Jimmy Boyd became a bit of a young teen age sensation when about the age of 13
he had the hit recording of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" that
was released during the holiday season and 1952. Reportedly it sold more
than 225,000 copies in less than two weeks.
Jimmy is a native of McComb, Mississippi, but by 1953, his family and he were
living in California. He got his start when he was just seven, singing
western songs at local programs, school plays, social meetings and
banquets. He was accompanied by his dad usually, who played guitar
and harmonica. One of California's cowboy singers at the time, Texas Jim
Lewis heard Jimmy's singing and took an immediate liking to him and
had him sing with his show for over a year.
Soon, his dad gave Jimmy guitar lessons so he could do his own guitar
accompaniment. His brother, Kenneth, had some steel guitar expertise and
together, the two of them would do appearances on the local radio
and television stations.
Jimmy then took part in a talent show that was on the Al Jarvis show,
then a popular daily program in Hollywood over KLAC-TV. Jimmy won
the contest and as part of his prize, won a week's worth of appearances
that garned a lot of fan mail.
That got him an appearance on the Frank Sinatra CBS television show. An
article in 1953 quotes Jimmy as saying about Mr. Sinatra's singing, "He
had a good voiceespecially when he sings sorta a Western tune."
Sinatra was said to have cracked after observing Jimmy go through the
hectic nerve-wracking experience of television rehearsals rather
non-chalantly, "Nervous, isn't he?"
That appearance on the Sinatra show came with other offers in Hollywood,
movies, television and the Columbia recording contract that led
to his recording his hit holiday tune. The flip side of that holiday
tune was a song called "Thumbelina" from the film that was out at the time,
"Hans Christian Anderson".
Credits & Sources
- Country Song Roundup No. 23; April 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.;