Smiley: Lost Christmas songs

‘Tis the season for Christmas music, when we dust off our favorite tunes of the season and play them until Mardi Gras music takes over.

I grew up hearing the great old Christmas hymns of the Episcopal Church, and still love them.

But my favorite secular song is “White Christmas,” as performed by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters.

And while “Little Drummer Boy” was OK the first 10,000 times I heard it, I could give it a rest for the next century or so.

Ken Toups, of Lafayette, who collects old music, mentions Christmas songs of the past that never became classics.

For instance, “They Shined Up Rudolph’s Nose,” by Johnny Horton in 1959; “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy,” by Buck Owens, in 1965; and “Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney,” by Ella Fitzgerald, 1950.

If you have an obscure Christmas song that you like, feel free to share it with us.

A gentler time

Marie Kerrin, of New Orleans, says she and her sister Ann “were strolling around the French Quarter one night, and stopped to admire the lights and action of Canal Street.

“We began to reminisce about stories we had heard of Canal Street’s history.

“Our mother told us that when she was a girl, her mother would dress her in her best dress and white gloves for a day of downtown shopping.

“Can you imagine if people still wore white gloves on Canal Street now? Accompanied by Saints shirts and Mardi Gras beads? Those gloves would get so filthy!

“What a different world. …”

No respect

Earl Rainey adds to our seminar on the old telephone time-of-day services:

“Back in the 1980s, it was customary to give a man a nice watch when he retired from work after a lengthy service with a company.

“When I retired as a conductor on a local railroad in 1986, I was given a slip of paper with a phone number.

“It was for the time of day service.”

Worthy causes

  • Tonya Robertson says if you have unused gift cards from last Christmas, a birthday, etc., you can give them to The Young Leaders Academy, which is raising funds to help the less fortunate (Of course, money is good too).

The group has requests for help with food, clothing, medicine, Christmas gifts etc.

Send contributions to the YLA at 419 N. 19th St., Baton Rouge, by Monday, Dec. 16, or call (225) 346-1583.

    Toys for Tots gets 20 percent of sales of Duck Dynasty art pieces at Hunt Studio in Mandeville until Saturday, Dec. 14. For information, call Dennis Lomonaco at (504) 975-4702.

You can book it

A school librarian seeks “a group, organization or school that can use elementary books no longer needed at my school.” Call (225) 324-7443 or email

You can boot it

Gail Stephenson is shopping for Christmas gifts for the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Holiday Star project, to go to children who might otherwise receive nothing.

“One request has me stumped. A 10-year-old girl asked for LSU rain boots in size 4-5. At every store I’ve been to, girls’ sizes stop at 3; women’s sizes start at 6.” To help, email

Special People Dept.

  • Chester Guidry, of Central, a World War II veteran, celebrates his 97th birthday on Saturday, Dec. 7.
  • Faune (Mrs. John) Futral, of Port Barre, celebrates her 97th birthday on Friday, Dec. 6.

    Elmer Leo Brown celebrates his 92nd birthday on Saturday, Dec. 7. He’s a World War II Navy veteran, serving in the north Atlantic on the USS Tuscaloosa, and retired from Ethyl Corp. after 36 years.

    Arnold and Teel Lee celebrated their 50th anniversary on Nov. 23.

Three’s a crowd

Nice to know the stories are still corny at the Patio Lounge:

Mike Patterson says, “Owen Hall walked into the Patio and said he talked to his nephew over Thanksgiving.

“His nephew said he’d grown a foot since he’d last seen him.

“So Owen is sending him three socks for Christmas.”

Time to retire

Joe Cooper tells of seeing this sign at a tire store in Bogalusa:

“If you’re not riding on our tires, slow down!”

What, we’re different?

Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, says, “An article in The Advocate contained some shocking ‘new’ information that was all contained in the title, ‘Study: Brains wired differently by gender.’

“If the study consisted of more than random calls to married men and women, it is a great example of why we are $17 trillion in debt.

“The research leader was not mentioned, but it must have been the world famous psychologist, Dr. I.M. Obvious.

“I think you should apply for a grant for a follow-up study to determine the various reasons this is so, and allow the vast experience of your readers/writers to shed some real light on the subject.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.