The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2008 #7

The Les Tucker Singers, Hardrock, Coco & Joe
(Inn Records 7" single M-346; 1956)

Today's pick isn't something I experienced as a child, but anyone who grew up in the midwest in the '50s, '60s and '70s probably saw the stop-motion cartoon The Three Little Dwarfs: Hardrock, Coco & Joe annually on locally hosted kids' programs like Bozo the Clown and Garfield Goose & Friends.

The song was written by former singing cowboy Stuart Hamblen, probably best known for penning This Ole House, Open Up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine In)--famously burbled by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm--and the gospel standard It Is No Secret (What God Can Do), which he composed after becoming a born again Christian with the help of Billy Graham. The recorded version of Hardrock, Coco & Joe is different from the cartoon, with more instrumentation, but fairly similar in terms of the vocal arrangement. The film also carries a footnote of notoriety in the form of a painstakingly accurate parody version produced for Robert Smigel's TV's Funhouse, titled Christmas With Tingles, in which a magical elf goes around spreading holiday anxiety and remorse.

Visit here for more info on the cartoon version, and a copy of the short itself.


Cinebeats said...

Love the music posts!

Unfortunately it seems that Photobucket needs some money though because the pictures are no longer showing up.

swac said...

Yeah...I haven't opted for the "pro" account, and they seem to like yanking the pictures with increasing regularity. At the moment, the only thing I really use Photobucket for is this, so I guess I should take it as a compliment, but it's really a pain in the ass.