdown: 1950s

Redhouse Gasoline whitewashes a bit with “I Love Lucy,” a satiric pop piece that thinks the whole of the US of A behaved like they did on this sitcom. No talk of nuclear weapons and struggling through… indeed! Did the USA of the 1950s Act like Jimmy Stewart in the Christmas holidays? becomes the question (though ‘Wonderful Life’ came out in the ’40s and was set in the ’30s…)–apart from do you love Lucy, too? Danceable.

Christmas Countdown: 1952

An odd tribute from “The Official Historian of Shirley Jean Berrell” from The Statler Brothers claims to know what she got for Christmas since 1952. Some actual country licks mixed in with this gossipy goop.

An awesome tribute to Hank Williams, Sr is “Christmas, 1952” a tinkling, tinkering slogger of a bluegrass eulogy from Ray Templeton. The talk is that ol’ Hiram (real name) was plagued with pain and pills and divorce and excommunication from the Opry and that was that. But the narrator here takes up his cause at the Xmas dance the week before he died of a doctor assisted OD. Really, you gotta hear this one.

Christmas Countdown: 1954

The old standby “Santa Baby” asks for a light blue convertible, which should be a ’54. Not into tired old traditionals here, so let’s try punk: welcome The Dollyrots!

A Little with Sugar” is a hard life for a young man and the problems(?) he’s got with his mama. But it starts Xmas of ’54. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen swing it. Before Steely Dan.

Jay Stansfield (feat. SAY) get poetical and altpop with their “Christmas 1954.” Not sure how this picturesque scene is the ’50s (‘ceptin’ for saying gay for gleeful). Maraca out!