outfit of singers who were equally busy recording albums and performing on
August 1954, they backed Frank Sinatra on a trio of tracks: “The Christmas Waltz”,
“When I Stop Loving You”, and “White
Christmas”. In fact, much
of their recording output was Christmas fare, such as Billy May’s
1958 offering, A Christmas to
Remember. They are also the
background singers on Allan Sherman’s hilarious take on “The
Twelve Days of Christmas”, on which they were required to sing a
dozen tongue-twisting and regrettable gift ideas. It reached #5 on the Christmas
In 1963, they
recorded This is Christmas: A Complete Collection of the Alfred
S. Burt Christmas Carols.
It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1964. In 1965, they backed Alvin & The
Chipmunks on Chipmunks Sing with
Children. They did another
Christmas album in 1968, The Sinatra
Family Wish You a Merry Christmas.
A single from the album, “It’s Such a Lonely Time of
Year” backed with “Kids” by Nancy Sinatra was released in
1969. The same year found them
backing Petula Clark on Just Pet, which reached a modest #176 on the Billboard Top
In the 1970s,
they made several appearances on TV.
They did three episodes of The
Red Skelton Show in 1970, including “You Can Take the Boy out of
the Country if You Promise Not to Bring Him Back”. They also appeared on a series of
Tim Conway specials, simply titled The
Tim Conway Comedy Hour, which aired in the fall of 1970. In the early ‘70s, they
appeared on another variety program, The
Bobby Darin Amusement Company.
They rallied ‘round the flag for the patriotic musical
extravaganza, Make Mine Red, White
and Blue, hosted by Fred Astaire in 1972.
mid-‘70s, they provided the singing voices for Harold Lloyd’s World of Comedy, an unusual re-working of
Lloyd’s silent films with new music, narration and sound
effects. You can catch their
act on a number of CDs, including many of the aforementioned. In 2007, they made the cut on Alvin
& the Chipmunks’ Greatest
Hits: Still Squeaky After All
These Years. Other albums
on which they have appeared include Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Abide With Me, Allan Sherman’s
Allan in Wonderland, and Kay
Starr’s I Hear the Word. Jimmy Joyce has passed on, but many
of other members are still active.
Nancy Sinatra recordings
It’s Such a Lonely Time of Year (Al Gorgoni/Chip
Kids (Scott Davis)