November 18, 2015

Featured 45: Cheech and Chong's Santa Claus and his Old Lady

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Cheech and Chong's Santa Claus and his Old Lady 45 Cover Cheech and Chong's Santa Claus and his Old Lady 45 Cover

At Christmas every year radio stations all over the country dust off the old Christmas music. Some go so far as to play nothing but the holiday music for a whole two months prior to the actual day.

Most rock stations, given that there are so many other outlets for the seasonal music, usually don’t play many Christmas songs until very close to the big day. Even then, they stay away from the more traditional music. Over the years many rock stars have tried to release a song that the Rock radio stations would play for many years to come. In some cases, like The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping” for example, it is the only song that we even know by the artist. While others like “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry or Keith Richards, Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas”, The Kinks “Father Christmas”, The Eagles “Please Come Home for Christmas”, and one of the very best “Happy Christmas” by John Lennon all deserve to be called classics.

While there are many of these Rock Christmas classics that have stood the test of time, there have been very few attempts at writing comedy bits. It is hard to do. You have to write around the topic of the season like Bob and Doug McKenzie did in their big hit “The 12 Days of Christmas”.

Cheech and Chong went about the task in a slightly different way. In their hit single “Santa Claus and his Old Lady” they tried doing a “hip” story about a traditional character and it worked. Yes, some of the material is dated and other parts are just plain corny, but somehow when it is trotted out every year people love it. In fact, if we didn’t play it we would phone calls asking why.

Despite the old druggie references and dumb jokes it still can make you smile. Of course after hearing it a couple of times, you are more than willing to wait until next year to hear it again.

In my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey” I relate the story of when I had a chance to work with Cheech and Chong. Let’s just say for now that it was memorable.


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