It seems I’ve been reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever forever – or at least since SonShineIn outgrew Santa's Beard Is Soft and Warm.
Barbara Robinson’s tale was already a well-known book by that time, having been published in book form in 1972, and earlier in McCall’s Magazine. I certainly read it to all three children. It was too long for me to read at church on Christmas Eve, although one year when I was out of town another member presented an abridged version. I’ve even seen a theatrical version at Lakeshore Players in White Bear Lake. (Minnesotans: a theater in Chaska is presenting it this season.) I’d avoided recording it, though, just as I’ve so far skipped Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, because of the length (80 pages). Last year, I decided it could be read over a three-day period, so here tonight is the first installment.
Barbara Robinson is best known for this book, and I had not known until today that she wrote two other books featuring the Herdmans.
The song I chose to go with tonight’s reading is Nuttin’ for Christmas as performed by Art Mooney and His Orchestra with vocal by Barry J. Gordon.
(My introduction, recorded last year, was incomplete.) Written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, Nuttin’ for Christmas was a major hit for several artists in 1955, and this version made it to No. 6 on the Billboard charts. Tepper and Bennett also wrote at least one other Christmas song, the Rosemary Clooney hit Suzy Snowflake, as well as most of the songs for Elvis Presley’s movies
Some years, if the timing is right, I also record a Chanukah story, so for tonight, the second night of Chanukah, you can also choose to hear The Peddler’s Gift by Maxine Rose Schur.
It’s come to my attention that the self-extracting Zip files don’t work on Macs, so I am including links to both the unzipped and Zip files.Self-Extracting Zip File 15 December 2006 (original date)