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 2010 #10


Homer & Jethro - Santa Claus, the Original Hippie
(from Cool Crazy Christmas, RCA Victor LSP-4001; 1968)


Whiz-bang Nashville musicians Henry Haynes and Kenneth Burns were better known to the public as country and western parody act Homer & Jethro, which had a two-decade run on RCA Victor under the aegis of producer and guitar-playing pal Chet Atkins (who appears on the cover of Cool Crazy Christmas under cover of a snowy white beard).

The duo is best known for its 1959 Grammy-winning parody of Johnny Horton's The Battle of New Orleans, The Battle of Kookamunga, and while its act was getting a bit long in the tooth by the time they released this seasonal collection in 1968--Haynes died of a heart attack three years later--we can at least revel in the dated corn of Santa Claus, the Original Hippie. Of course a stronger case could be made for the title going to the birthday boy himself, but I don't know how well that would have sat with Homer & Jethro's audience four decades ago.

1 comment :

Timmy said...

If I was a religous man, I'd thank you for this fine Christmas offering.