Monday, March 30, 2020

Christmas TV December 8 - 14, 1979 (Jack Frost, Mary and Joseph, Bob, Perry, Dean,Farrah, Donny and Marie and more...)

Dec 8 

CBS served up a pair of classic kid’s specials - "Frosty the Snowman" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"

... while ABC offered family-friendly variety from Pat Boone and Family. Guests included the wacky Hudson Brothers and The Ropers’ Audra Lindley and Norman Fell. In NYC The Hudson Brothers had to compete with themselves on a repeat of the Merv Griffin Show

Offered as a holiday film was Somebody Killed Her Husband, a comic murder mystery starring Farrah Fawcett and Jeff Bridges. I hadn’t seen this flick since, well since this 1979 showing probably, and had no recollection of it being a Christmas film but Lo and Behold it’s set, partially, in Macy’s during the holiday shopping season and climaxes with a big set-piece during the Macy’s Thanksgiving day Parade.

Locally in NYC you could also catch Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol on WPIX

Dec 9

Sunday started with the Canadian cartoon  “A Cosmic Christmas” before a choice needed to be made between the classic holiday special “The Year Without a Santa Claus” and NBC’s Big Event

...the controversial Mary and Joseph - A Story of Faith

Dec 10

CBS paired the evergreen "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with the Raggedy Ann and Andy toon "The Great Santa Claus Caper".

Dec 11 doesn’t seem to have anything festive in prime time

Dec 12

The lone holiday special this evening was the premiere of "A Country Christmas" with Roy Clark, Loretta Lynn, David Soul and Minnie Pearl, among others.

Dec 13

Tonight offered three specials. First up was the animated Jack Frost

...then the first of a pair of specials from beloved entertainers in the twilight of their careers. Bob Hope welcomed Police Woman’s Angie Dickinson, Eight is Enough’s Adam Rich, One Day at a Time’s Bonnie Franklin and the late Bing Crosby’s widow and longtime Christmas special co-star, Kathryn Crosby.

An hour later you could have caught Dean Martin’s Christmas in California featuring the delectable Golddiggers plus Dom Deluise, Shirley Jones and Ruth Buzzi.

Dec 14

Young Adam Rich surfaces again as a guest of Donnie and Marie in their  Christmas variety special. Rich was joined by Erik Estrada, Cindy Williams and Dorothy Hamill.

An hour later viewers could join Perry Como for Christmas in New Mexico

Followed by the week’s second serving of country Christmas fare with "Merry Christmas from the Grand Ole Opry", hosted by Robert Urich

Sources include TV Guide, Albany Herald, Youtube

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Christmas Hits of 1949 (Peatman Radio Standards Survey)

The 35 most played standards on radio in 1949 (According to Variety and the Peatman Annual Survey) included a number of Christmas tunes.

In at #22 "The Christmas Song"

At #17 "Here Comes Santa Claus"

At #13 "Winter Wonderland"

(Easter Parade represented the springtime holiday at #10)

And the top two for the year were...

#2 "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"

#1 "White Christmas"

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Christmas TV - December 20, 1970 (J.T., Disney, Carney, Gleason,Campbell...)

Christmas TV - December 20, 1970

( Independent Press Telegram, News Journal, The Lowell Sun)

( Garage Sale Finds, Google images, The Lowell Sun)

CBS is all Christmas this evening starting off with a replay of the award-winning family drama J.T., though if your kids were a bit younger you might have switched over to ABC’s Wonderful World Of Disney: From All Of Us To All Of You which also featured a preview of The Aristocats.

Further reading....


Aeolus 13 Umbra

Christmas TV History

UCLA Television Archive

From All of Us...

Cartoon Research



(Abilene, Reporter News, Independent Press Telegram, San Antonio Express, Garage Sale Finds / TV Guide, The San Bernardino County Sun)

Next up on CBS it’s Ed Sullivan’s The Great Santa Switch starring Art Carney and Jim Henson's Muppets.

Further Reading....

Henson Blog

Tough Pigs


After the Muppets Glen Campbell offered a festive installment of his variety series featuring his family and guests Anne Murray, George Gobel, and Shecky Greene.


(TV Guide)

The night closed out with a repeat of Jackie Gleason’s Christmas Special.


(The Lowell Sun, The New Mexican Sun)

Of course, independent stations across the country also offered holiday programming. Garage Sale Finds TV Guide scans for the day (from an Illinois edition) shows the the night also included the premier of Christmas Is, a rerun of  Kukla Fran and Ollie and an, unfortunately, untitled short film described as a modern parable of Christmas. The same station aired a special holiday episode of the series Directions featuring a  children’s Christmas play at the unusual hour of 12:15 AM.

In New England residents had a chance to see  A Boston Kind of Christmas featuring Robert Morse and Frank Fontaine plus a short film "The Lonely Puppet at Christmas"

Friday, March 20, 2020

Christmas TV - December 8, 1974 (A snowman, a mouse and, a mountain)

Christmas TV  - December 8, 1974

A fairly quiet early December evening but that holiday programming that aired was choice.An annual tradition, a minor classic and a beloved family drama.

Pity poor Stub, The Best Cow Dog In The West, I don’t think too many families with kids were tuned in to see this installment of The Wonderful World Of Disney when it was pitted against the annual rerun of Frosty the Snowman and the premiere showing of the Rankin-Bass animation 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (pre-empting the short lived Apple’s Way)

Next up was an encore presentation another holiday classic The Waltons: The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. My parents and grandparents would have definitely watched it while, if I’d already seen it, I would have snuck up to my bedroom and little black and white portable Panasonic to watch MccMillan and Wife (Susan Saint James was an early TV crush).

Sources include:
Google, Corsicana Daily Sun, Cumberland Evening Times, L.A. Times, Idaho State Journal, The Port Arthur News

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Christmas Pop Hits of 1958

Christmas Pop Hits of 1958 (Week of Dec, 29)

From the Billboard Charts

Coming in at #71, up 6 spots from  a week ago, it's Chuck Berry with Merry Christmas Baby.

Next up at #69 it's Berry again with Run Run Rudolph moving up 4 spots to its peak position for the year.

Jumping up 20 spots to #66 is that old Bing Crosby chestnut White Christmas

Just a few spots out of the top 40 at #47 is little Augie Rios with ¿Dònde Està Santa Claus?

even closer to the top 40 is Green Chri$tma$ by Stan Freberg debuting at #44

Bobby Helms iconic rendition of Jingle Bell Rock jumps 22 spots to #35

The Harry Simeone Chorale's Little Drummer Boy leapt 59 spots to #29

...and all the way up at Number 1, for the second week in a row, The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) by Alvin and the Chipmunks with Dave Seville