If you’re lucky, or maybe not, you’ve encountered somebody at a New Year’s Eve party dressed like “Baby New Year.”
Typically, you find it’s an adult male who’s donned an over-sized diaper and wearing a sash emblazoned with the year to come. This can make for lots of good fun for those who have already had a few libations (Moscow mule anybody?!). But did you ever think about why a baby is associated with the coming of a new year?
As it turns out, the association of a baby and a new calendar year goes way, way back. It can be traced to around 600 B.C. when the Greeks chose to use a baby to symbolize rebirth.
Through the years, images of Baby New Year have been used across posters, cards, invitations, books, calendars, advertising, and the like.
But one publication chose to feature Baby New Year in a very unique way.
The Saturday Evening Post, most commonly associated with covers featuring beautiful PG-rated illustrations by Norman Rockwell, placed very beautiful and yet somewhat thought-provoking images on its first cover of the year from 1907 until 1943. These covers featured the art of J.C. Leyendecker, predecessor and mentor to Rockwell, who was considered to be one of the preeminent American illustrators of the early 20th century.
The first four covers by Leyendecker were general in theme but in 1910, this changed. From then on, each cover featured Baby New Year in a way that was reflective of the mood of the United States at the time. For example, the 1912 Saturday Evening Post cover features Baby New Year holding a sign that states “Votes for Women” as a way of depicting the nation’s interest in the women’s suffrage movement.
In 1934, Baby New Year is seen looking like a business man, wearing a bowler while closely watching a stock ticker tape - hopefully to see a positive upswing as a result from the recently approved National Recovery Act which was designed to regulate industry for fair wages and control prices in an effort to stimulate economic recovery.
Most provocative though are the four covers released in the 1940s. Though the United States was at peace when the decade began, there was concern over tensions abroad and a growing concern about the possibility of U.S involvement.
Donned in military gear and surrounded by symbols of “the enemies,” Baby New Year was portrayed in a way that was not as gentle as it once was depicted. Forthright references to the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, and Italy were included and Baby New Year was used to convey deep, dark, and fearful messages.
While the artistry Leyendecker's covers is beautiful, it's amazing that Baby New Year, a character that was once simply a sweet iconic figure with a cherubic face, symbolic of hope and rebirth, would change over the years to become a messenger of something as tough and distasteful as a world war.
Original article on ThatVintageSite.com
In the 1960s, the undisputed kings of the Las Vegas Strip, the epitome of cool sophistication, and the lords of Hollywood’s Sunset strip, the Rat Pack was once a highly newsworthy subject of interest.
The term “Rat Pack” was coined by journalists during the 1960s to refer to the collective of its members: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. It was said that they were a closely knit group, not allowing access to outsiders.
Of the five Rat Pack members, Joey Bishop was known primarily as a comedian and talk show host, Peter Lawford as an actor, and the other three (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.) were considered the real singers.
People have loved songs by the singing members of the Rat Pack for quite some time, even before their resurgence into today’s mainstream music. Something about their voices and the musical compositions always seems to put everyone in a better mood.
When asked which Rat Pack Christmas songs were favorites, people don’t have to think long. Their choices vary from highly classic Christmas carols to some not-so-traditional compilation. In no particular order, here’s the list:
“White Christmas” as sung by Frank Sinatra
The ethereal quality of Sinatra’s voice in this song is hard to match. As we flick around music stations during the holiday season listening for something good to stop on, this one always causes us to pause and enjoy.
“Let it Snow” as sung by Dean Martin
Those of you who love this song (and winter) say hearing Dean sing it makes them wish for a big, big snow storm so they can get out and enjoy the white stuff.
“Christmas Waltz” as sung by Frank Sinatra
Some people said they remember hearing this song a lot when they were younger and it’s always stuck with them as one of the most romantic Christmas songs. They love the background vocals, as they always thought it was angels singing along with Frank.
“Christmas Blues” as sung by Dean Martin
Only Dean can nail a song about being alone at a time when it’s important to be with others and still make you feel good. This one is an often-missed classic, but well loved by those familiar with it.
“It’s Christmas Time All Over the World” as sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sammy didn’t do as many Christmas recordings as the others and, to be honest, a lot of people don’t really care for the other songs that he did. But this one is liked quite a bit. People say it seems to capture his spirit and his voice is top-notch on this Christmas tune.
“Marshmallow World” – a duet by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
This Frank & Dean duet is such a fun song plus the always amiable combination of vocals and attitude from these stellar performers makes this less-heard song yet another favorite.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as sung by Frank Sinatra
It’s hard to explain the allure of this version of this holiday classic. Some people say it makes them feel very sad and yet secure in what they have when at other times it might not seem like a lot.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as sung by Dean Martin
This rendition of the well-know Christmas classic is so good because it shows off Dean’s childlike sensibility and his very playful nature. How can you not smile when you hear him sing this song?!
“Winter Wonderland” as sung by Dean Martin
Hands down, this has to be the most “swingy” version of this classic holiday song ever recorded. People say when they hear it, they envision being outside with fluffy hand-knit hats, scarves, and mittens and playing in the snow like you see in old movies based in New England during the winter.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as sung by Frank Sinatra
This classic Christmas song easily puts people in a reflective state of mind. In particular, older individuals say it makes them think about their parents or grandparents during war time and what it must have been like for them to be away from each for the holidays.
Originally posted on Yahoo Entertainment
I'm April Bailey, a freelance writer and editor for hire who has been writing about various topics for many years. Most of my early print work was destroyed in a major house fire. Luckily, I was able to pull some copies from an old PC and have posted them here. Other items on this blog reflect my current articles and blog posts written for online publications and copied here so I never lose my work again!