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 2012 #2


There's a Hole in My Christmas Stocking
The Keith Richards Orchestra with K.C. Lore/Doodlebug & the Hampsters
(Tiger Records #151; 1959)


To be honest, all I know about this record is what's on the label, and the fact that the very existence of New Jersey's Keith Richards Orchestra is no end of amusement for hardcore Rolling Stones fans. From what I can tell, it's also not the same Tiger Records label that was owned by rock and soul songwriting greats Lieber & Stoller, even though they did record acts from the Garden State (most notably Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne's sister). This little novelty number would have come out at some point after the success of sped-up voices on The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late), the first Alvin & the Chipmunks release from Ross "David Seville" Bagdasarian in 1958 and the progenitor of a slew of Christmas novelty tunes featuring tape manipulation as their chief gimmick.

The link above will give you a zip file containing the straight vocal version by the equally anonymous K.C. Lore (Googling his name only gives me info about Kansas City mobsters or U.K. prog rock monarchs King Crimson) and the children's version featuring Doodlebug and the Hampsters. To complicate matters, there are at least two other songs with the same title, including one by those faceless singers of Peter Pan Records, the Caroleers, but none match the charm of this oddity.

And because I love you all so much, I spent two hours learning how to make an audio slideshow and upload this to YouTube for those who don't feel like downloading:

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