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March 2023
Vol. 22, No. 6
32nd Annual San Diego Music Awards

Recordially, Lou Curtiss

FROM SPOOKTACULARS TO MISTLETOE (Songs for the Holiday Season)

by Lou CurtissNovember 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve put up a song list here and as I do a couple of special radio shows each winter on my JAZZ ROOTS radio show (KSDS 88.3FM and “” each Sunday Night at 8pm), I thought I might list a few songs that I’ve played over the 20-plus years I’ve been doing these shows.

The first show would be my Halloween SPOOKTACULAR.
Cab Calloway: “Nightmare” (1931)
Betty Grable, Dan Daily, and David Wayne: “Halloween” (1950) from the movie My Blue Heaven
Ray Noble’s New Mayfair Dance Orchestra w/ the Three Ginx: “The Haunted House” (1931)
Frank Trumbauer’s Orchestra: “Shivery Stomp” (1929)
Harry Reser and the Radio All-Star Novelty Orchestra: “Mysterious Mose” (1930)
Betty Boop (Mae Questel): “I’m a Ghost” (mid-1930s) from cartoon Scrappy’s Ghost Story
Louis Armstrong: “When the Skeleton in the Closet Rattles His Bones” (1938) from the movie Pennies From Heaven
Glenn Miller Orchestra: “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” (1939)
The Prairie Ramblers: “The Ghost in the Graveyard” (1935)
Henry Hall Orchestra: “Here Comes the Boogieman” (1940s)
Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross: “Halloween Spooks” (1959)
George Formby: “The Ghost” (1940s)
Ethel Waters: “Shoo Shoo Boogie Boo” (1929)
Red Nichols and His Five Pennies: “The Bug a Boo (1931)
Todd Rollins Orchestra: “The Boogie Man” (1934)
Jack Rivers: “Haunted House Boogie” (1951)
Arthur Godfrey: “The Man with the Weird Beard” (1950)
Cyril Smith: “With Her Head Tucked Underneath her Arm” (1939)
Peerless Quartet: “At the Devil’s Ball” (1913)
Al Bowlly: “Goopy Geer” (1932)
Ambrose Orchestra: “The Old Man of the Mountain” (1933)
Gene Kardos: “Zombie” (1934)
Louis Prima Orchestra: “Mr. Ghost Goes to Town” (1936)
The American Quartet: “The Mysterious Rag” (1911)
The New Yorkers w/ Dick Robertson (vocal): “Hells Bells” (1933)
Ozzie Nelson Orchestra: “The Black Cat” (1938)
Skinnay Ennis Orchestra: “Strange Enchantment” (1939)
Cab Calloway: “The Ghost of Smokey Joe” (1939)
Kay Starr w/ Billy Butterfield Quintet: “The Headless Horseman” (1949)
The American Quartet: “Little Willie” (1909)
Betty Hutton: “He’s a Demon, He’s a Devil, He’s a Doll” (1944)
Bill Boyd’s Cowboy Ramblers: “Cemetery Sal” (late 1930s)
Bessie Smith: “Blue Spirit Blues” (1929)
Stanley Brothers: “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off of Me” (1960s)
Lee Morse and Her Bluegrass Boys: “Tain’t No Sin to Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones” (late 1920s)
Salty Holmes: “The Ghost Song” (early 1950s)
The Revels: “Midnight Stroll” (late 1950s)
Brian Sisters: “The Boogie Woogie Boogie Man” (mid-1930s)
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan: “Stone Cold Dead in the Market” (mid-1940s)
The Hollywood Flames: “Frankenstein’s Den” (mid-1950s)
Jack Turner: “Nightmare”
Pat and Lolly Vegas: “The Giggler”
George Formby: “The Hindu, How Do, Hoo Doo, You Do Man” (late 1930s)
Tom Gerun Orchestra: “The Boogy Man Is Here” (late 1920s)
Red Nichols and His Orchestra: “Haunting Blues” (1931)
Don Redman and His Orchestra: “Got the Jitters” (1934)
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra: “The Goblin Band” (1937)
Eddie Duchin Orchestra: “Old Man Mose Is Dead” (1939)
King Cole Trio: “Ol’ Man Mose Ain’t Dead” (1941)
Glenn Miller Orchestra: “Swingin’ at the Seance” (1941)
Charlie Barnet Orchestra w/ Peggy Lee: “Horror Fantasia for Spooks and Wild Indians” (1946)
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra: “Dry Bones” (1950)
Soupy Sales: “My Baby Got a Crush on Frankenstein” (1950s)
Laverne Baker: “VooDoo VooDoo” (early 1950s)
Louis Armstrong Orchestra: “You’ve Got Me Voodoo’d” (1940s)
Kathy Bee: “The Pumpkin Man” (1950s)
John Zacherle (The Cool Ghoul): “Dinner with Drac” (1956)
The Boys: “Trick or Treat” (1950)
The Vegas Vampire: “The Best Things in Life Are Dead” (1950s)
Murray Kaufman: “Something’s Gonna Jump Out of the Bushes and Grab You One of These Days” (1950s)
Murray Schale and the Aristocrats: “Tombstone Number 9”
Sir Lancelot: “Your Daddy Looks Like the Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1950s)
Sons of the Pioneers: “Ghost Riders in the Sky” (1947)
Spike Jones and His City Slickers: “My Old Flame” (1946)

