A good Christmas song is clever and/or schlocky, with a kernel of goodwill at the center; many great ones are parodic; the best ones are also obscure. One of my favorites since childhood that satisfies all these requirements is "Merry Christmas from Brooklyn," a fake Chipmunks tune recorded in 1980 by Emerson Bimby and the Cadman Kids:
One year ago I wrote this blog post about this song (and included a bad recording of it that I did using just Audacity and my little laptop speakers). Last week D.B. Fisher, the artist who created it, found my blog and wrote to me, asking for an mp3 copy, as none of his original recordings had survived. I was thrilled to oblige -- in a weird twist, I'd also bought his record "My Little Bomb" (r.) just the day before at a used vinyl shop because I recognized the name Emerson Bimby. After so many years I've learned the story behind the underground track, which I knew nothing about besides that it received some play on New York's WNEW.
Fisher was living in a loft on Jay Street in December 1980, and recorded the song with his two roommates as part of an audio Christmas card for his sister's family stationed in Japan. The building where they lived is now Brooklyn Union Gas, and Fisher himself eventually moved to Hawaii as his neighborhood was bulldozed to build the Metrotech business improvement district. His experimental/new wave rock music, recorded in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Emerson Bimby, can be heard on MySpace.
Check out D.B. Fisher's MySpace page here. Listen to a Christmas-themed show I did this week on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio stream here. And happy holidays, everyone, no matter what geographic location your apartment is in!