Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas Cavalcade Part 1

It’s December, which means it must be time to torture you, dear readers (and listeners) with a barrage of bad Christmas records. It’s my hope that, come Christmas Day, you’ll have enough material to compile a CD’s worth of terrible tunes; a festive farrago if you will. The music in today’s batch comes from my good friend and long-time WWR follower Ross Hamilton.

I’m seriously indebted to him for bringing this first horror to my attention, as it’s one I’d not come across before: The Night KITT Saved Christmas.

Now, I’m sure that most of you are aware that the former-Knight Rider, former-Baywatch, former-Britain’s Got Talent host David Hasselhoff has somehow managed to carve himself a secondary career (especially, for some unknown reason, in Austria) as a balladeer – his first career, of course, being that of a drunken, cheeseburger-demolishing bad parent. He’s actually released 16 albums since his first, Night Rocker, appeared in 1985. This track predates that by a couple of years (Dr Demento featured it on his radio programme in 1984) and it seems that Hasselhoff had yet to discover his singing chops, instead ‘rapping’ his way through this abortion. As Ross himself puts it: “The Hoff has committed quite a few crimes against music down the years but this is one of the earliest, as far as I can tell. It is sung over the Knight Rider theme and tells how Santa disappears over Christmas and so KITT must steam in and pull the reindeers along. Oh dear God, this is bad.”

The next track, also supplied by Ross, had me laughing out loud. Based on the blind singer-songwriter Leon Payne’s song of the same name (more famously covered by Elvis Costello and the Attractions), Psycho by Thirsty Dave's Western Caravan – who claim to be the best-known, most-booked western swing band in New York - is genius. Formed in 1995 and still going strong, Psycho is taken from their 2001 album Yellow Texas Moon. The original song was inspired by a visit by the Payne to ‘see’ Hitchcock’s Psycho (according to his daughter Myrtie) rather than the long-believed story that it was composed by Payne in reaction to Charles Whitman who, in 1966, strangled his mother to death, stabbed his wife and then climbed to the top of the tower at the University of Texas Library, opening fire on the unsuspecting crowd below and killing 16 people.

Today’s final cut is from Red Sovine, featured earlier at WWR for his maudlin monstrosity Teddy Bear. This offering, Santa Is A Texas Cowboy, is surprisingly upbeat for the master of the morose; released in 1974 and credited to Red Sovine and the Girls (it reappeared on his 1978 album Christmas With Red Sovine), it actually features ole Red singing, a break from his usual monotonous spoken-word delivery.

Thanks Ross, for this batch of horrors. More next week.

Enjoy!





2 comments:

  1. Gosh !
    - but a little bit too easy, to be fair.
    You can post terrible christmas songs by the dozen every day, the whole year around.
    I would have trouble to get one cd with decent christmas tunes, if I`d like to.

    Nevertheless, what do you think about this one:

    http://lordofthebootsale.blogspot.com/2011/12/silent-choir-silent-night.html

    It fits, doesn`t it ?!
    And don`t forget the dreadful Heintje- LPs that were pestering everyone in the seventies.

    With songs like that it`s no secret why the rate of suicides go up every Xmas.

    My sport is:
    - can I bear the whole song ? (unsuccessful yet)
    - will you be able to top the last one with the next ? (successful yet !)

    Thanks, Darryl !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mary Poppins! I happen upon your blog, and the first song I try is the Hoff's Christmas Knight!
    Hey bub, you just snagged yourself a new avis fan!!!!

    PS My silly blog is over at...
    http://theguanogallery.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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