Green Chri$tma$…and Stan Freberg

While much of the radio broadcasting world — and radio listeners — have been more than comfortable with conventional Christmas music each year, there certainly is another side to that.  Creative holiday season satires and parodies are the focus here . . .And one of the kings of parody in the 1950s and ’60s was Stan Freberg.

Green Chri$tma$ was indeed a scathing and controversial indictment of the commercialization of Christmas. Freberg battled Capitol Records, which originally refused to release it. But they did in late ’58 when Freberg threatened to take it to a competing label. And – SURPRISE! radio stations had big internal disputes over it, refusing to play it, calling it sacrilegious in the advertising world. Sales managers threatened program and music directors and . . . well, it’s a wonder the piece was as successful as it was -– charting at the #3 slot on LA’s KFWB in early ’59, and peaking at #44 on Billboard in late ’58.  Despite his 21 Clio awards, Freberg was never inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Green Chri$tma$  >Running time 6:50

Freberg, with 70 years in the acting, writing, recording AND advertising business, released 28 parody singles between 1951 and 1966.  He died at age 88 in 2015.

Author: Ronald DeHart

Ron DeHart is a former newspaper and broadcast journalist and a retired Public Affairs Officer from both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy/Naval Reserve. His historical accounts of Pacific Northwest broadcasting are published by Puget Sound Media. View more articles by Ron DeHart  

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