We’re kicking off with some seasonal plagiarism: songs that have stolen something from someone or somewhere, and first up today is our old friend the song-poem stalwart Gene Marshall (a.k.a Gene Merlino), with the double sided ‘hit’ Merry Christmas All and Christmas Day. The disc, issued by Preview in the early 70s, is in pretty poor shape, so my apologies for the poor quality, but what interests me is that the tune for the a-side – with lyrics credited to one Alexander Liftee – has clearly been Liftee-d from the much better known Jingle Bell Rock. Flipside Christmas Day, is a mediocre slice of song-poem hokum from the pen of Milton Cobham.
Next we have both sides of the 1959 45 from Kenny and Corky, a pair of singing puppets stealing David Seville’s Chipmunks shtick wholesale. Nuttin’ For Christmas was originally a hit for six-year-old Barry Gordon (and five other acts) in 1955. Many of you will know the flip side, Suzy Snowflake from the vastly superior (!) version recorded by Marcy Tigner, a.k.a Little Marcy. Issued by budget kiddie brand Big Top the disc was a minor hit in the States, which prompted the highly collectable London label to issue the coupling in the UK in November 1959. Barry Gordon went on to find fame as an actor, appearing in everything from Alfred Hitchcock Presents to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Curb Your Enthusiasm. A noted voice actor, he served as the president of the Screen Actor’s Guild and, in 1998, was the Democratic Party nominee for the United States Congress for Pasadena, California.