What are Craig Allen’s favorite twisted Christmas songs?
Earlier this week, as I put myself in a weekend mindset. When Christmas music comes out to play, along with the rest of Jersey's Favorite Hits ... I started to ponder some of the sillier holiday fare.
Sure, there's Stan Freberg's "Nuttin' For Christmas," and Spike Jones, the Chipmunks, and the Singing Dogs.
Don't forget "Dominick The Donkey" from Jersey's own Lou Monte (more on that in a moment).
Silly "staples." They've been around forever.
Then, I started contemplating some of the newer "Noel Novelty" songs, if you will.
A bit more "contemporary."
Here are a few, off the top of my head, in no particular order:
Bob Rivers "The Twelve Pains Of Christmas"
Bob was a radio personality in Seattle (he retired in August 2014), along with being a prolific songwriter of parodies, especially Christmas parodies. His "Twisted Christmas" album was released in 1988, and was certified "gold" by the R.I.A.A.
"The Twelve Pains Of Christmas" gets wide radio airplay to this day!
Elmo & Patsy "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"
Written by Randy Brooks, this twisted "Ho-Ho Hit" was sung by husband and wife duo Elmo & Patsy Shropshire in 1979. It was released in San Francisco on their own label, with Elmo selling copies of the 45 single from the stage, after their shows.
By the early 1980's, it was getting airplay on country stations...and then it crossed over to top-40 stations.
In 1982, the duo re-recorded the song, and re-released "Grandma"...and a full album was released when the rights to the hit novelty song were acquired by Epic records.
Bob & Doug McKenzie "Twelve Days Of Christmas"
The duo is Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas...playing dim-witted, beer-swilling brothers, commenting on Canadian life and culture on SCTV. The segments were shot at the end of show production days, were mostly improvised, and were thought of as throwaway time-fillers.
Soon...especially when SCTV began airing here in the U.S....it was found that the "Great White North" segments were the most popular feature of the comedy show!
The words "eh" and "hoser" became a part of standard "80's speak."
The duo rode their wave of fame, releasing the movie "Strange Brew" and an album, "The Great White North" in 1982. The album is noted for the song "Take Off," featuring the voice of Geddy Lee (from Rush).
The "Twelve Days Of Christmas" also came from this hit album, and is still widely played during the holidays here, and in Canada!
Bob Rivers "Walkin' 'Round In Women's Underwear"
I will wrap up our excursion into Twisted Christmas songs where we began...with Bob Rivers.
The song is a parody of "Winter Wonderland."
It appears on Rivers' 1993 comedy album "I Am Santa Claus"
What would you add to my "contemporary" silly Christmas songs list?
Chime in, below!
Now...back to Lou Monte, as promised. I have written about "Dominick" in past years...and here's my story:
"I was so new to New Jersey 101.5 (2002) that I wasn't doing a regular weekend music show just yet. I think I was filling in for Big Joe on a Friday night, when the listener line rang. Just before picking up the line, I turned down the studio speakers...so "Dominick The Donkey" faded into my background.
A very emotional gentleman says hello, and explains that he is related to Lou Monte, "who we lost a few years ago" (June 1989, buried in Upper Montclair). He tells me that he and his family are thrilled to hear "Dominick The Italian Christmas Donkey." That hearing it makes them feel like Lou is still with them. And he says: "We're very proud to hear Uncle Lou's song on New Jersey's radio station."
The power of New Jersey 101.5 is ALWAYS amazing!"
So, back to NOW:
Thursday afternoon, Bill Doyle mentions this Christmas Classic in, shall we say, less than glowing terms.
My iPhone and IPad "blew up" with comments...including this from my sister, Cindy:
"Txt a shame on u bill doyle. he votes for dominick the donkey to be removed from the station playlist."
While Dominick The Donkey has become one of those polarizing Christmas ditties...you either love it or hate it (I love it)...it is...after all...a "Jersey thing" (to quote South Park)...
and....the Monte family is listening, Bill!