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It's Christmas in July

July 23, 2003

Almanac Transcript

It's Christmas in July, this week on the Oklahoma Audio Almanac.

Hello, I'm Steven Knoche Kite.

Every year it's the same wonderful thing: the weather gets a little cooler, leaves fall off the trees, and radio stations begin playing all of your favorite Christmas classics. Of course sometimes, like all things done to excess, certain songs get a bit tiresome and irritating. There is, however, at least one exception. Usually, one of the last songs to get on my nerves and the one that least often makes me reach for the off switch is the classic Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. There is nothing campy, kitschy, commercial, or cutesy about this song, and it's not some kid blurting out what they think about Santa Claus or some want-to-be diva demonstrating how long they can hold out the world "Noel." It's just a nice song wishing you a merry Christmas, not a giant glitzy glamorous Christmas but a merry "little" Christmas.

This most relaxing of all Christmas songs entered the world at the hand of a man born this week in 1914 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Ralph Uriah Hunsecker went through school in Broken Arrow and Tulsa school systems before moving on to Northwestern University and then New York City. Once in New York he changed his name to the more marquee-friendly Ralph Blaine and began a long career in song writing. Blaine, at various times, worked with Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Harry Warren during his more than 50 years in the business. During the 40s, 50s, and 60s Blaine wrote or co-wrote the scores for dozens of movies and Broadway productions including My Dream is Yours, The Girl Most Likely, Meet me in St. Louis, and Sugar Babies. Blaine finished off his career in 1990 as a lyricist for the film Home Alone. Following his work on Home Alone, Blaine retired back to Broken Arrow passing away there on November 13th, 1995. At the time of his passing, the music licensing company ASCAP had over 500 songs registered to the Native Oklahoman.

So this week as you wipe the sweat from your face, curse the humidity, and reach for your icy beverage think instead of little Ralph Uriah Hunsecker entering the world in this week of 1914 in Broken Arrow and of the cool Christmas song that was his creation.

Ralph Blaine makes it big this week on the Almanac.

The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is a joint production of the Oklahoma State University Library and Oklahoma's Public Radio.

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