Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas Cavalcade 2015 Part One

Ho ho ho! Yes, it’s that time of year again, time to look at some of the worst Christmas-themed records ever released. And what a doozy I have for you today.

Released in several countries as the B-side to their Jingle Bell Rock, a cover of the 1957 Bobby Helms hit, Jingle Bell Imitations originally appeared (as did its flipside) in the US in 1961 on the LP Bobby Rydell/Chubby Checker – a truly awful album whose ‘highlight’ is a seven minute medley featuring the hitmaking pair singing snatches of each other’s chart toppers. Jingle Bell Rock saw a  UK release in 1962, with a different track - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - on the B-side.

Chubby, of course, is well known for his hits The Twist, Let’s Twist Again, The Pony and others. He had form: his first release The Class featured him imitating singers including Elvis, Fats Domino… and Bobby Rydell. Rydell is less well remembered here in the UK, although he scored several major US hits in the early 60s, including the Billboard number two Wild One. Both artists were signed to Cameo Parkway records, the company that put out this tosh, and had appeared on each other’s recording sessions before this album. Both artists, now in their 70s, are still performing today, although Rydell’s poor health has caused him to cut down on his work load in recent years.

In 2013 Chubby sued Hewlett Packard over an app that "adversely affects Chubby Checker's brand and value and if allowed to continue, will cause serious damage to the Plaintiff's goodwill and will tarnish his image that he has worked to maintain over the last 50 years." That app, called the Chubby Checker allowed users to enter a man's shoe size to estimate the size of his penis. Chubby’s lawyer (one Willie Gary…seriously, you could not make this stuff up!) was seeking half a billion dollars in damages.


To download the audio, click on the Tindeck logo and you'll be taken to the download page


  1. 12/19/15 Wrote:
    I have the album of Chubby & Bobby on Cameo Records, and it's a hoot. It would be hard to believe today, but back in 1961, Chubby & Bobby were huge in the U.S. This duet album spent some 20 weeks in the Billboard Top 40 Album charts, peaking at #13 during the 1961-62 holiday season.Only a few people growing up in the 1960's who watched "The Jackie Gleason" show would remember who Frank Fontaine (who died in 1977), one of the impersonations that Bobby Rydell makes, but unfortunately, today too many people would know who Alvin And The Chipmunks are, thanks to countless movies and TV shows churned out by Ross Bagdasadrian's son, Ross Jr. with his wife Janice Karmen (who voices all three of the Chipettes, Brittany, Eleanor, and Jeanette.)Who would have thought the little rodent's popularity lasted this long after 57 years? The only reason I suggest is $$$$$$$$. Speaking of weird Chipmunks records, look for the mondo bizarro duet that Alvin & his brothers made with Liberty label-mates Canned Heat. Somebody at Liberty Records thought that this was a good idea at the time. It's weird and annoying, but the Canned Heat band makes it rock, somehow.

  2. That 7:27 medley is truly frightful - I only got to the 1:30 mark before I had to stop listening!


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