'Tis the Season, while a lovely effort, is not the genre-defining-and-transcending masterpiece like The Great One's 1956 Christmas offering, Merry Christmas. 'Tis the Season is reminiscent of Jackie's other 1960s (non-holiday) albums, with Charlie Ventura (saxophone), Buddy Morrow (trombone), and Pee Wee Erwin (trumpet) all making memorable contributions.
Whereas Merry Christmas was particularly melancholy in its sound and scope, 'Tis the Season is more restrained in its holiday reflection of yet another year gone by with losses endured but--hopefully--wisdom and experience gained as a result.
Yes, the overlap is fascinating. Less so is the appearing hopelessly behind the times. "To thine own self be true" and all that rot.
The establishment was always a couple of years behind the counter establishment, as most any late '60s-early '70s TV show will indicate.
1973 was the last gasp of hippiedom and the 1960s ethos, wasn't it? Patty Hearst voluntary kidnapping notwithstanding, 1974 brought in the brown-and-tan color palette; a reaction to the garish color of 1965-73. Disco replaces psychedlia, and the suddenly addluent, sold-out Boomers' new drug of choice would also change.
'73 was also the last year that Gleason would work with the Miami Beach based "The Honeymooners" cast in "The Jackie Gleason Special" which marked his 15th anniversary in television, which had a new sketch in which Alice and Trixie join Women's Lib, and Gleason brought back Reggie Van Gleason one last time, and it was the last thing he would ever do for C.B.S..
I corrected those spelling errors on my quoted post above...yikes.
By the time I was aware of Gleason, he had relocated to neighboring Broward County and lived not more than 3 miles from my grandparents' house.
As I mentioned briefly in this thread's first post, Jackie Gleason and I actually went to the same dentist. On the wall behind the reception desk but out of view from the waiting area, was a photo from 1978 of The Great One and my dentist, The Barely Competent One.
In the photo, (shot from the waist up) Gleason could be seen wearing a long-sleeve beige velour shirt with Jackie looking not unlike he did during his time as Sheriff Buford T. Justice. From childhood I knew the Gleason story but didn't ask my dentist to tell me the Gleason visit until I was an adult.
When I did ask, it was years after Gleason's death. I repeated my grandfather's one liner about Gleason only seeing that dentist "because the booze didn't kill the pain." The doc replied, "Jackie was pretty well in the bag in that picture, too!" Jackie had extensive work done, including a bridge. It was amusing to finally get the story of this longstanding interest in my tenuous-at-best Gleason connection.
I have been obsessively listening to the 1956 "Merry Christmas" by Jackie Gleason this year. Maybe there is something about its sad demeanor that speaks to me amid all the dystopian dysfunction we are living through. The album is all dark shades of blue, with the occasional warm orange glow of a window in the distance on a snowy winter night.
Anyway, because of the repeated spins, Mrs. Birri issued a decree banning this album from our turntable until next holiday season.
Yesterday, she went grocery shopping, and while I was working on the HO train layout under the tree, I sneaked it on one last time. Mrs. Birri came home before the record ended, and I got busted.
I shared this with Mr. Phelps, and he described this series of events as "tragic, but in the most adorable way." He also requested that I share my tale of woe with the legions of Jackie Gleason fans who haunt the hallowed halls of Film Score Monthtly.
I think I may be working on a screenplay for the Hallmark Channel. It will center around an impossibly single perky young blonde, her former high school sweetheart, who is an impossibly widowed hedge fund executive living in a gated community, and an original mono copy of Jackie Gleason's "Merry Christmas" inherited from the perky blonde's grandparents.
So, Maestro Gleason, till we meet again. Between now and next Christmas season, I will continue to enjoy a good scotch as the seasons pass, and will liberate more of your wonderful LPs from the dollar bins.
"I have been obsessively listening to the 1956 "Merry Christmas" by Jackie Gleason this year. Maybe there is something about its sad demeanor that speaks to me amid all the dystopian dysfunction we are living through. The album is all dark shades of blue, with the occasional warm orange glow of a window in the distance on a snowy winter night."
Gleasonian Orchestral Melancholia makes poets of us all.
(With all due respect to death and philosophy, of course)
Softly As I Leave You (From Jackie Gleason Presents The Last Dance For Lovers Only) I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face (From Jackie Gleason Presents The Torch With The Blue Flame) I Thought About You (From Jackie Gleason Presents That Moment) Blue Velvet (From Jackie Gleason Presents Todays Romantic Hits For Lovers Only) What Kind Of Fool Am I? (From Jackie Gleason Presents Todays Romantic Hits For Lovers Only) Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me (From Jackie Gleason Presents Rebound)
Who Can I Turn To? (From Jackie Gleason Presents The Torch And The Blue Flame) Days Of Wine And Roses (From Jackie Gleason Presents Movie Themes For Lovers Only) Just In Time (From Jackie Gleason Presents The Torch With The Blue Flame) I Left My Heart In San Francisco (From Jackie Gleason Presents Todays Romantic Hits For Lovers Only) What Can I Say After I've Said I'm Sorry? (From Jackie Gleason Presents Love Embers And Flame Charade (from Jackie Gleason Presents Todays Romantic Hits For Lovers Only)