We’re kicking off (thanks to a timely reminder from my good friend the Squire) with the thoroughly offensive Jim Davidson and his equally offensive version of White Christmas – knowing how vile the wife beating racist is it should be no surprise to learn that he recorded his version in character as Chalky White, a crass portrayal of a West Indian. When he performed his Chalky material on BBC One’s Seaside Special in 1977 there was public uproar, with The Stage criticising Davidson for his ‘crude racist jokes’, yet this 45 was issued in 1980. This nasty piece of plastic even features a de rigueur children’s choir. What must the head of that particular school (thankfully uncredited on the disc) have been thinking? This is beyond contemptible.
Recorded in 1990, O Holy Night by Steve Mauldin has been doing the rounds for years now. Steve is an arranger and conductor, and the original version was arranged for – and recorded by – The Christ Church Choir and their lead vocalist Guy Penrod. That particular recording was issued, on Sing Noel, by Star Song Records. Steve’s version was recorded in the studio as a bit of a laugh, just to see if he could match the range of Penrod. Clearly he couldn’t. It’s never been officially released, and this has been dubbed from a YouTube video – but it’s one of those things that just had to be heard!
Finally today we have both sides of Leappo The Frog’s 45, Christmas in Frogville and Look Before You Leap. The flip has nothing to do with Christmas, I’m simply including it here for completists (I’m not going top provide you with the other side of the Jim Davidson disc: if you want it go find it yourself!) Issued by Del-Ray Records of Delaware. Co-author Jimmy Stayton was a rockabilly singer who issued four of 45s under his own name in the early 60s. Do yourself a favour and hop over to Dead Wax, where I originally found this clunker.
BTW, it has been suggested that I include some tracks from Ringo Starr’s Christmas album, I Wanna be Santa Claus… but in all fairness that particular album is heaps better than Billy Idol’s genuinely dreadful Happy Holidays. So Ringo gets a pass this year – I may not be so kind in 2017!