Thursday, December 22, 2011


Let me start this post by saying I DO NOT LIKE the term "Happy Holidays". I can understand using that phrase in a retail store situation - the person working the counter doesn't know you from Adam, and doesn't know HOW you celebrate, and doesn't HAVE to know. But for people to say "Happy Holidays" to people they are supposedly FRIENDS with, that tells me two things: 1) they've drunk the "political correctness" Kool-Aid, and 2) they REALLY haven't taken the time to get to know the other person well enough to find out WHAT to say to them - "Merry Christmas", or "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanzaa" or whatever (I know a guy who's an atheist, so to him I just say, "have a nice day")!

HUMBUG to that kinda tripe!

Another thing that annoys me about the Christmas season is the radio play for certain records. Here in the NY/NJ area there's a radio station - WLTW, also known as "Lite FM" - that starts playing Christmas music (though they call it "holiday favorites" - I NEVER hear Hanukkah or Kwanzaa music on that wretched station) on FREAKIN' THANKSGIVING NIGHT and goes ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO CHRISTMAS!! I wouldn't even mind THAT so much if they played good Christmas records, but they play the same old ones you hear every year - "Jingle Bell Rock", "White Christmas", "Blue Christmas", "All I Want For Christmas Is You", and the new hip holiday favorite, George Michael's "Last Christmas". Even THEN, I could live with that (or treat it as background noise), but this station INSISTS on playing remade versions of these songs by the WORST "recording artists" on the scene today - Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Lady Antebellum, and (cough, spew, HAACK) Michael Buble' (emphasis on HACK). If I ever meet the guy who runs that pitiful excuse for a radio station, I'll whack him over the head with a Yule Log and boil his ass in his own figgy pudding (apologies to Charles Dickens)!!!

Which brings us to the above 45. As an American of Italian descent, I have been bombarded by well-meaning people who ask me if I've ever heard Lou Monte's "Dominick The Donkey". What do YOU think?? Ever since Scott Shannon of Z-100 in New York "rediscovered" the record in the 1980s (it was originally released in 1960 on mob-owned Roulette Records), it's become almost as popular here as "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"!

That's when I pull out this here slab o' wax. It's another "Christmas donkey" song, but instead of taking place in Italy, it takes place in Mexico, and instead of Lou Monte's slight (but natural) Italian accent, we get some guy doing an OUTRAGEOUSLY fake - but great - Mexican accent!!

I don't know anything about Don Lucas. Apparently he was some sort of West Coast comedian who may or may not have done some TV work in the late 1960s (most prominently on "To Catch A Thief", where he essayed the role of "Reporter #1"), but in 1962 he recorded this, one of my favorite Christmas records. Like "Dominick", the hook here is the musical braying of the donkey, except on "Burrito", Lucas gets SO into it that you think to yourself, "wow, this guy's throat must have hurt for a WEEK!"

One thing's for sure - Michael Buble' will NOT be doing a remake of this. That ALONE makes me enjoy Christmas just a little bit more.

Whatever YOU celebrate, here's hoping for peace, love, and happiness for you and your family at this festive time of year.

Don Lucas - Burrito (Challenge 9175) - 1962