Cephas & Wiggins “Christmas Day Blues” from Alligator Records Genuine Houserockin' Christmas (Alligator 2003) —this tune was written by John Cephas; keep your eyes & ears open for an upcoming new project featuring Phil Wiggins & the Chesapeake Sheiks.Buy it!
Black Ace “Santa Claus Blues” from I'm the Boss Card In Your Hand (Arhoolie Records 1992) —B.K. Turner recorded this at his house with Chris Strachwitz and Paul Oliver in Ft. Worth in 1960.Buy it!
Jesse Thomas “Merry Christmas” from Lookin' For That Woman (Black Top 1996) —the harp on this is by Paul HarringtonBuy it!
Smokey Hogg “New Year's Eve Blues” from Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 1 1925 to 1955 (Document 2009) —a Modern Records recording from 1947. Smokey is from the same school as Lil Son Jackson and Frankie Lee Sims - what a great school!Buy it!
The Pilgrim Travellers “I'll Be Home For Christmas” from Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 2 1926 to 1958 (Document 2009) —recorded for Specialty Records in Hollywood back in 1952. What fine harmonizing - it makes me feel all warm inside. (my heart may have just grown 2 sizes bigger)Buy it!
The Staple Singers “The Last Month Of The Year” from A Gospel Christmas Card (Specialty 1993) —This compilation features the Staples' entire "The Twenty-Fifth Day of December" release, as well as a few tracks each by Rev. Cleophus Robinson and The Pilgrim Travellers.Buy it!
The Soul Stirrers “Christmas Means Love” from Gospel Spirit Of Christmas (MCA 1993)Buy it!
Mahalia Jackson “We Have Come A Mighty Long Way” from A Spiritual Christmas (Fine Tune 1999) —one from the Queen of Gospel singers, Miss Mahalia.Buy it!
Jay McShann “Hootie's K.C. Christmas Prayer with the Duke Robillard Band” from Stony Plain's Christmas Blues (stony plain 2000) —a Jay "Hootie" McShann writing credit. Jay was one of the greats from the legendary jazz and R&B scene of Kansas City.Buy it!
Rum Drum Ramblers “Holiday in Chi-Town” from KDHXmas 2012: Holiday Music Sampler Volume II (KDHX www.kdhx.org 2012) LBuy it!
Cool John Ferguson “Drummer Boy” from Cool Yule (Music Maker Recordings 2002) —John is one of the tastiest guitarist most of us have never heard of, and has recorded in support behind Capt. Luke - a couple of characters from the East Coast.Buy it!
The Penguins “Jingle Jangle” from Doo Wop Christmas (Rhino 1992) —Mercury Records, 1955Buy it!
Detroit Junior “Christmas Day” from Foxy R&B Richard Stamz Chicago Blues (Ace 2013) N —Piano man Detroit Jr was Emory Williams, Jr.; this was recorded for Foxy Records 1961. Emory was a serious player, and was in Howlin' Wolf last band.Buy it!
Darlene Love “All Alone On Christmas” from Underground Garage Presents: Christmas a Go-Go (Wicked Cool Records www.wickedcoolrecords.com 2008) —it wouldn't be a Christmas season without a spin of Darlene's tune. Wall of sound, indeed!Buy it!
Titus Turner “Christmas Morning” from The Chronological Titus Turner 1949-1954 (Classics Records 2005) —this was recorded with Leroy Kirkland's Orch in 1952 for OKeh Records. Turner is probably most famous for writing "All Around The World aka Grits Ain't Groceries".Buy it!
Sonny Boy Williamson II “Santa Claus” from The Essential Sonny Boy Williamson (MCA 1993) —Rice (or some verision of Aleck) Miller, making Santa Claus sound more than a little menacing, and funky, too!Buy it!
Eddie C. Campbell “Santa's Messin' With The Kid” from King of the Jungle (ROOSTER 1986) —Eddie C. and Cary Bell bluesin' it to Christmas.Buy it!
Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials “I'm Your Santa” from The Alligator Records Christmas Collection (Alligator 1992) —Lil' Ed wrote this one, and it was recorded with the now-classic edition of the band: Ed, Pookie, Mike and KellyBuy it!
The Lucky Old Sons “Santa's List” from A Very Lucky Christmas (self-released 2013) N L —It sounds like Santa has his finger on where all the naughty girls are; that's just not right! Ha!Buy it!
JD McPherson “Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)” from Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights) - Single (Universal Music Group International 2012)Buy it!
The Reverend Horton Heat “Santa Bring My Baby Back” from We Three Kings (Yep Roc Records www.yeprocrecords.com 2005) —ok, folks; this album is too much fun. It would make a nice gift for all your rockabillies at Christmas time.Buy it!
Better Off Dead “Santa Got Soul” from Santa Got Soul - single (Artist 2007)Buy it!
The Smithereens “Christmas Time All Over The World” from Christmas With the Smithereens (Koch 2007) —The Smithereens wrote this smashing Christmas-time rocker. Good work, boys!Buy it!
Carolyn Wonderland & Guy Forsyth “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” from Fireside Songs for the Soul (Bismeaux Records 2010) —this was recorded live, and sounds like it was entirely too much fun. Carolyn & Guy hold these shows every Christmas time in Austin.Buy it!
Fathead “Tonight Feels Like Christmas” from Santa's Got Mojo An Electro-Fi Christmas Blues Celebration (Electro-Fi Records 2002) —Fathead is one of Canada's finest bands, working out of Toronto. This cd is one of the better contemporary Christmas/Holiday blues releases out there. A job well done.Buy it!
Kid Andersen and Friends “Santa Claus Is Coming To Play featuring Terry Hanck” from Christmas At Greaseland Vol. Green (Greaseland Records 2010) —there's also a Volume Red, and the 2 are chock full of the San Fran Bay areas finest blues & soul talents. Rusty Zinn, Rick Estrin, Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth (who has since moved to Memphis) and many, many more.Buy it!
Graham Parker and Nona Hendryx “Soul Christmas” from The Time Life Treasury Of Christmas The Greatest Holiday Duets (EMI 2006) —the title of the CD is not hype; there really are many great duets on this disc. Many, if not most, of the Time Life music series releases border on exceptional. They are typically very well put together and sequenced.Buy it!
James Brown “Hey America” from The Complete James Brown Christmas (Universal Records 2010) —The "Hey America" LP was originally released in Dec 1970. The "Complete" 2 CD set gathers up most of Brown's Christmas releases into one tidy, handy, funky set!Buy it!
Vernon Garrett & Sir Stan & The Counts “MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY” from Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party (Tramp Records 2011)Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
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