I have long been a fan of character actor Barry Gordon. He’s been acting for 56 years, starting as a child actor on such TV shows as The Jack Benny Program, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Leave It to Beaver. He played Nick in A Thousand Clowns, on Broadway and on film. He did Archie Bunker’s Place, Barney Miller spin-off Fish, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was the voices of the Nestlé Quik bunny and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
He’s taught politics, hosted talk radio and was the longest-serving president of the Screen Actors Guild.
This is a long and diverse career. But I’ve left something out.
When Barry Gordon was seven years old, he had a hit record: “Nuttin’ for Christmas.”
I guess Gordon was actually six when he recorded the record with Art Mooney & His Orchestra, since he was born on December 21. Anyway, even though four other versions of the song were released that year, it was Gordon’s that was most successful, reaching #6 on the chart in December 1955 and selling over 2 million copies. I believe he has been the youngest performer ever to hit the Billboard charts.
The following year, Gordon and Mooney tried again with “I Like Christmas (I Like It, I Like It),” with “Zoomah, The Santa Claus From Mars” on the B-side (The flip of “Nuttin” was “”Santa Looks Just Like Daddy”).
So, on top of all of Barry Gordon’s other achievements, he also belongs with Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand in the pantheon of Jewish performers with Christmas records.
Barry Gordon with Art Mooney & His Orchestra – Nuttin’ for Christmas — BUY Barry Gordon with Art Mooney & His Orchestra – I Like Christmas (I Like It, I Like It)