Posts by Gillian Levy

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Columbia, 1953)

Track of the Day will be on hiatus for Northwestern’s winter break (Dec 16-Jan 5), but to tide you over, here’s a wacky Christmas track picked by Freeform producer Jamie Lee.

In my experience, this Christmas novelty song is very divisive; first-time listeners either can’t stand the song and label it as “annoying,” or absolutely love the song for its blatant and intentional goofiness and inherent humor in its subject matter. Even among radio stations that play Christmas music during the holiday season, the likelihood of hearing the familiar trumpets of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is extraordinarily low due to its obscurity. Although Gayla Peevey is the original, and perhaps most recognizable, artist behind the song, the song has been covered by a few others, including Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan) and The Three Stooges.


Happy Holidays from the WNUR family! See y’all in January!

I’ve Lived the Life b/w Nothing I’d Rather Be 7″ (Forte Records, 1975)

Today’s track was picked by Freeform DJ Isaac. Let it warm you up inside.

A Kansas City native, Marva W. Taylor (formerly Marva Whitney) opened for many soul and funk groups passing through the Midwest, and in the process, turned down offers to tour with both Little Richard and Bobby Bland before agreeing to become a featured vocalist with the James Brown Revue. On this track, Taylor lays down just a flat-out tasty, smooth, gliding description of her love for her man. Hot damn is it powerful!

[Buy the single for a lot of money on Northern Soul 45s]

Warm (Gem, 2013)

Happy hump day! Get down with this track from Streetbeat DJ Jamez Bluntz:

An interesting track off Dutch techno producer Egbert’s new LP, Warm. This track fuses progressive-house inspired melodic elements with techno-inspired rhythmic elements, but it’s not just an intellectual exercise. Egbert keeps it cohesive and groovy, a testament to his production chops. Hemelpoort is (unsurprisingly) all warm vibes, but fans should check out Naar De Ruimte En Terug, the next track on the album, for a more melancholic take on the same concept.

[Gem Records]

Bossa Cubana (World Circuit/Nonesuch Records, 1999)

Today’s track was picked by Continental Drift DJ Claire.

Hailing from Cuba, Los Zafiros (The Sapphires) were a close-harmony vocal group that was part of the filín movement that combined American doo-wop with Cuban genres like bolero and bossa nova. Their album Bossa Cubana was re-released in 1999, and their track “He Venido” was featured on the show Breaking Bad.

[Website for the Documentary Music From the Edge of Time]