Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: It seems every year about this time the radio stations play “Jingle Bells” by the Singing Dogs.

But hearing it reminds me of another singing dog song, which does not get played anymore. On this one the dogs are barking their way through “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Could this mysteriously forgotten song also be by the Singing Dogs?

In keeping with the canine Christmas theme, one of the Los Angeles TV networks recently ran a feature on Patti Page's holiday gift to the Humane Society — a new recording of her classic “Doggie in the Window.”

Do you have any details of this project, as well as where we might buy the song? Alissa Berg, North Hollywood, Calif.

DEAR ALISSA: The singing dog you seek is not with the pack known as the Singing Dogs.

This doggie, conceived by producer Craig Huxley, is named Top Dog, and his 1994 Sling Shot collection of 14 Christmas favorites is titled “Howliday Favourites in Dog” (CD-80060).

Besides “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Raindog,” Top Dog woofs his way through “Santa Claws”; “Jingle Dogs”; “The Little Drummer Dog”; “Fetch All Ye Faithful”; and “Old Fang's Whine,” a mature dog's take on “Auld Lang Syne.”

This CD is now scarce though not expensive. My internet search turned up only two copies, both available for under four bucks.

Patti Page is doing something very special this holiday season, and though dogs are the focus of her latest recording it stands to benefit all animals.

This past October, Patti recorded “The Doggie in the Shelter,” with 2008 lyrics sung to the tune of her million-selling 1953 hit, “The Doggie in the Window.”

In a recent interview, Patti explains:

“When I recorded that song in 1952, it seemed like a sweet and harmless message, and everyone still thought of pet stores as a place to see adorable puppies.

“These days the puppies in pet stores may still be adorable, but most of them come from puppy mills.

“I'd never before heard of pet stores having mass breeding places or anything like that, so I was as surprised as I'm sure most people are now to hear it. I thought how terrible this is, so now I've changed my tune.

“I want this song with new lyrics, “Doggie in the Shelter,” to become an anthem for homeless pets and animal shelters.

“There are so many stray animals out on the streets, and we want to do anything we can to help these little guys.

Patti's new song is on YouTube, accompanied by a real-life slide show of the many dogs in the Osborne home. Enjoy it here!

DEAR JERRY: Is there an album of Christmas music by a Canadian group called the Nylons? If so, what are the songs?

I really like their retro harmonies.
—James Colton, Lebanon, Pa.

DEAR JAMES: Among the Nylons' 16 CD albums, from 1982 to present, is “Harmony - The Christmas Songs” (Scotti Bros 75446-2), first issued in 1994 and may still be available from the group's online store.

The selections are: “Carol of the Bells”; “O Holy Night”; “Silent Night”; “The Christmas Song”; “The Little Drummer Boy”; “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”; “What Child Is This”; “The First Noel”; “What Does Christmas Mean to Me”; “The Secret of Christmas”; and “I'll Be Home for Christmas.”

IZ ZAT SO? Aside from his involvement with Top Dog, Craig Huxley is also a session musician found on such best-selling albums as Michael Jackson's “Thriller” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Considering Craig's canine calling of '94, it is amusing knowing of his role as a boy scout in an episode of TV's “Lassie,” starring the nation's most famous dog.

In this 1968 episode, titled “The Ledge,” the scout's life was saved by the fast-thinking collie.

During a 14-year acting career (1963-1977), Craig Huxley has also been billed as Craig Hundley and Chris Hundley.

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