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SCOTT SIMON, host:

We're in the midst of marathon holiday madness with holiday music ring-ting-tingling at us from every turn. Now, some of us rather like that. Other people can find it weary.

(Soundbite of song, "Christmas Fever")

TIMMY CHRISTMAS: (Singing) Santa Claus will soon be here, lots of gifts and Christmas cheer. Just Christmas fever is here, just Christmas fever is here.

SIMON: I like that. Our annoying music man, Jim Nayder, joins us with some of his own special brand of holiday music from WBEZ in Chicago.

Jim, how are you?

Mr. JIM NAYDER (Host, "The Annoying Music Show"): Scott, I feel like a tap dancer on a floor full of dynamite caps.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Well, all right, I think I can understand that. Look, when we think of holiday music, children singing, the voices of innocent, sweet young children singing - that's often a part of the appeal, isn't it?

Mr. NAYDER: Absolutely. You know, Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of Baby Jesus. Thousands of school children have put on a pageants or plays at some point with Mary and Joseph in the manger, the shepherds, the Three Kings, and actually these kids here have their own version of the story.

(Soundbite of song, "Brady Bunch Theme")

RIGHTEOUS POP: (Singing) Here's a story...

SIMON: Oh.

(Soundbite of song, "Brady Bunch Theme")

RIGHTEOUS POP: (Singing) ...of a girl named Mary...

SIMON: Oh, no.

(Soundbite of song, "Brady Bunch Theme")

RIGHTEOUS POP: (Singing) ...who told that she would bear God's only son by an angel of the Lord and though she wondered, she said thy will be done. Here's a story of a man named Joseph...

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Brady Bunch Theme")

RIGHTEOUS POP: (Singing) ...and God told him that the marriage should begin.

SIMON: Oh.

(Soundbite of song, "Brady Bunch Theme")

RIGHTEOUS POP: (Singing) So her baby was conceived by the spirits and he was saved from sin.

SIMON: I, look, if...

Mr. NAYDER: You're moved.

SIMON: That's what I meant to say. What have we been listening to?

Mr. NAYDER: This is a group called the Righteous Pop, and they put their own spin on various pop songs for Righteous Pop sake, so you can Google them and send your emails to them, or Scott Simon, just not to me.

SIMON: Right. Thanks very much.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: S. Simon, whatever it is. Look, many famous singers one time or another make holiday albums because people want to hear fresh takes on old standards, right?

Mr. NAYDER: Right. You know, there are probably only 50 actual holiday songs and probably five million artists who record them, so for THE ANNOYING MUSIC SHOW...

SIMON: I - some of us can never get enough of, you know, the trinity, which is Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra...

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

SIMON: ...and Bing Crosby, yes.

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah. Here's someone that is as famous as those names and just as annoying when it comes to Christmas music.

(Soundbite of song, "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing")

Mr. BOB DYLAN (Singer): (Singing) Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.

SIMON: Now, Jim, you know what this sounds like?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: When you and I get together and we're laughing and I do my Bob Dylan impersonation...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: ...and you tell me that's the worst Bob Dylan impersonation you've ever heard, that's what this sounds like.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, you actually make him sound better than he is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: This is actually the Bob Dylan Christmas album that came out last year and we get a request for it from people who aren't taking their medications.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: And the actual album is called "Christmas In The Heart" by Bob Dylan. And ironically, the song is banned from being played in hospitals that do open heart surgery.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Yes. Oh, my word. Now, now...

Mr. NAYDER: Yes.

SIMON: ...rather more plausibly, I'm told - well, you know, my favorite Christmas song is "Little Drummer Boy," and I'm told you have a special version of that.

(Soundbite of song, "Drummer Boy")

Ms. MARLENE DIETRICH (Actor): (Singing) (Foreign language spoken)

SIMON: Jim, I have to tell you, I had no idea Eva Braun ever made a Christmas album.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I didn't know that.

Mr. NAYDER: Very close.

SIMON: Is that the great Marlene Dietrich doing something...

Mr. NAYDER: It is.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. NAYDER: Yes. She recorded this in 1964, and from our research, we discovered it was actually a government test on a new line of drugs called Quaaludes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: And she was the first to try them and sing.

