Christmas Dragnet

I will be offering up a couple of my favorite Christmas songs as part of the Turntable Talk feature hosted by Dave at a Sound Day. My entry will show up on Saturday. You can read my entry here and on his site.

This post will also feature a Christmas favorite that many have never heard before. I wouldn’t consider it a Christmas “song,” but more of a “sketch.” I heard this many years ago on a “best of” collection from Stan Freberg.

Let me give you a little back ground. Stan was a was an American actor, author, comedian, musician, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director. He was a master satirist and was recruited by Capitol Records when they launched their Spoken Word division in the early 1950’s. He had been doing voice work in cartoons in the 1940’s and began producing satirical records in 1951.

In 1949, Jack Webb debuted on radio as Sgt. Joe Friday on the program Dragnet. It was a huge hit and it was perfect for a satirical parody. In 1953, Stan’s first Dragnet release was St. George and the Dragonet – set in medieval days where a night is searching for a Dragon. The recording featured June Foray and the great Daws Butler – two of cartoon’s most famous voices!

Stan wanted to use the Dragnet theme (written by Walter Schumann) for his production. Capitol Records insisted he get the permission of Dragnet star and Jack Webb. Being a Freberg fan, Webb liked the idea, approved the use of the theme and allowed Freberg to use the same orchestra from the Dragnet series with Schumann conducting.

For Christmas Dragnet (also called Yulenet), Freberg once again played the “Joe Friday” character and Daws Butler was his partner Frank. This simple six minute recording always makes me laugh and always makes me smile. In a nutshell, it’s Christmas Eve and Joe and Frank are working the “holiday watch.” The story focuses on a guy named Grudge, who was picked up by the squad for refusing to believe in Santa Claus.

Even if you are not familiar with Dragnet, I think you will enjoy this. And you will always question what to call green onions after hearing this! Enjoy!

“This is the season ….”

3 thoughts on “Christmas Dragnet

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