The best music show on the internet.Catching Up With Benny Grunch
The man behind the "12 Yats of Christmas” talks about his latest music and more.
Before the days of viral videos, New Orleans had its own video hit: Benny Grunch and the Bunch’s the “12 Yats of Christmas,” a locals-humor take on the “12 Days of Christmas” that first aired on WWL-TV as part of Frank Davis’ Naturally N’Awlins series. More than two decades after that video first aired, the song is solidified in the canon of New Orleans holiday traditions alongside Mr. Bingle and Celebration in the Oaks. These days the band’s 68-year-old front man, whose real name is Benny Antin, is slowed down by rheumatoid arthritis, but he still writes and performs. This year’s incarnation of the 12 Yats of Christmas CD – which includes other local holiday hits “Ain’t Dere No More” and “Santa & His Reindeer” – features two new songs, the New Orleans rhythm and blues second-line “Down the Road Santee Claus” and “Santa’s Got Your Personal Information,” a surf-rock tune that marks Antin’s first foray into national satire. At his Lakeview home, where he lives with his girlfriend and in his spare time works on European cars and motorcycles. Despite his arthritis, when he visits his daughter in Denver he rides one of his bikes all the way.
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