Thursday, July 4, 2019

Easter songs of the 1940s and 1950s


In 2017, Bear Family Records released an odd compilation called Easter Bunny Hop. Known for its thoroughness and attention to detail, Bear Family usually has the last word on reissues of vintage American music, but this compilation mostly missed the mark by presenting miscellaneous non-holiday songs about chickens and rabbits instead of songs about Easter.

You might think that the compilation was padded out of necessity, because how many Easter songs are there, really? Unlike Christmas, Easter doesn't have many well-known songs. "Easter Parade" and "Peter Cottontail" are probably the best-known ones.

In reality, a lot of obscure Easter songs exist, many of which were recorded by major artists. Some of the most prolific purveyors of Easter songs were Gene Autry, Rosemary Clooney, and Jimmy Boyd.

Easter has passed, but I started thinking about Easter songs because of the previous Music Weird post about the flood of recordings by child performers in 1953. A number of those recordings were Easter novelties, many of which barely have been heard since their original release.

Today's Music Weird rounds up many—if not most—of the Easter songs and novelties that were recorded in the 1940s and 1950s. I didn't even try to catalog every recording of "Easter Parade" from that period, so for that song, at least, the list is very incomplete.



Song title
Artist
Label/catalog number
Gisele MacKenzie
Capitol F1997
Benny, the Magic Bunny
Kenny Roberts
Coral 60660
McGuire Sisters
Coral CRL 57097
Bunny Bunny Bunny
Betty Clooney
Golden R80
Rosemary Clooney
Columbia 90145
Bunny Round-Up Time
Gene Autry
Mervin Shiner
Columbia CL 2568
Decca 27482
E-A-S-T-E-R
Milton Estes
Rita Faye
MGM 10646
MGM 12203
Easter Bunny Day
Leslie Uggams
Rita Faye
MGM 11437
MGM 12203
Easter Bunny Song
Baby Pamela Rich
Mercury 71024
Jimmy Wakely
Capitol CAS-3090
Haleloke
Columbia GL 521
Easter Lillies
Bill Brown’s Chorus
Hi-Fi’s
Kem 2712
Liberty 55011
Gene Autry
Columbia CL 2568
Easter Parade
Eydie Gormé
Red Nichols
M. Whiting & J. Wakely
Andy Russell
Roy Elridge
Jimmy Lunceford
Eddy Duchin
Sammy Kaye
Liberace
Harry James
Ken Griffin
Ray Noble
Rosemary Clooney
André Kostelanetz
Johnny Long
Tommy Sosebee
Guy Lombardo
Bing Crosby
Ethel Smith
Fred Waring
Freddie Mitchell
Durning String Band
R.A.O.C. Blue Rockets Ork.
George Wright
Malcolm Lockyer
S. Vaughan & B. Eckstine
Ray Charles Singers
Eddie “Piano” Long
Del Wood
Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
Perry Como
Frankie Carle
Cesar Concepcion
Joe Cain
Kern & Sloop
Del Wood
Neil Lewis
New York Percussion Trio
George Feyer
Malcolm Lockyer
ABC-Para. 273
Audiophile AP 7
Capitol 1382
Capitol 15034
Cleff 8975
Columbia 35484
Columbia 35705
Columbia 39186
Columbia 48007
Columbia 50054
Columbia 50092
Columbia CL-6053
Columbia J-234
Columbia ML 4241
Coral 60957
Coral 64080
Decca 23817
Decca 23819
Decca 24321
Decca 29063
Derby 733
Guy 1313
HMV 5790
King 395-504
Mercury 20205
Mercury 20316
MGM 12202
Rainbow 140
Republic 815
RCA Victor 21-0423
RCA Victor 47-3226
RCA Victor EPA-784
Seeco 4164
Seeco 6020
Tempo 904
Tennessee 815
Tico 245
Vox VX.25.740
Vox VX-800
Wing 12202
Nat “King” Cole
Capitol F1994
Kenny Baker
Decca 18591
The Easter Time
Jimmie Dodd
Disneyland DBR-86
Mitchell Torok
Abbott 156
Eggbert, the Easter Egg AKA Egbert the Easter Egg
Gisele MacKenzie
Rosemary Clooney
Mervin Shiner
Betty Clooney
Ray Heatherton
Roy Rogers
Capitol F1997
Columbia 90145
Decca 27977
Golden R80
Playtime 383-PVD
RCA Victor 45-5336
Eldo the Easter Bunny
Rita Faye
MGM 12203
Art Carney
Columbia J 4-241
Gene Autry
Columbia CL 2568
Gene Autry
Columbia CL 2568
I Want a Bunny for Easter
Guy Lombardo
Decca 18645
Little Cindy
Columbia 4-41346
Vaughn Monroe
HMV 9894
Jimmy Boyd
Columbia J4-199
Just About Easter Time
Jimmy Bell’s Trio
Aristocrat 1901
Let’s Go to Church
M. Whiting & J. Wakely
Red Foley & J. Martin
Capitol 1382
Decca 46235
Jimmy Boyd
Columbia J 4-199
Mister Easter Bunny
Sammy Kaye
Honey Dreamers
Lawrence Welk
Guy Lombardo
Mervin Shiner
Derry Falligant
Columbia 39186
Columbia 40668
Coral 57066
Decca 24951
Decca 46221
MGM 10675
Jimmy Boyd
Columbia 39955
Rosemary Clooney
Columbia MJV 4-95-2
Peter Cottontail
Jimmy Wakely
Gene Autry
Rosemary Clooney
Sammy Kaye
Ray Heatherton
Roy Rogers
Del Wood
Capitol CAS-3090
Columbia CL 2568
Columbia J-234
Columbia 39186
Playtime 383-PVD
RCA Victor 21-0423
Tennessee 815
Peter Rabbit
Rusty Draper
Mercury 70300
The Rabbit with the Two Buck Teeth
Mervin Shiner
Decca 27977
Dick Todd
Rainbow 90088
Fred Waring
Decca 41046
Gene Autry
Columbia CL 2568
Gayla Peevey
Columbia J 4-198
Two Easter Sunday Sweethearts
Jimmy Boyd
Vera Lynn
Columbia 39955
London 1434
Gayla Peevey
Columbia J 4-198