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The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs -- #35

A countdown and history of the oldies era's greatest holiday tunes


"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," Jimmy Boyd

source: kiddierekordking.com

35. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," Jimmy Boyd

Columbia MJV-152 b/w "Thumbelina"
Highest chart position: #1 Pop (1952)
Recorded July 15, 1952, Hollywood, CA

Jimmy Boyd was arguably the singing child star of the early 1950s, a country-pop artist in the style of Teresa Brewer (and, later, Brenda Lee) who influenced everyone from Kris Kristofferson to Bobby Darin. Yet it's this 1952 hit he's most remembered for, a cute novelty given him by Mitch Miller at Columbia about a kid who can't understand why Mommy is cheating on Daddy with Santa! It seems innocuous now, but the Catholic Church actually managed to get this one banned in several major markets (including that old standby, Boston), claiming that the implication -- however mistaken -- was all wrong for a religious holiday. It took a special conference between the 13-year-old Boyd and the Council of Churches to clear the song in those markets, where it finally enjoyed success year after year.

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