Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Christmas

This is a short but sweet little number that I used to listen to over and over and over as a kid. I’m pretty sure you’ll be doing the same after your first listen.

I sat down today and watched a VHS tape from 1990.It featured Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Mickey’s Christmas Carol and the original Simpsons Christmas Special. VHS tapes of live television have a certain charm. Part of it is the strange, treble-sapped sound. I kind of feel that I’m listening to the TV through an infinitely long chain of cardboard paper towel tubes whenever I pop in an old tape.

But what really makes dealing with tracking issues worthwhile is the time warp commercials that are encapsulated within these VHS tapes. Here’s a small handful of commercials that were tucked away in this 1990 Holiday Season Recording.

Skaggs Alpha Beta Grocery Store

The Skaggs Alpha Beta commercial on my tape was different but just as weird. I just can’t comprehend what they were thinking when naming a grocery story with such a disgusting conglomeration of words.

I’m amazed at how much motherly pride that mustachioed baker exudes.

*

Jack The Lego Maniac

I never got the really cool Legos when I was a kid. Sure, if I’d had a really awesome imagination I could have made whatever I wanted with the ones I had. But I just wanted a space set because the Lego space dudes had awesome neon green visors on their helmets. But only Jack the Lego Maniac was lucky enough to have any and every space dude he wanted. I hated him for that.

*

Cabbage Patch Dolls

Do Cabbage Patch Dolls dominate anyone else’s nightmares, or am I alone on this one?

*

LA Gear featuring Karl Malone

When I was in college I used to drive 3 hours every year to attend Ohio University’s Halloween Bash. The first year I was there I parked my car in a lot outside of town and took a tram toward campus so I could meet up with a friend who lived in one of the dorms.

During that tram ride there was this really drunk, and I mean REALLY drunk, passenger dressed up as Karl Malone for Halloween. He was wearing the full Utah Jazz uniform and had a wig. But what really made his costume ridiculous was that this white dude scribbled in his entire face with a Sharpie marker in an attempt to make himself appear black. It was pretty obvious that he did it while he was drunk because there were huge spots where he missed with the Sharpie and he ended up looking like Pig Pen from the Peanuts comics.

He was riding the tram solo, holding a nearly-finished case of Natty Light and continually yelling, “I’M THE MAILMAN! I’M THE MAILMAN!” It would have just been obnoxious if it hadn’t been for this Japanese family that was sitting right next to him. They were wearing normal street clothes and looked totally out of place amongst the sexy nurses, crippled Supermen and THE MAILMAN.

Those Japanese folks were completely terrified of THE MAILMAN. They tried to pretend he wasn’t there but every now and then one of them would take a quick, horrified glance at him. I’m certain that they thought THE MAILMAN would eat them…because the real one certainly would. Viewing that surreal drama unfold was one of the best experiences of my life.

8)

>>>Click here to download Elvis and Jim’s Christmas Favorites

8)

Tracklist

Side 1: Elvis

1. Here Comes Santa Claus

2. Silent Night

3. Blue Christmas

4. O Little Town Of Bethlehem

Side 2: Jim Reeves

1. Jingle Bells

2. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

3. O Come All Ye Faithful

4. Take My Hand, Precious Lord

Click here, Ye Merry Gentlemen, for a random Rebuilt Tranny album

*download below*

This is the album that really defines what an American Christmas is all about. The original LP version of this was released in 1955 but the songs were recorded as early as 1942. This, of course, puts it right smack dab in the midst of World War II.

Now I don’t have any concrete evidence to go on but I’m going to say that this album won the war for the Allies. Anyone stateside with access to a radio would have heard these songs during that gnarly brawl overseas. The presence of Bing’s masculine yet gentle tremelo recharged the nation of Rosie the Riveters each year with tremendous effect. His words soothed and assured them that yes, everything would one day return to normal. Our boys would be home for the Christmas; if not this year then definitely the next.

Sure enough Bing was right: the boys came home  marching triumphantly and America, in their minds, had solidified its place as the moral compass for the world.

Christmas for The Good Guys

Of course, when the G.I.’s returned home there were many new traditions just waiting to be created. One of these was adopting Bing, an All-American guy with an honest gee-whiz face, as the voice of the holidays. And thank you Jesus. I can’t think of anyone else I’d want captaining the U.S.S. Noel.

Whenever I put on this disc it’s always like slipping on the most comfortable sweater in the world and cozying up to a real wood-burning fireplace. It’s so incredibly warm and reassuring.

Ok, too warm.

If you’ve never listened to this album you’ll still recognize the majority of the tracks from movies like A Christmas Story. However, two of the most jolly songs on here were written long after the war in 1950 and 1951. The 50s were a time of carefree optimism and this is perfectly captured in the songs “Christmas in Killarney” and “Mele Kilikimaka”. Both songs take a cheeky, if perhaps a bit culturally stereotypical, spin on the Christmas theme. Make sure to check them out at end of the disc–you’ll be humming them throughout the holidays.

^Christmas Vacation featuring Mele Kilikimaka. Unfortunately you’ll have to visit YouTube to watch this gem.^

 

Click here to download Merry Christmas to MP3

Tracklist

A1 Silent Night 2:35
A2 Adeste Fideles (Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful) 3:08
A3 White Christmas 3:03
A4 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 2:15
A5 Faith Of Our Fathers 2:54
A6 I’ll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams) 2:52
B1 Jingle Bells 2:35
Backing Vocals – Andrews Sisters, The
B2 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town 2:38
Backing Vocals – Andrews Sisters, The
B3 Silver Bells 2:59
Vocals – Carole Richards
B4 It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas 2:43
B5 Christmas In Killarney 2:40
B6 Mele Kalikimaka 2:49
Backing Vocals – Andrews Sisters, The

*download below*

I vividly remember watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time, which was coincidentally the same year this album reissue dropped. The funny thing is, the main thing I recall is the commercials. This is probably because my parents recorded it for my brother and me on a Beta tape. We watched it every year over and over, commercial jingles and all, until our Betamax bit the bullet roughly the same time as Kurt Cobain.

I really, really REALLY wish I still had my Sony Vidimagic Betmax Projector.

It goes without saying that A Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic. The story, the style, the characters…all classic. But I might be so bold as to say those commercials recorded on that midget VHS were just as classic. You just can’t top the 7-up dot dude crashing his fire truck into a Christmas tree. Nor will weathermen ever again look so cool giving forecasts of heavy Utah snow. And their torsos won’t ever look as square…we should really bring back shoulder pads.

Elegant, confident edges.

Will five-year-olds today think that this season’s commercials are classics 20 years from now? I can’t possibly see anyone looking back fondly at the Verizon dude.  Seriously, that guy can go straight to hell.

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

*

Click here to download A Charlie Brown Christmas

*