Yesterday, I started posting a little background on the various tracks included on my latest holiday mix, Here Comes Santa Claus, and I'm hoping to continue with that until I've provided at least a little information about each of the 38 tracks on this year's CD. With that word of warning, let's press on!
Track 6Window Wonderland Stencils Kit Commercial, Gold Seal Glass Wax (c. 1963)
The sixth track on this year's CD is an edited version of a vintage TV commercial touting the use of Gold Seal Glass Wax with the company's holiday stencils kit to create decorative seasonal images on glass windows. Glass wax, which I vaguely remember, was a popular window cleaner in the 1950s and '60s. Many people disliked using spray or aerosol window cleaners such as Windex because they supposedly left streaks. Glass wax, by contrast, was applied to the glass with a sponge, and, once it had dried it could be easily rubbed off with a dry cloth leaving sparkling clear, streak-free windows. As this commercial explains, glass wax could also be applied with a stencil and left on the window in a distinctive pattern. Once painted on the window, it looked like etched glass or frost, and was easily removed after the holidays. I don't recall decorating our windows with this technique growing up, although I believe my cousins did. I vividly recall cleaning a whole mess of windows every spring, however: regular and storm windows at our home in Massachusetts, as well as the very old glass windows at our summer home in Maine, and at "the Studio" behind my grandmother's home on the Stroudwater River in Portland, Maine. Her home was previously owned by the impressionist painter Walter Griffin (1861-1935), to whom she was related by marriage, and "the Studio" was where he did a lot of his work. My cousins, my brother and I frequently slept there in the warmer months, and I lived there for two summers during college while working as a cook to earn money for school. That place had lots of windows, and over the years I'd guess we used pretty much every possible type of window cleaner on them.
Three Blind Christmas Mice, The Bel-Airs (1962)
|The Bel-Airs, c. 1961|
Holiday Greetings from the S.O.S. Band (c. 1987)
|The S.O.S. Band|
PS: Casey Kasem offers a snapshot of the top-selling records of that summer in the America's Top 10 broadcast that aired on August 17, 1980. The YouTube clip notes at 5:20 that "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" was the number three song in the country that week. What was #1? Olivia Newton-John's "Magic," God help us all. Incidentally, Newton-John and John Travolta recently released an album of holiday music that Travolta describes as "intimate," and "not [ ] too ostentatious or showy." Benefits from the album go to charity, which seems to be the record's one redeeming feature.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow.