Dominick the Donkey

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"Dominick the Donkey"
Dominic the Donkey cover.jpg
"Dominic the Donkey" re-release cover.
Song by Lou Monte
ReleasedDecember 1960
September 28, 2011 (re-release)
GenreFolk, country
LanguageEnglish
Length2:35
LabelRoulette Records,
Dexterity Records
ComposerRay Allen, Sam Saltzberg, Wandra Merrell
 
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"Dominick the Donkey"
Dominic the Donkey cover.jpg
"Dominic the Donkey" re-release cover.
Song by Lou Monte
ReleasedDecember 1960
September 28, 2011 (re-release)
GenreFolk, country
LanguageEnglish
Length2:35
LabelRoulette Records,
Dexterity Records
ComposerRay Allen, Sam Saltzberg, Wandra Merrell

"Dominick the Donkey" is a Christmas song written by Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell, and was recorded by Lou Monte in 1960 on Roulette Records. The song describes a donkey who helps Santa Claus bring presents to children in Italy. The song was re-released onto Amazon on September 26, 2011 on Dexterity Records.[1] The spelling of "Dominick" was modified to "Dominic" for the re-release. It was included on Volume 2 of the "Ultimate Christmas Album" series produced by Collectables Records and on the Christmas compilation album "Merry Xmas 2011" by Cinquenta Musica.[2]

The song was listed at number 14 in Billboard's "Bubbling under the Hot 100" list in December 1960.[3] The song received little airplay at the time due to the perception of its novelty date and some Italian lyrics, but was quite popular in Italian households. The studio production for this recording was financed by the Gambino crime family, one of the infamous "Five Families" of the New York Mafia. The fact that Santa Claus owns a donkey is later referenced in the 1977 television special Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. In that special, the donkey's name is "Spieltote," who also serves as the narrator.

Christmas 2011 number 1 campaign[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the song was used extensively on the BBC Radio 1 morning programme The Chris Moyles Show in reference to Newsbeat newsreader and regular show contributor Dominic Byrne around the Christmas 2011 period. It appeared in the Singles Chart in that country following a campaign by Chris Moyles. In the week leading up to Christmas of 2011, the show hinted at users to download the song from iTunes and Amazon. This led to the song being the #2 song on the British iTunes chart between December 19–25, 2011.[4] The song eventually peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending December 31, 2011. Had the song reached #1, it would have achieved the record for longest time between release and reaching the summit of the British charts. The song did however out chart many other campaigns in the race for the Christmas #1, most notably campaigns for Nirvana and Alex Day. It did however feature in the Stuart Kato Christmas chart where it attained the No 1 position in both 2011 and 2012.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011)Peak
position:
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[5]3
UK Download (Official Charts Company)[6]2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7]3

References[edit]