The Holiday Music Fest
A while back, I was posting a bunch of videos from some rare, live TV musicals. I came across one at the time that I decided to hold for the holidays. That's because it was appropriately titled, The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood.
The show was done in 1965, and had a pretty strong pedigree. It starred a very young Liza Minnelli, as well as Cyril Ritchard -- yes, Capt. Hook from Peter Pan (as well as another TV musical I posted from, Jack and the Beanstalk. Clearly, he was a go-to guy for these sort of things). Also in the show was Vic Damone, a popular singer of the era, who appeared in at least one Broadway musical I know of (Say, Darling), and another Christmas TV musical I've posted some songs from, The Stingiest Man in the World, based on A Christmas Carol.)
Further more, the score is by Broadway veterans Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, who three years earlier had written Funny Girl -- as well as the great score for the beloved Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. This particular score is not one of their more memorable...and this particular song is not one of the strongest. But it's lively (Liza Minnelli especially throws herself into it), and it references Christmas (just once, I think, but that counts) -- and it's also the only video from the show I've come across.
It's a song called, “Ding-a-Ling, I Feel So Christmas-ey.” And, okay, you can probably have figured from the title why it didn't become a holiday standard. But that does well-qualify it here for our fest as little-known. Here then is Liza Minnelli, and -- at his campiest best, as the Big Bad Wolf dressed up as granny -- Cyril Ritchard.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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