Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Day 20 - 'I'm a Little Christmas Cracker' - Freddie Davies
Every year the Calendar has to have at least one novelty record on it, good, bad, or screamingly deplorable, but this year’s – while almost transcendental in its awfulness – leaves me with a bit of a dilemma as I’m transported back five years to when I first started this festive jamboree and I had to explain what the songs sounded like as there was barely any Youtube to access.
A healthy search on the WWW hasn’t uncovered this anywhere so I’m going to link you to another version of the song – equally horrendous – and then try to convey what I’m listening to here in the soundproof rooms of Blagg Acres. And that may take a bit of explaining…
You see, Freddie ‘Parrot Face’ Davies was (is?) a British comedian – and I use the word loosely – who became a big hit on the comedy circuit and TV in the 60’s and ‘70’s. His sole raison d’etre was to pull a bowler hat low over his ears so they stuck out at right angles, pull a silly face and speak so that every few words was a raspberry. Hilarious, huh?
He told jokes about budgies and parrot’s – you getting this? – and so earned the nickname ‘Parrott Face’ which, of course, caused Freddie to pronounce the C and E in ‘face’ to produce a raspberry sound. While not strictly in the spirit of the Calendar, you can see a picture and hear Freddie ‘singing’ here: Freddie Davies
Now, it’s easy for us to mock…?! …but Freddie made a healthy career out of this and had hit records all over the world, going so far as to earn a Gold disc in Brazil; the Brazilians, obviously, finding this hilarious in some obscure Latin-American way. If you’ve ever heard the beginning of The Tremeloes ’67 Top Ten hit ‘’Even the Bad Times are Good’ you’ll hear reference to ‘Parrot Face’ so you can see there was some cultural joke going on here. Seriously, back then this man was Ricky Gervais. I’m told Freddie was in a Harry Potter film but I have to say I missed him unless there was a budgie scene that passed me by somewhere.
Also – and this is a thread for the kids ain’t it? – did Russ Conway sue for the use of part of ‘China Tea’? Or did ‘Christmas Cracker’ come first? Jeez, I really need to go out and meet some people soon…
LATE UPDATE: But hold hard Cully! I’ve just found a 30 second snippet of Freddie’s song on LastFM here: www.last.fm Freddie Davies ''I'm A Little Christmas Cracker"
And just to wrap this lunatic thread up, feel free to visit actress Diana Decker’s ‘50’s version here: Diana Decker - 'I'm a Little Christmas Cracker'
Now, I’m off to have a stiff drink, a lie down and try a see if I can unearth a life somewhere…