Freckle-faced Jimmy Boyd was a to sing sensation in 1952 because that his recording of ""I witnessed Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.""(1952 File/Associated Press)

LOS ANGELES - Jimmy Boyd, a singer ideal known for recording the Christmas novelty hit "I observed Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" in 1952 as soon as he to be 13, died Saturday. He was 70.

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Mr. Boyd, who likewise was a boy actor, died of cancer at a Santa Monica convalescent hospital.

Three weeks after the yuletide kiss-and-tell to be released, the song was number one ~ above the Billboard charts, offering 2 million documents in fewer than 10 weeks. Tens of millions of duplicates of the much-covered tune written through Tommie Connors have been offered over the decades, follow to the Allmusic web database.

It has actually been construed by artists, consisting of the Jackson Five, man Mellencamp, and also Amy Winehouse. Molly bee was likewise 13 once she had actually a hit warbling around the unlikely pair kissing "underneath the mistletoe critical night." Bee died last month in ~ 69.

Although it came to be regarded together a vacation classic, the ditty about a boy who can"t know why Mommy is cheating on Daddy with Santa Claus caused dispute in part quarters when the initial featuring Mr. Boyd"s childish treble was released.

The Catholic Archdiocese the condemned the song for implying even a tenuous link in between sex and the religious holiday, and also record station in several industries banned it. The ban was lifted only after the 13-year-old Boyd appeared before church leaders to talk about the lyrics.

He was born in a shack in McComb, Miss. His father, Leslie, to be a carpenter from a big musical household - Mr. Boyd"s grand was well-known in Mississippi together Fiddler Bill and had 21 children.

At 4, the boy began playing the guitar. ~ winning a local TV talent contest, he appeared on "The open minded Sinatra Show" and was signed come a recording contract through Columbia. His very first recording success was v a nation song, "(The Angels are Lighting) God"s tiny Candles."

His recording career would last till 1967 and encompass hits including "Dennis the Menace," sung with Rosemary Clooney, and also several duets through Frankie Laine, consisting of "Poor small Piggy Bank" and also "Tell Me a Story."

On television, Mr. Boyd had actually roles from 1958 come 1961 in "Bachelor Father," a sitcom that starred man Forsythe, and he play the teenage nephew the Betty White"s personality on "Date with the Angels," a late 1950s sitcom.

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In 1960, Mr. Boyd showed up as a biology college student in "Inherit the Wind" with Spencer Tracy.