Monday, December 07, 2015

Silver Bells

This week we're featuring some YouTube clips of various Christmas songs from various sources. Join us all week for festive holiday fun, won't ya!? First up is the odd pairing of Bob Hope and Olivia Newton-John lip synching SILVER BELLS.

Silver Bells is one of those Christmas standards that you assume has just been around forever, but it's origins are actually directly connected to Bob Hope. The song was written for the 1951 comedy musical THE LEMON DROP KID staring Hope along with Marilyn Maxwell and William "Fred Mertz" Frawley. The movie debuted in March of '51, but in Christmas 1950 a recording of Silver Bells was released sung by Bing Crosby. When the record became such a huge hit, the movie studio quickly brought the stars back in to film a more elaborate musical number to do the song justice.

The song, of course, became a classic and Bob Hope used it as his signature Christmas song and performed it almost every year on his annual Christmas special. He asked Olivia Newton-John to join him in a performance in his 1977 descriptively titled special THE BOB HOPE ALL STAR CHRISTMAS COMEDY SPECIAL. Along for the ride in the special was Christmas staple Perry Como, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and The Muppets!

Sadly, nobody has uploaded the entire special (at least I couldn't find it) but here's Bob and a much younger Olivia (uncomfortably) flirting through a snow covered Burbank soundstage singing the holiday classic:

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