Bob Rak and Leah Hillgrove, both of Peters, performing the "The 12 Days of Pittsburgh N'at."
By Virginia Linn Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Take two local actors with a sense of humor, mix in the holidays and you've got the "12 Days of Pittsburgh N'at."
It's a localized rendition of the popular carol that will hit a chord with yinzers everywhere: "On the first day of Christmas some Jag-- gave to me a chair to save a parking spot for me." It continues with two inclines (or are they funiculars?), three rivers, four Kennywood coasters, five World Series wins, six Super Bowl trophies, etc.
Bob Rak came up with the idea while on a trip to Hawaii with his wife Pam during the holidays in 2008. As he listened to the "Twelve Days of Christmas," he started replacing the standard lyrics with Pittsburghese -- all in his McKees Rocks-born accent.
12 Days of Pittsburgh 'Nat
Bob Rak, Leah Hillgrove and Ed Selker star in "12 Days of Christmas 'Nat." The song is available as a download at their website: http://www.12daysofpittsburgh.com/
He teamed with fellow local actor Leah Hillgrove (daughter of sportscaster Bill Hillgrove) to perform the song with the help of Mr. Rak's brother-in-law Ed Selker on piano. Pam Rak's marketing firm CommuniTech signed up New Perspective studios in the Strip District, which produced the video this past summer.
Although it was released on Oct. 15, the parody is taking off as the holidays near. By late last week it had 12,000 views on YouTube.
Mr. Rak, now of Peters, is finance director at the Early Learning Institute in Green Tree and has performed in 29 local theater productions in the past seven years. Three of these were with Ms. Hillgrove, also of Peters, who is a freelance marketing consultant.
He said he's keeping his options open about producing future parodies. "I definitely would," he said last week. "I've really enjoyed it."
The parody can be purchased for 99 cents at Amazon, iTunes and other music sharing sites. For details: www.12daysofpittsburgh.com or call 412-221-4550. The group also has issued a free, Pittsburgh-themed holiday e-greeting on its website that folks can send to friends and family.