Sunday, 1 December 2013

ADVENT CALENDAR: Dec 1st - The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick

So if you've ventured out to the shops recently, you will have probably heard lots of Christmas music, in fact you will have probably been hearing it since late September. I am going to be celebrating the Christmas song with this ADVENT CALENDAR feature, which will be running up until Xmas with a fine festive track each day. I'm going to try to steer clear of the usual stuff that you're probably all sick of by now, but today I will begin with one of the more familiar ones...

Even though The Beach Boys inevitably evoke memories of summer, the melodies of Brian Wilson and the magic of the festive season seem to  go hand in hand... "Little Saint Nick" is a Christmas song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. It was first released as a single in December 1963, reaching number three on the Billboard Christmas charts and peaking at #69 on the regular weekly sales chart surveyed by Cash Box. Despite a media-hushed Christmas in mourning for recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy, the single went into the Top Tens of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Vancouver and Washington DC, and the Top Twenties of San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Miami, and Springfield, MA. Eventually, over several more Christmases, it was credited as an unofficial (non-RIAA audited) million-seller.

"Little Saint Nick" reappeared on The Beach Boys' Christmas Album in 1964, minus the overdubbed sleigh bells from the original single mix. The song borrows its rhythm and structure from the group's 1963 hit "Little Deuce Coupe." Some versions of the song include the usage of a xylophone.

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