A few songs to throw in for Thanksgiving
Gene Autry: “Guffy the Goofy Gobbler” (1950s)
Don and Dewey: “Turkey Necks” (1950s)
Ernest Tubb: “Thanks a Lot” (1950s)

Now, to finish up with things to look for during Christmas and related winter holiday stuff
Heavenly Gospel Singers: “When Was Jesus Born” (1941)
Dick Robertson: “I Want You for Christmas” (1939)
Leo Watson w/ Vic Dickenson and Jelly Roll Lipschitz: “Jingle Bells” (scat version) (1946)
Pearl Bailey: “A Five-Pound Box of Money” (early 1950s)
Paul Whiteman Orchestra w/ Jack Teagarden and Johnny Mercer: “Christmas Night in Harlem” (mid-1930s)
The Pilgrim Travelers: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (early 1950s)
Ben Light and the Surf Boys: “Christmas Balls (Let me hang my balls on your Christmas tree)” (1940s)
Fats Waller: “Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells” (1936)
Mary Harris w/ Peetie Wheatstraw and Charlie Jordan: “No Christmas Blues” (1935)
Casey Bill and His Orchestra: “Christmas Time Blues” (mid-1930s)
Johnny Guarnieri: “Santa’s Secret (Santa Claus is smoking reefers)” (late 1940s)
Clarence Williams Blue Five w/ Eva Taylor (vocal) and Louis Armstrong (cornet): “Santa Claus Blues (mid-1920s)
Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers w/ Frankie “Half Pint: Jaxon: “Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn” (1929)
Bessie Smith: “At the Christmas Ball” (1925)
Butterbeans and Susie: “Your Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus (and your Mama ain’t no Christmas tree)” (1930)
Lord Executor: “Christmas Is a Joyful Day” (1937)
Leroy Carr: “Christmas in Jail (Ain’t that a Pain)” (1929)
Leadbelly: “Christmas is a-Comin’” (1940s)
Fiddlin’ John Carson and Moonshine Kate: “Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over” (1927)
Babs Gonzales: “Be Bop Santa” (mid-1950s)
Dick Robertson: “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” (1940)
Sonny Boy Williamson w/ Elmore James and Joe Willie Wilkins: “Sonny Boy’s Christmas Blues” (1951)
Julia Lee: “Christmas Spirit Blues” (1947)
Edd (Kookie) Byrnes: “Yulesville” (late 1950s)
Bo Carter: “Santa Claus” (1938)
The Cats and the Fiddle: “Hep Cat’s Holiday” (1940)
Edward Clayborn: “The Wrong Way to Celebrate Christmas” (late 1920s)
Yogi Yorgesson: “Yingle Bells” (late 1940s)
Mae West: “Put the Loot in the Boot Santa” (1950s)
The Korn Kobblers: “Dont Give Me No Goose for Christmas, Grandma”
Roosevelt Sykes: “Let Me Hang My Stocking in Your Christmas Tree” (1936)
Buck Owens: “Blue Christmas Lights” (1960s)
Lord Beginner: “Christmas Morning and the Rum Had Me Yawning” (1940s)
Elzadie Robinson: “The Santa Claus Crave” (early 1920s)

And theres a little over a hundred rare and old time holiday songs to look for and keep to play each year when those days come around.

Lou Curtiss

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