Natalie and I have a secret desire to create THE definitive listing of all Christmas music. We have spent tens of hours discussing this idea and all the variations on it. You will see this obsession play out over the year I’m quite sure. We were talking at work today and I mentioned a song I sang with my class in elementary school Shocking to me, Natalie had never heard it (you’ll have to listen to our podcast on Monday night to find out the song). That got me thinking about songs that maybe none of us may have heard or even know exist. There are literally hundreds of songs that we don’t get in the usual rotation each December. Some of these are true gems that should be played often and discovered by all. (Check out Annie Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia as an example)
We’ll discuss lots of those hidden wonders, but it’s so much fun to delve into the more unique and unusual. To start us on this quest for odd tunes, let’s look first to donkeys. Donkeys showed up earlier in our discussion on nativity scenes and now I have two tunes to share with you. First up 1960’s Dominick the Donkey. Have you heard this musical legend? (Click on the title to get a listen) Natalie and I agree that this well definitely be on our list of tunes to be eliminated. Maybe that’s due to the high number of plays it had this past Christmas. Turns out the tune had an amazing upswing on the charts in the UK. It was the #2 song on iTunes in Britain for the week leading up to Christmas 2011. Go figure! Next donkey tune is more obscure. I think I vaguely remember it from those CBS/ABC special presentations at the holiday since an animated show was built around it in 1977. The same creative geniuses that created the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer TV special brought us Nestor the Long Eared Donkey. It tells the story of Nestor and his abnormally long ears and how they helped Mary in Bethlehem. The song was written by a trio of writers that included Gene Autry. Now this little wonder could easily spike back into popularity with the right marketing. It’s reported to air on ABC Family each year at the holidays. Click on the name to hear the signature song. You can also search it on YouTube and view the entire special.
Finally, a challenge. This number was recorded by unsigned artists in 1978. Once record execs heard it they offered the band a $250,000 recording contract. What do you think of that decision? Brilliant? Insane? Decide for yourself when you hear Christmas at Kmart.