SIMON: We should state, in case you're listening in solitary confinement or in a straitjacket...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: ...and can't reach the dial to turn it, you're listening to Jim Nayder, host of THE ANNOYING MUSIC SHOW on Chicago Public Radio. We're talking about annoying holiday music.

Now, Jim...

Mr. NAYDER: Yes.

SIMON: I'm taking a look at my notes, although it's absolutely fruitless at this point because what we're talking about has no relationship to the notes that were so carefully laid out by a thoughtful, highly paid and esteemed producer. But all of that being noted, alright, do you have a Hanukkah song?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I mean I've got several notes about Hanukkah songs...

Mr. NAYDER: Yes.

SIMON: ...which suggests to me you might have one in the pipeline, yeah?

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah. You know, those eight fun-filled nights of candles and dreidels came early this year and...

Mr. NAYDER: Yes, you have a multi-faith household, as we do.

Mr. NAYDER: Yes. As you know, I was raised Catholic but I now have a household full of Jews. I have no idea...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: My lovely spouse, Laurie, my daughter, Blair. We have to pay tribute to Hanukkah, and so our best tribute is by the world's only senior citizen Jewish rock band, Gefilte Joe & The Fish.

(Soundbite of song, "Hanukkah Rocks")

GEFILTE JOE & THE FISH: (Singing) Hanukkah comes but once a year and when it does, you know it's here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Hanukkah Rocks")

GEFILTE JOE & THE FISH: (Singing) Hanukkah rocks. Hanukkah rocks. Hanukkah rocks, oh Hanukkah rocks. Hey. Hey. Hey.

SIMON: You know, I can put that up against Adam Sandler.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: That is not bad.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, no, this is a serious attempt.

SIMON: Yes.

Mr. NAYDER: Sandler is just trying to be funny, so...

SIMON: Right.

Mr. NAYDER: ...you know, we can't play Adam on the program, but Gefilte Joe, this is actually the B side to "Matzah, Matzah Man."

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Mercy. So where was this leaning, another Hanukkah song? No.

Mr. NAYDER: No, no. Now that I've found out that you do monitor the news from time to time, I'm sure you heard about that University of Australia study that was done last year looking...

SIMON: There's no University of Australia. There's universities in Australia. There's no University of Australia. Alright.

Mr. NAYDER: Good point.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Some Australian university last year.

Mr. NAYDER: I will fire my intern.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Because of this. Yes. Alright. Yes.

Mr. NAYDER: But the work was published in the British medical journal and it was a study that Santa Claus needs to lose weight.

SIMON: Mm-hmm.

Mr. NAYDER: He should be parking the sleigh and walking. He should cut out the mince pies, the brandy, and it all sounds very tough, but we did discover he finally did break one bad habit.

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) Santa doesn't smoke anymore. He threw away his pipe and tobacco. Now he can last longer and feel so much stronger, he did it cold turkey, didn't go wacko.

SIMON: Oh.

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) Santa doesn't smoke anymore...

Mr. NAYDER: This is my favorite lyric right here.

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) ...he must've read the Surgeon General's warning.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) The elves started dancing, the reindeers...

SIMON: Now who is that no doubt perfectly earnest singer?

Mr. NAYDER: This song was written by the great Larry Nestor from Chicago, and what we discovered was Santa was smoking for(ph) glaucoma, so I'm not quite sure what he was smoking but...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: ...whatever it was, I'm glad that he stopped. Now, if we can get them over to Weight Watchers, things will be better next year, I'm sure.

SIMON: Oh, well, it's a very moving song in its own way.

What do I say, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family. Jim...

Mr. NAYDER: Happy Holidays to Caroline, Lina, Elisa and the whole Simon household.

SIMON: Thank you so much. Jim Nayder is host of THE ANNOYING MUSIC SHOW on Chicago Public Radio, speaking to us from the studios there before they're (clears throat) - locked up and he is barred.

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) The children of the world now are learning, that golden night air's freezing, dear Santa won't be wheezing

SIMON: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. NPR News, we're a news show, really. I'm Scott Simon.

(Soundbite of song, "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore")

Mr. LARRY NESTOR: (Singing) Yes, Santa sent(ph) away and he did it on Christmas day...

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