WEIRDLAND: Merry Christmas (Vintage Rock & Roll)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas (Vintage Rock & Roll)

Christmas Songs from the 50's: (Everybody's Waitin' For) the Man with the Bag by Kay Starr 1950, Santa's Surprise 1947, It's Christmas Time again by Peggy Lee & Victor Young 1953, Pluto's Christmas Tree 1952, December by Kay Starr, Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt 1953, Cool Yule by Louis Armstrong 1953, Rudolf the rednosed reindeer 1948, The Christmas Blues by Dean Martin 1953, Dig that crazy Santa Claus by Oscar McCollie & His Honeyjumpers 1954, Judy Garland - Christmas Special 1963, Mrs. Santa Claus by Nat King Cole, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald 1957, Christmas In Connecticut 1945, This time of year by Brook Benton 1959, The Bishop's Wife 1947, Santa bring my baby back to me by Elvis Presley 1957, What Are You Doing New Year's Eve by Ella Fitzgerald 1960.


La Bamba Cola, on-line video games and limited-edition guitars are some of the products planned to bring revive the popularity of Ritchie Valens. The new licensing and merchandising deal by Southern California-based C3 Entertainment marks the first time that the image of the teenage Latino rock pioneer -- who died with Buddy Holly in a 1959 plane crash -- will be promoted through an official licensing initiative sanctioned by Valens’ family. Ani Khachoian, C3’s Executive Vice President of Licensing, Merchandising and Distribution, told Billboard: “We want to make sure every fan has the opportunity to rediscover this rock ’n’ roll icon, and that we introduce Valens to new audiences. He was a talented, positive young man, who worked hard. It’s a wonderful legacy for young people.”

C3 also represents the legacy of The Big Bopper, who died in the snowy crash with Valens and Holly while on their Winter Dance Party tour. In addition, C3 created the licensing program for John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party, a current touring tribute show featuring Mueller performing as Holly, with other artists paying homage to Valens and the Big Bopper.

Ritchie Valens, best known for his hit “La Bamba,” signed to Del-Fi Records in 1958 and recorded two albums, releasing singles that included “Donna,” which reached no. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. The 1978 movie La Bamba, starring Lou Diamond Phillips with music performed by Los Lobos, brought Valens’ story to new audiences; the soundtrack album sold 2 million copies in the United States. C3’s Khachoian says that a La Bamba Cola beverage is set to be manufactured and distributed by the Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shops chain. Source:

Limited edition (1997) of the Buddy Holly commemorative Coca-Cola bottle. In September 1997 the Lubbock Music Festival in Texas celebrated what would have been the founder of Rock & Roll's 61st birthday, whose birth date was September 7, 1936. In his memory, the Coca-Cola Company made 5,000 Special Commemorative  Buddy Holly Coke bottles. Source:

In early December 1957, the Crickets flew back to Texas, their first visit home since becoming international recording stars. As if it had undergone a mass lobotomy, Lubbock took no official notice of their homecoming, though Buddy Holly was the only famous person the city had ever produced. As if to prove he was a star, he rented a limousine from the airport to his parents’ humble dwelling. Gazing out the limo window, he saw that nothing had changed in Lubbock. He was disappointed when he arrived home and found no one there, his mother later told Bill Griggs. During the 1957 Christmas holidays the first royalty check, $192,000, arrived from Coral/Brunswick. Where, they wondered, were their $50,000 songwriting royalties for “That’ll Be the Day,” which should have been split three ways between Buddy, the Crickets, and Norman Petty? and [where were] their Broadcast Music Incorporated earnings (fees collected for each air play on radio and television)? When pressed, Petty offered no records to prove his contention. Hi Pockets Duncan revealed in a radio special on Buddy Holly that Petty had been siphoning 90 percent of their earnings.

Christmas 1957 found the Crickets on the rising platform stage of the nation’s No. 1 showplace in the heart of Times Square. Their co-stars on Alan Freed’s “Holiday of Stars Twelve Days of Christmas Show” were Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Everly Brothers. Many of the performers on the Paramount bill, including the Crickets, regarded the Paramount show as the culmination of the their careers. All his life Joe B. had been told he’d never amount to more than “a cotton farmer from Lubbock, Texas,” he related to Bill Griggs, but now “we were on Times Square in New York and it was Christmastime.” Nowhere is Christmas observed with more panache than in Manhattan, where, in Rockefeller Center, a block-long row of silver angels trumpets their welcome all the way from Sak’s Fifth Avenue to the huge Christmas tree in the skating rink underneath the RCA Building. In the windows at Lord & Taylor’s department store, animated puppets re-create familiar fairy tales and Yuletide stories. —Buddy Holly: A Biography (1995) 

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