Longtime readers of this blog will already be aware of the ongoing bewildered obsession with that odd ode to twirling a cane made of peppermint Sweet Gingerbread Man, and in particular the definitive yet inexplicably elusive rendition by Sammy Davis Jnr, of which the only copies that ever turned up were an ear-hurtingly hissy MP3 at something like 17kbps, and a tinny recording in the middle of a Christmas Special of Radio Tip Top, complete with Kid Tempo exclaiming “Crikey ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Candy Man himself!” all over the intro.
Amazingly it still isn’t available on any readily-obtainable compilation, but there is a bit of good news; while trawling YouTube for bizarre cover versions for use in this post, what should turn up halfway through the below video…! Sadly it’s not a TV performance featuring everyone’s favourite Rat Pack-er descending a ‘showbiz’ staircase backed by blokes in those ‘showbiz’ straw hats, but a clean recording accompanied by photos of Sammy at his most Davis Jnr is better than nothing. Better than quite a lot of things in fact. Especially Torchwood.
So what were those other mental performances picked out for the original version of this post? Well, there’s… the one that started it all, the original Mike Curb Congregation recording, off of the soundtrack of Don Johnson Takes TEH DRUGZ DRISCOLL annoyingly elusive late sixties big screen countercultural freakout The Magic Garden Of Stanley Sweetheart, complete with ‘click ting stamps’ visuals:
Then there’s baffling-to-UK-viewers Stateside teen hearthrob sensation of the early seventies and star of a long-forgotten Partridge Family spinoff Bobby Sherman shouting his way through it. Particularly amusing is the comment simply reading ‘The Muppets’:
And lo and behold, it’s those ‘Muppets’ themselves, with one of those doesn’t really fit performances by some full-bodied puppets that were never seen before or since. It’s a fairly rotten reading too if truth be told. Though don’t say anything to the rather strange folks who’ve left comments:
Wow! It’s a Yamaha-led jazzy organ instrumental version, like some kind of Las Vegas equivalent of those blokes that used to play The Mighty Wurlitzer on the Blackpool seafront. Also, in a possible first for YouTube, it’s accompanied by a still picture of an audio cassette. A TDK D60, no less!:
Then you’ll go ‘Oops for this – Gloucestershire Police Band subjecting the song to a bit of good honest coppering at their Christmas concert. Doc Cox sez: “Officer, arrest that (Sweet Gingerbread) Man!”.
And finally, it’s a CBBC Spectacular as an Ed, Oucho and Uncle Fronk swig Ginger Beer, lust after Geri Halliwell and Catherine Tate, hiss at The Ginger Cat, discuss “Ginger destroying schools”, and finally show a montage of russet-haired viewers (and David Dickinson) as part of their ‘Ginger Day’ . Apologies for the short clip of Uncle Max…