Friday, December 24, 2010

David Bowie & Bing Crosby - Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth

I know there is an update version-a parody which is more creepy than funny-but for me, the original is (obviously) still the best and just as weird.

Because the notion of David Bowie-fresh off of the androgyny of Ziggy Stardust and still considered a fringe rock artist in the mainstream-sitting down to croon a duet with Bing Crosby was absolutely bonkers back when this song was done for a Crosby Merrie Olde Christmas special.

Bing died a month after recording this song.

Bowie was asked about the weird paring, admitting that he did it because his mom liked Bing Crosby. He didn’t like the song “Little Drummer Boy,” so songwriters wrote “Peace On Earth” to tack onto the more recognized classic.

I’d looked for a copy for years, under the assumption that the performance was only available as a bootleg. I learned through someone that a record collector in Waterloo, Iowa had a copy-probably more than one, actually-and that he might be able to sell me a copy.

I was in college at the time, and I had a few rarities of my own. I called up the man unannounced and offered to meet at his place to discuss options.

I return for a promotional copy of Jimi Hendrix Live At Winterland, I scored a copy of “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” and an eighth of an ounce of weed.

Looking at it afterwards, I realized that RCA records had actually released “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” as a single. “Fantastic Voyage” was the b-side, and Bowie became upset with RCA Records for the yuletide cash-in, a full five years after the song was originally broadcasted.

And for a real hoot in parody, check out this stellar version from the Venture Bros. camp.

"Come in. Come in. Come in, David Bowie. Now."

1 comment:

Tanja said...

I do like this song. For some reason, the digital music station that we listen to at work pulled it from its rotation. They did include the 2 chipmunk songs, grandma and the reindeer one, and a new one about Dominic, the Italian Christmas donkey. In and 8 hour shift, I sometimes get to hear them twice a day. Also lots of Robert Goulet! HoHoHo.