Have Reindeer, Will Travel
(from Johnny Mathis's Sounds of Christmas; Mercury SR 60837, 1963)
Today's 12 Discs of Christmas entry is a bit of a rarity from Johnny Mathis, during a brief sojourn he took on Mercury Records, away from his usual home at Columbia, in the early-to-mid '60s. To my knowledge, Have Reindeer, Will Travel hasn't shown up on CD yet although other tunes from his 1963 Mercury LP Sounds of Christmas have (it can be hard to tell which ones, Mathis has recorded a lot of Christmas music over the years, which has been issued and reissued in a number of different forms). My copy is taken from a Mercury 7", the flipside of The Little Drummer Boy (which has to be one of my least favourite Christmas songs, in any rendition).
Maybe this particular song hasn't seen the light of day again because of its comparison of Santa Claus to NASA celebrities Alan B. Shepard and John Glenn. That may date the song in the minds of some, but just increases its charm as far as I'm concerned.