Wednesday, February 11, 2009

R.I.P. Molly Bee

Former teen country star Molly Bee dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Molly Bee, who became an overnight country music star when she recorded the 1952 novelty hit "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," has died in California from complications following a stroke.

Bee died Saturday at a hospital in Oceanside, her manager, Rick Saphire, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Saphire says Bee was 69 and had been in failing health for several months.

Bee was just 10 when she began her music career, singing the Hank Williams' classic "Lovesick Blues" on country star Rex Allen's radio show. Three years later she released "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

She went on to record a number of hit country songs throughout the 1950s and appeared in several musical comedies in the '60s.

Although her star had begun to fade by the 1970s, she continued to tour and perform.

R.I.P., Molly—you will be missed. (I couldn’t find any photos of Molly on the Internets, so here’s a YouTube performance of Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music performed by Bee, the ol’ Pea Picker himself, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Merle Travis. Vern Gosdin took a more uptempo version of the tune to the Top Twenty Country charts in 1985.)


Bill Crider said...

Dang. Judy and I watched Tennesee Ernie and Molly every day.

Bobh said...

Molly Bee can also be seen singing on the few surving episodes of "The Pinky Lee Show." Alpha Video released a couple of episodes last year.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for the clip, that was fun.