Baby It’s Cold: 1950 funny

Okay, my novelty search still loves to find the kooky and comedic and childish. 1950 is AFTER most of the Spike Jones holiday hoo-ha, and the sensation of Yogi Yorgesson and his Scandihoovian shenanigans. But it still sought out gleeful oddities.

Funnyman Jimmy Durante begins Act III of his career with his first TV show in 1950. But his “Christmas Wish” featured in a meh movie called The Great Rupert and run on his new show reminded us that vaudeville died kicking and screaming for the Ol’ Schnozzola.

The most popular girl group of the first half of the XXth Century were beloved but not taken too seriously. Laverne, Maxene, and Patty gave us ‘jump blues’ and iconic songs like ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.’ While The Andrews Sisters’ ‘I’d Like to Hitch a Ride with Santa Claus‘ is not a ha-ha novelty song, it’s a cute kiddie tune–okay maybe a bit melancholy.

Let’s arm twist the year to find something truly irreverent and comic! Oh–i know, Ella Fitzgerald! The First Lady of Song was one of those talent show winners who elbowed her way into the Apollo in the ’30s with her own vocal gifts. By the ’40s she was dropping her regular band with Chick Webb, going jazz, and even sang a song in an Abbott and Costello movie. Her 1950 song “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney” made little waves in her burgeoning career, but according to a fellow Xmas music blogger on hip christmas, it became a naughty anthem and re-releases may have been blocked by Lady Ella who didn’t see its sexuality when she first recorded it. (Although i find it more Clarence Carter anal, than Ertha Kitt missionary.) Explicate the imagery at your own prudish peril!

Baby It’s Cold: 1950 white v. black

Now most of 1950 U.S. culture is whiter than white. The Oscar winner is “All About Eve.” The big B’way hit is “Guys and Dolls.” We do flirt with ‘others’ in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Overall white might seems uncontested as urban sprawl spawns the suburbs. Did you know this year debuts ‘Silver Bells’ (Bing Crosby and Carol Richards)? ‘As the shoppers rush home with their treasures.’ Caucasian says what?

I mean check out the future Kookla Fran and Ollie puppeteer Fran Allison, with ‘Sweet Angie (The Christmas Tree Angel)‘ and flipside ‘Christmas in My Heart.‘ Bourgeoisie clean and butterfat friendly.

But 1950 is not a snowstorm of whitiness. Sugar Ray has boxing day sewn up. Althea Gibson becomes the first person of color to compete in U.S. tennis championships. The Supreme Court begins striking down segregation laws. And a U.N. mediator, Ralph Bunche, becomes the first black allowed to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

You know, the ’50s is the crucibicular birthing of rock ‘n’ roll, so let’s follow that forbidden beat from its wild ethnic backrooms through the honkey tonks and into the juke boxes of our young, rebellious delinquencies. Bend an ear towards Mickey Champion and the Nic Nacs: “Gonna Have a Merry Xmas.” What you kids listenin’ at?

Baby It’s Cold: 1950 bands v. stars

It’s May Day, which i prefer to mean you leave pulled up flowers on the neighbor’s doorstep, but actually is Codependence Day for Communists.

Speaking of which, i’m so bummed from the last two months of poop and corpses i gotta change it up here and find some Actual Music that’s not rude, crude, and dripping with irony. What better start than our own Happy Days Decade, the 1950s? Sure it’s The Cold War (from Korea to Cuba to space racing), but it’s also the slice of the century that gave us TV, rock ‘n’ roll, and me (man, i’m old!).

So let’s us try a few days of the month per year of the ’50s and dig out holiday tunes you may not have heard (tons of standards come from this decade from Bing, Dean, and Elvis; i may mention those overplayed muthas in order to put the years in perspective… but we are not playing that crap).

And, yesiknow, the ’50s actually begin with 1951 and end with 1960–but that’s not the high school text book approach. We’re going to start with 1950, whose Christmas playlist was largely run by kingpin Bing Crosby. ‘White Christmas’ was first released in ’41 and rerecorded in ’47  and played non-stop every Dec. since. 1950 features his continued money-makers ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ and family sing-a-longs and this juggernaut keeps chugging. But, forget that stuff.

So, Christmas ‘Fifty is just another year for crooners to get some sooner, like Pierino Como. Second stringer behind Bing and Frank, Mr. C left the club action and the Ted Weems orchestra in the early ’40s to settle in with family and become a radio and TV guy.  He had hit singles through the ’40s and ’50s (‘Some Enchanted Evening,’ ‘Hot Diggity (Zog Diggity Boom),’ ‘Catch a Falling Star’). And he won countless awards including THREE stars on the Walk of Fame. But do you even hear his ‘Silver Bells’ or ‘The Christmas Song’ in the Broken Record Rotation 500 radio-played every year? Then try his “There’s No Christmas Like a Home Christmas” and it’s flipside “Christmas Symphony.” Please get comfortable first. Aahhh.

The ‘Fifties see the rise of the crooner, the star attraction, hand-in-hand with the demise of the big band ensemble. like Tommy Tucker’s orchestra. Schlepping the country playing clubs through the ’20s and ’30s, Tommy had hits like ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.’ He did appearances on radio shows and even played his own musical show briefly. Here’s his talent playing a lively December dance number recorded in 1950: “Jing A Ling, Jing A Ling.”

Died. You’re Welcome: encore (2)

Not loads more zombie holiday music of any worth. (That i’ve found.)

A brief shout out to Emily Sofia Smith who blogs with goth-heart and seasonally lays down a parody melody of murderous merriment that’s worth a glance. Couple years ago it was for The Walking Dead. Last year it was for Hannibal and Bates Motel. Before all that it was fanning and fawning over Dexter. Cute and charnal. A good talent.

But to put a lid on death, let’s get real low budget. Gamer Meg got her (i’m guessing) high school buddies and made a video! “Let Them Come” is a fine parody of ‘Let It Snow’ and tells a story and–well, it only takes a minute.

Died. You’re Welcome: encore (1)

While on the subject, I’m reminded of something Sam Kinison once said about Jesus being the only guy to come back from the dead and not want to eat your brains.

The seminal punk zombie/Christmas song comes from MxPx. Their classic “Christmas Night of the Living Dead” (not the title you’d expect when you hear it, but trademark blah blah blah) paints a picture of the undead end of the world… but it’s Christmas! Green (skin) and Red (blood)!

Died. You’re Welcome: Santa (7)

Santa must’ve had work-related accidents before now.

Ron and Tyler Goudreau from Canada muse over whether “Santa Claus was Bitten by a Zombie” and one time or another. They’re not terribly clever about it, but they do rock it in their family room.

Died. You’re Welcome: Santa (6)

Can anyone stop the Claus?

Previously (last Halloween) i posted Jon LaJoie’s “Cold Blooded Christmas“–a scenario in which the red-suited one was NOT taken down after all.

Grave Disorder also offers up “I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus” with a perfunctory punk panache, but i think we all know the outcome of that domestic disturbance.

So, can anyone (Tim Allen?) dispose of this Saint?

How ’bout we party ’bout it?

I mean, you know, playas gotta spin at raves (do those guys get any?)…

so give a chance for Slackaz Remix and his Family Guy (i know, again) playful retuning of Stewie and Brian “I’m Going to Kill Santa Claus.”