The Second Disc

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Let It Snow! Omnivore Celebrates Christmas with Comedienne, Actress and Singer Edie Adams

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Let it snow!  It may only be August, but the annual spate of holiday-themed releases is just around the corner.  And we’re pleased as punch (or egg nog!)  to inaugurate our coverage of this year’s crop with the announcement of the all-new, yet all-vintage, Edie Adams Christmas Album!  It’s arriving on October 9 from our busy friends at Omnivore Recordings, the label fresh off the first-time release of Ernie Kovacs’ Percy Dovetonsils Thpeaks!  Kovacs, of course, was Adams’ co-star and husband until his tragic death in 1962, and all of the tracks on the new Christmas collection have been derived from early- to mid-1950s broadcasts of the Kovacs Unlimited television program.

Far from being a second banana to the pioneering comedian, however, Edie Adams was an accomplished actress and singer in her own right, and a presence from the earliest days of television.  The Juilliard and Columbia School of Drama graduate was crowned “Miss U.S. Television” in 1950, and appeared alongside Milton Berle and Arthur Godfrey prior to being spotted by the producer of Ernie Kovacs’ then-local show in Philadelphia.  In one of his last interviews, Kovacs quipped, “I wish I could say I was the big shot that hired her, but it was my show in name only; the producer had all the say. Later on I did have something to say and I said it: Let’s get married.’”  (They did so in 1954.)  Kovacs and Adams’ talents were too large simply for a regional audience, and soon they received a national network berth.  Adams also made pivotal appearances on the Broadway stage.  She introduced “Ohio” with Rosalind Russell as one of the sisters of Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein’s 1953 Wonderful Town, for which she received a Theatre World Award, and portrayed Daisy Mae opposite Peter Palmer’s Li’l Abner in the 1956 musical of the same name.  The adaptation by Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, Johnny Mercer and Gene DePaul of the Al Capp comic strip netted Adams a Tony Award.  When Rodgers and Hammerstein produced their first television musical version of Cinderella starring Julie Andrews, Adams was the “Impossible?  It’s possible!” Fairy Godmother.

Hit the jump and you’ll find much more on Edie Adams, including the full track listing and pre-order link for this future holiday classic!

Edie Adams’ career wasn’t limited to the small screen or the theatrical stage; she had memorable moments in films such as Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960), Stanley Kramer’s all-star madcap extravaganza It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and Franklin J. Schaffner’s screen adaptation of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (1964).  Adams also headlined nightclubs from coast to coast, and is remembered by many as the star of ads for Muriel Cigars.  (Edie was around smoke of a rather different nature when she appeared as Tommy Chong’s mother, Mrs. Stoner, in the 1978 cult favorite Up in Smoke!)  She also recorded for labels including MGM, Columbia and Decca.  In her later years, following Kovacs’ 1962 death, Adams remarried, and remained active through the decades with guest appearances on television shows including Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, Designing Women and Bosom Buddies.  Edie Adams passed away in 2008 at the age of 81.

Holidayperennials like Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn’s “Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!,” Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” are among the fifteen tracks on The Edie Adams Christmas Album.  Ernie Kovacs duets with Adams on “Household/Holiday Blues” and “Silver Bells,” and leads the entire cast of his television show on “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” All of the recordings are making their album debut and have been sourced from acetates made from kinescopes of the Kovacs Unlimited show, thankfully preserved in Adams’ archives.  Edie’s son, Josh Mills, supplies new liner notes recalling the rare experience of star-studded Hollywood holidays in his childhood days.

The Edie Adams Christmas Album is due from Omnivore Recordings on October 9, and can be pre-ordered now at the Omnivore Store!  We’ll provide an Amazon link below as soon as one is active.

Edie Adams, The Edie Adams Christmas Album (Omnivore Recordings, 2012)

  1. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (with Ernie Kovacs & Cast)
  2. It’s Christmas Time
  3. Household/Holiday Blues (with Ernie Kovacs)
  4. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)
  5. Silver Bells (with Ernie Kovacs)
  6. Blue Christmas
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  8. I Wonder as I Wander
  9. A Marshmallow World
  10. White Christmas
  11. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  12. Christmas in Killarney
  13. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  14. Winter Wonderland
  15. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Written by Joe Marchese

August 8, 2012 at 11:44

One Response

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  1. Thank you for the tip.

    Two excellent classic pop singer Christmas albums which have never been reissued are by Giselle MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins


    August 9, 2012 at 08:44

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