12 Discs of Christmas 2011 #11

Paul Anka - Christmas in Japan (ABC-Paramount SP-401; 1960)

Sticking with a Canadian theme, Ottawa-born teen pop sensation Paul Anka didn't strike Christmas gold with his 1960 single It's Christmas Everywhere, although its B-side--a version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer--hooved its way to 104 on the chart. What is truly odd is this re-recorded version of the tune titled Christmas in Japan, presumably done for the pan-Pacific marketplace.

Sad to say, I wish I could get my mitts on a copy, it's hard to say how many were released to the public in North America, or if they even made it past the radio promo copy level. Presumably it was released in Japan itself (documentation at that link credits orchestration by Nuburo Hara & his Sharps and Flats with background vocals by Motomichi Ito & his Liliuo-Rhythm-Airs, which indicates Anka either recorded it in Japan, or sang to a Japanese-taped backing track). At any rate, Christmas in Japan is slightly more upbeat than It's Christmas Everywhere, maybe the original would have charted higher if it had been less lugubrious.

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