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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bowie & Bing Redux

In 1977, there was an odd mix of musical styles when David Bowie made an appearance on Bing Crosby's "Merrie Olde Christmas" TV special. After some quick banter, the two performed "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy," which continues to get airplay on lots of radio stations three decades later.

The legend of the show is that Bowie had agreed to sing with Crosby, but did not want to do "Little Drummer Boy." So writers Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Buz Kohan wrote "Peace on Earth" for Bowie to sing as counterpoint to Bing's take on the 1957 Christmas tune. The two singers rehearsed for less than an hour before rolling tape. The song became even more infamous because Crosby died between the time they recorded the duet (in September) and its air date (in November).

For some reason, Will Farrell and John C. Reilly have decided to do a virtual note-for-note remake of that moment in television history (except for the final :30)...

That must seem odd for a lot of Farrell's fans who've never seen the original...