Listening booth — Billy May, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo”
A few years ago I published my first list of the best Christmas albums to own, and one of them was the fantastic compilation, Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails. The first track from that LP is a ridiculously fun and funny Latin jazz tune from 1953 called “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo.” Billy May leads the orchestra on this one (lead vocals by drummer Alvin Stoller), and it’s a gem.
But almost as good as the song is this YouTube video for it, set to clips from Rankin/Bass’s immortal 1964 stop-motion TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Be-ho-ho-hold!