Jingle Bells with Frank
I would give Frank Christmas presents, as did my sister. I'd buy a 45 or two, or slip in an old one I'd won in that crap game (But never any of those old ones I got by Don & Dewey, I could be miserly even as a child, and "Justine
", I needed those too much to part with them. Even "Leavin' It Up To You
", that especially I would retain my fingerprints were all over the record from repeated play. You could stroll to that one! I mean he could borrow them for his show, but that's about it, jack!). We'd wrap these carefully and artistically in paper obtained special for the occasion, a small grey hosiery bag from a department store in the neighboring town with its name slanted at a diagonal: Fallis'.
We'd even slip on some elastic gold bows on the diagonal around the corner to match the slant of the name. My sister was quite good at this as she'd had a temporary job wrapping presents at one of the large department stores in Pomona, on the mall, near the corner where the boys sold their handmade Simon Roddia wreaths.
One year, when I was flush, we allowed Frank to select his own Hawaiian shirt at the fine men's store in Claremont, the one that sold fancy Cooke St shirts, just like the kind the Kingston Trio wore on stage now and again at the time (that Hawaiian influence again). I paid for his shirt, but there were I do admit conditional requirements to the gift. To my surprise, he accepted the offer of my present. At that time in my life, I could do a fairly good version of the original "Jingle Bell Rock
" and played this at a slightly faster rhythm then her recorded rendition, and my vocal slides oozed with my subliminal absorption and rehearsed training in local Hickbonics, as country music abounded everywhere around us, especially on the radio surrounding our environs.
And I tell you, I'd never let Frank get his hands on my copy of Jelly Bean
, either, and if he did, it was not for long! I could play some of those runs on a child's plastic ukelele that had rubber bands stretched for strings, and I needed it to learn from. Though I liked Don & Dewey, I preferred the Coasters version of "Big Boy Pete