Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mystery: "Here comes Santa Clause" at 7:47 on WRAW

Here's an odd piece of mystery ephemera that I picked up in the York New Salem store earlier this year.

It's a thick and firm piece of cardboard, measuring 2¼ inches across and 5 inches tall.

Written at the top is "7:47 WRAW." Then there is a sketch of the head and shoulders of a bearded figure. Written under that is "Here comes Santa Clause."

So I reckon that's supposed to be Santa? It looks more like the bearded neighbor from Home Alone.

The back of the card contains information related to NBC and Henry Aldrich airing at 8 p.m. There is a sketch there of a face that looks vaguely like a young Milton Berle.

WRAW is a Reading, Pennsylvania, AM radio station that was an NBC affiliate back in the mid 20th century. I couldn't find much more than that about its past. It has had a number of format and ownership changes over the decades. It is now owned by iHeartMedia and is a Spanish-language station known as Rumba 1340.

So many questions will go answered. Who sketched this? And why?

And why, why, why did he or she put an "e" on the end of Claus? And why did this survive for more than half a century after its creation?

Call it a Christmas mystery.

There's one thing we do know. If this is referring to the song "Here Comes Santa Claus," I can tell you that that holiday standard was written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman and first recorded and released by Autry in 1947.

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