Released by a studio act under the name Santa’s Pixie Helpers – but sounding an awful lot like David Seville’s Chipmunks – The Animal’s Christmas Song backed with The Christmas Song was issued by PRI records, a division of Precision Radiation Instruments Inc. PRI were better known as a Geiger counter and radio equipment manufacturer and would enter the record business by merging with Tops Records – the company that produced soundalike covers of hits of the day (rather like an American version of the old Woolworth’s Embassy label) in 1958. The company went bankrupt in the mid 60s and their assets were sold to Pickwick International. This brace of tracks also appeared on the 1959 TOPS label album Sing Along With Santa's Helpers. My own copy of this 45 is a white label promo: some (not mine: I swiped this one from the 'net) appeared in a very rare picture sleeve, featuring the lyrics to the songs.
The third track today is by our old friend Lorene Mann – the woman who issued the dreadful pro-life horror Hide My Sin (A-b-o-r-t-i-o-n N-e-w Y-o-r-k). Today Lorene entertains us with the wonderfully non-PC Indian Santa Claus, written and released just in time for Christmas 1970, a tale of how native Americans were planning to scalp the evil white invaders as they lay in their beds awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas, but how they decide instead to give up their birthright for a few strips of leather presented by a Navajo Pere Noel. Tennessee-born tunesmith Mann, who died in May 2013 ages 76, moved to Nashville at the age of 19 to pursue a songwriting career, going on to pen songs for stars such including Kitty Wells and Skeeter Davis. She signed to RCA Records in 1964 and worked with Justin Tubb before carving out a solo career for herself. The singer, who co-founded the Nashville Songwriters Association International, was also an actress – appearing in the dreadful 1975 Burt Reynolds film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings - and in 2011 she won the Maggie Cavender Award, in recognition of her ‘extraordinary service to the songwriting community’.
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