Molly Bee (August 18, 1939–February 7, 2009) was an American country singer, best known for her hit "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (1953). She was a regular on "Hometown Jamboree" (a Los Angeles-based television show run by Cliffie Stone; she was so popular, the program was occasionally called the "Molly Bee Show"), "The Jimmy Dean Show" on TV in the 60s, and on Pinky Lee and Steve Allen TV shows (the latter at the time when FZ appeared).
Molly Bee had several hits in the early '60s, crafting a showy stage persona, ideal for clubs. She was ten years old when she gained the attention of Rex Allen, the singing cowboy, with her performance of "Lovesick Blues". When she was 13, Bee signed with Capitol Records, releasing her first single, "Tennessee Tango". However, it was "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", released late in 1952, that was her first major success. In 1953, she recorded "Don't Start Courtin' In A Hot Rod Ford", a duet with Tennessee Ernie Ford. Bee's career continued to grow, as she had more hit singles - including "Young Romance", "Don't Look Back", and "5 Points of A Star" - and appeared on a variety of television shows. By the late '50s, her live shows were drawing large, record-breaking crowds.
In the early '60s, Molly Bee began to move her talents to other areas, acting in several musical plays ("The Boy Friend", "Finian's Rainbow", "Paint Your Wagon") and movies ("Chartreuse Caboose", "The Young Swingers"), as well as becoming a fixture in Las Vegas. However, her recording career began to decline after she signed to Liberty Records in 1962. After two unsuccessful years there, she moved to MGM in 1965, releasing the "It's Great... It's Molly Bee album". Bee found her greatest success at MGM the following year with "Losing You/Miserable Me".
By the late '60s, Bee had fallen prey to drug addiction and had to take several years off the road as she rebuilt her life. She re-emerged in 1975 with "Good Golly Ms. Molly", this time on Cliffie Stone's Granite record label. Her comeback was successful, producing two charting singles: "She Kept On Talking'" and "Right Or Left At Oak Street". In 1982, she released her final album, "Sounds Fine To Me", which failed to match the performance of "Good Golly", although she remained a popular concert draw.
Links with Zappa
Molly Bee is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them".