Two Holiday Albums Offer up Camp and Classics

By Denise Warner

Originally published on Advocate.com November 22 2012 12:10 PM ET

Want to get one of your gay friends a silly fun gift this year Christmas (even if he's Jewish)? Snag one of two new albums: The Edie Adams Christmas Album  from Omnivore Records or ‘Twas The Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights  (both recordings feature late legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs).

The Edie Adams Christmas Album (Omnivore Records): Adams made the perfect gay diva icon. The scintillating, sultry-eyed blonde (formerly a redhead) and star of screen, TV and Broadway stage is perhaps best known for her sensual delivery pitching cigars in taunting 1960s commercials with her Mae West-like come-on line, "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?" This, of course, was at a time when smoking was considered quite sexy and fashionable, and Adams went above and beyond the call of duty in making these ads legendary.
 Adams was a singing siren, musical entertainer, a deft impressionist and comedienne, a serious dramatic actress, and a TV celebrity. Off-stage, she showed remarkable poise and resourcefulness, when her famous first husband, landmark TV comic Ernie Kovacs was killed in a 1962 car crash. Edie, who critics have called "outrageous, and amusingly brash” was the definition of camp, and for that, queer folks should check out her album, as well as the cross-faith set that also features her late hubby.The Edie Adams Christmas Album offers 15 previously unissued recordings of holiday classics from the TV series, Kovacs Unlimited.

‘Twas The Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights is the first all-inclusive duel history of Christmas and Hanukkah music in a two-disc set. It features contributions from some of campiest and coolest musical icons with a musical songbook that highlights both rare and iconic holiday music across both faiths. Some of the 34-tracks feature songs written and performed by Lou Reed, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, Dinah Shore, The Klezmatics,Woody Guthrie, Don McLean, Sammy Davis Jr., Mickey Katz, Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. The album is available from the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation.