Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Bonus (2)

Forgotten Hits Reader Gary Renfield (he of RIP RENFIELD Fame) put together this little feature for our Forgotten Hits Twelve Days Of Christmas Series. 

(You can also find it on Gary's website this week:
So that makes this our SECOND "Christmas Bonus" this week.  
(Or does it simply make this "The Eleventh and a Half Day of Christmas"???)
Watch for a special wrap up on Christmas Eve, too!

Meanwhile, enjoy this interesting piece on Little Jimmy Boyd!


I had no idea!

R.I.P Jimmy Boyd (January 9, 1939 – March 7, 2009) 

Jimmy was an American singer, musician, and actor.  He was best known for his recording of the novelty song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".

A goofy kid, a novelty song, but huge as a crowd-pleasing entertainer!

I was shocked to read that the BIG song this guy is known for 
sold 2 1/2 million units the first WEEK ... and over 60 million to date!  THIS GUY WAS HUGE IN HIS DAY!  (And he was also 13 years old at the time!)

BANNED IN BOSTON by the Catholic Church, he personally persuaded them to reconsider.

In pre-grammy years, he was presented with two gold records (made of real gold, of course) 
AFTER SALES OF 3 MILLION, Columbia Records presented him with a silver saddle.  (He was a rider)And, he had other hits duet-ing with Frankie Laine & Rosemary Clooney!

Appearances (5) on the ED SULLIVAN SHOW when that was considered the pinnacle of success.  (Apologized and got Giselle McKenzie on Sullivan for bumping her)

Some of his other tv appearances?  How about the shows of Perry Como, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Patti Page, Merv Griffin, the TONIGHT SHOW, Shindig, American Bandstand, and many more.

In a nutshell ... Born, poor as dirt to a cotton picker, ho worked to support HIS 21 brothers & sisters, he moved to California ... Mother and two sons on the train ... Dad forced to hitch-hike & hop trains.  Still 'scratching' for survival.  His first 'crowd' experience was at a weekly country-western get together at a local barn.  His brother got the band to egg-Jimmy on ... 

A musical family, he not only played guitar, but his 'odd' voice and age made his talent a real crowd pleaser.  (A very talented kid!)  The organizers, looking to broadcast, started paying him $50 an appearance.

In Los Angeles, he auditioned and later won on the
AL JARVIS TALENT SHOW, leading to a regular stint on the show, which led to regular appearances and comedy skits with Frank Sinatra on HIS show.

His star rose with his association with Mitch Miller.  But regretted NOT moving on (ala Frank Sinatra) when he disagreed with the direction of the music. 
(Jimmy wanted to 'rock', Mitch didn't) 
His loyalty to Miller might have cost him, he stayed with Mitch and instead concentrated more on ovies and television, and finishing his education.  (Bachelor Father, Betty White Show, My 3 Sons, even INHERIT THE WIND)

He was the youngest allowed to appear in the BIG rooms in Las Vegas! (during the 'rat pack' years)  He was admonished by management for doing 3 encores (at the request of the cheering audience) instead of just the one ... HE WAS KEEPING PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE GAMBLING TABLES!

Along with his music he was a 'pistol', and at 14, he was able to ad-lib relevant one-liners
that endeared him to the audience!

HE DID IT ALL, BUT WASN'T A FAN OF THE 'ROAD'.  He played the theater circuit for several years  that was popular at that time — including The Capital, Paramount, and Seville theaters in New York City, Chicago, Hartford, Montreal, and Toronto.  He performed at 90,000 seat-plus venues such as Soldier Field, The Rubber Bowl, The Plantation, Red Rocks and others, in Chicago, Ohio, Colorado, Hawaii and Canada, along with hundreds of one-nighters on the road throughout the U.S., Canada, and England.

In 1960, he married BAT GIRL (Yvonne Craig) ... a year later, he was drafted into the army and stationed in Texas, which led to their divorce in 1962.

Boyd married a second time in in 1980. He and Anne Forrey Boyd had a son together, but divorced in 1984.  He remained single for the rest of his life.

I may have glossed-over details in my summary, but for the rest of the story ...