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'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'

‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’

Feb. 10, 1953: Jimmy Boyd, 14, sits in a courthouse for a hearing with a judge to change his professional contracts following the success of his 1952 hit song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”  Two million copies of the No. 1 song sold in 10 weeks and Boyd’s career was taking off.

The Los Angeles Times reported the next day:

Red-haired, freckle-face Jimmy Boyd, 14, yesterday was encouraged by Superior Judge Frank G. Swain to capitalize on his entertainment talent before his childish treble singing voice changes…..

….The boy told Judge Swain he had just completed preparation of a show in which he sings with Bing Crosby as that star’s guest.

“I have never heard you sing, Jimmy,” Judge Swain said, ” not even that record about Mommy osculating with Santa.”

This photo by LA Times photographer Gordon Wallace was not published in 1952, as the story ended up running on an inside page with little space. But when Jimmy Boyd died in 2009, this image was used as the main art with the Los Angeles Times obituary.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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