1952: Santa Gets in Trouble with the Catholic Church
Recorded on July 15, 1952, Jimmy Boyd sang “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” when he was 13-years-old. The song that entails a young child wandering downstairs on Christmas Eve spotting “Santa” kissing his mother. It became the #1 song on Billboard on this day in 1952. The song was commissioned by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store’s Christmas card for the year, which featured an original sketch by Perry Barlow from The New Yorker. Initially, the song was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Boston due to its mixing of kissing with Christmas, but when Boyd met with the Archdiocese to explain the song, the ban was lifted. (Photo by Anderson W Rangel on Unsplash)
1927: ‘Show Boat’ Opens on Broadway
Considered to be America’s first musical play, Show Boat opened on this day in 1927 at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway. The story that follows the lives of performers, stagehands and dock workers of the Mississippi River Show aboard the Cotton Blossom, featured the songs “Ol’ Man River” and “Make Believe.” It was the first time for American theatre to use elements of music and serious storytelling. It won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1995.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.