The Day Thread Gets Upsot

A couple days ago in the Day Thread, I discussed my family’s masochistic love of godawful Christmas music. I’m back with more.

When I was very young, a family friend would distribute homemade cassette tapes of Christmas music every year. He had a home recording studio, and would essentially produce his own radio show, dubbing tapes off of his vast (but unenviable) record collection, recording introductions and reading poems and the Christmas story in between songs. Basically, he was making podcasts 25 years before anybody had ever heard of podcasts.

The crown jewel of these tapes was the year that sampled heavily from gospel singer Doug Oldham’s Holiday Song. I don’t know a lot about Doug Oldham, except I’ve never heard anybody so obviously in love with the sound of his own voice. Which tracks, given that Wikipedia tells me he recorded 64 albums over the course of his career.

I’ve chosen for today’s selection “Jingle Bells,” which is a song I truly hate, but this version has so much going on that it can’t be ignored. From the overlong spoken word intro, to the cheesy backup singers, to his attempts to weave in a personal story to the most dull and generic song ever written, to his inability to keep from sliding back to his overwrought BIG GOSPEL VOICE, it reminds me of nothing so much as “Ron Burgundy Sings Jingle Bells.”

If you’re interested in more of this preposterous holiday music, the full album is available on a YouTube playlist. Be warned: Oldham was a gospel singer, and most of the rest of the album is explicitly religious in nature, but you can rest assured that it is just as cheesy.