Friday, December 4, 2015

25 Holiday Records: 22: Santa Claus is Comin' To Town by Fred Astaire and friends

We're counting down to Christmas Day with a list of 25 records we have in the shop at Royal Cat Records! Why? Because vinyl rules!

Our next record is the soundtrack for one of our childhood favourites!


Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
by Various (Fred Astaire)
MGM Records

This is the soundtrack to the 1970 stop-motion animated holiday special that has been a tv staple for decades now. This is part of the series of hits produced by Rankin-Bass that began with "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and continued through a number of "sequels" including "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" and others. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" tells the origin of Santa Claus and is narrated by the great Fred Astaire, whose rendition of the title song is quite nice and a fitting cap to his career as an under appreciated pop-jazz vocalist. The song, originally written in 1934, has had a number of great interpretations, from Bruce Springsteen to The Jackson 5 to Frank Sinatra, but Fred's version is a challenger, for sure.

The rest of the songs on this album were written by the team of composer Maury Loss and lyricist Jules Bass (Bass was the advertising exec-turned-tv-producer behind the specials), and the voices are supplied by great character actors Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, and voice-actor/comedian Paul Frees. A fun little record!

Watch the whole thing here:

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