The Beach Boys All-In-The-Family Album
"Santa's Beard" is a big brother-little brother tale that could have been about scores of other unrelated-to-Christmas mischievous messes older boys get into when unhappily put in charge of a younger sibling (walking to school, Friday night baby-sitting). Wally and the Beaver played out variations of a Santa's Beard storyline every week on CBS TV.
"Merry Christmas Baby" tells the sad story of a teenage couple breaking up. Breaking up is hard to do during the Christmas season, but painful any time of year. Change the title (and lyrics) to, say, Lonely Summer, Baby and you've got a top ten hit.
"Christmas Day" might as well be sung and danced to by the Lawrence Welk singers and orchestra on their highly rated weekly musical variety show. Maybe this was Brian's idea of a song teenagers would like that their parents (and even grandparents) would to not object to. A tip-of-the-hat to Murry?
"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," preformed as the biggest big band tune on the album, could have fit well with any of the late 50's early 60's prime time variety shows that served as stay-at-home-dates for mom and dad. Shows like the Andy Williams Show (on which we first heard the Osmonds) motivated dad to get off the couch, walk to the TV set and change the channel to one go the many musical variety shows of that day. A trip to the dance hall or night club without leaving home. A message for the kids but music for the adults.
"White Christmas" was a hit when grandma and grandpa were raising mom and dad in the 40's. A song to help Bing Crosby fans reminisce about more than Christmas. Irving Berlin's song evokes memories of simpler times, a frightening war, and a cozy fireplace. Beach Boys fans who skipped this one, raise your hands!
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