Posted by rockindomp3
The above photo was taken from a live Hangover Hop WFMU radio broadcast done in I believe Dec. of '91. That's the late actor/degenerate Rocket Redglare as Santa Claus. The drink and cigarette weren't the worst things he ingested that day.
For years comedy writer/producer/collector Eddie Gordetsky made Christmas tapes and then CD's and sent 'em out to every cool person in the world. They were full of incredible, obscure, Christmas discs of all musical genres (and some that fit no known genre). This year he sent out an e-mail admitting he hated Christmas records and there would be no CD this year, he just sent out blank CD's with a note to make your own and pass it along. So I'll use this, and maybe another blog to do just that.
Truth is, I'm not crazy about Christmas either. New York City is full of stressed out shoppers and moronic tourists, all shoving and pushing. Traffic is a nightmare. The parties aren't even fun anymore (and I don't drink anyway courtesy of my damaged liver which doesn't like to leave the house much anymore). And all that false "cheer" just depresses me.
I do like Christmas records because basically, rock'n'roll is a novelty music, and as such it translates to such things as Christmas records pretty well. Some groups best records are their Christmas records.
If you want to hear an entire three hours of Christmas discs you can find my Dec. '93 show here. I think that was the best one. Not as good but with some different tunes is one from Dec. '92 here. If you like your Christmas in smaller doses (recommended) here's a few of my favorites.
Santo & Johnny's Twistin' Bells and the Ventures' Sleigh Ride are my two favorite Xmas instrumentals.
On the vocal group R&B side of things the Marshall Brothers' Mr. Santa's Boogie, the Penguins' Jingle Jangle, Marvin & Johnny's It's Christmas, the Marquees' Christmas In The Congo, the Falcons' Can This Be Christmas?, the Hepsters' Rockin' and Rollin' With Santa Claus, the Youngsters' Christmas In Jail, the Martels' Rockin' Santa Claus, and my old favorite Hank Ballard & the Midnighters' Santa Claus Is Coming would all be at the top of my list.
On the rockabilly/white rocker front I've always loved Johnny Preston's I Want A Rock'n'Roll Guitar, Cordell Jackson's (I miss her Christmas cards) Be-Bopper's Christmas, Little Joey Farr's
Rock'n'Roll Santa, the Davis Sisters' Christmas Boogie, Tommy Lee & the Orbits' Jingle Rock, the Holly Twins' I Want Elvis For Christmas (that's Eddie Cochran doin' the Elvis impersonation), Hasil Adkins' Santa Claus Boogie (sounds more like Santa's Hunch to me), Gary Remo Quartet's St. Nick Rock, Brendan Hanlan and his Bat Men's Christmas Party (dig that guitar solo), 3 Aces & a Joker's Sleigh Bell Rock (flip side of "Booze Party") and Chuck Blevins' Sleigh Bell Rock. If those don't liven up your Christmas party, try taking your clothes off.
The best soul Christmas record of all time is Clarence Carter's Back Door Santa. There's plenty of other good ones though, including Johnny & Jon's Christmas In Viet Nam, Clyde Lasley & the Cadillac Babies' Santa Came Home Drunk, Detroit Jr.'s Christmas Day and Nathaniel Mayer's Mr. Santa Claus (too bad Nat won't be around this Christmas, R.I.P., I bet him and Rockets have a lot to talk about on the other side).
For Christmas blues here's Eddie C. Cambell's wonderful Santa's Messin' With The Kid, Charles Brown's Miserable Christmas, Washboard Pete's Christmas Blues, Lightnin' Hopkins' Santa, John Lee Hooker's Blues For Christmas, Sonny Boy (What Number Sonny Boy Am I Again?) Williamson's Sonny Boy's Christmas Blues (actually it's #2, Rice Miller, I am Sonny Boy #523 btw), Louis Jordan's Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Robert Nighthawk's Merry Christmas Baby is also a nice guitar workout, as is Hop Wilson's Merry Christmas Darling.
For those who like rockin' R&B, the best Christmas record ever is Huey Smith & the Clowns Christmas album-- Twas The Night Before Christmas (Ace). From said lp here's Rock'n'Roll Santa and the best version ever of Silent Night. The whole LP can be found here. Bobbie & Boobie's Cool Cool Christmas rocks like crazy, as does Jimmy Butler's Trim Your Tree (dirty too).
Now here's some oddball Christmas records I like starting with my all-time favorite Christmas disc-- Canned Heat & the Chipmunks (they were both on Liberty, why not?) jamming out on Christmas Boogie. Good thing Bear Hite didn't step on one of the Chipmunks, he'd a crushed the little fella. I'd say this is Canned Heat's best record ever. Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen's Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas is another great one, it's the only record of theirs I own. The Sonics sure deliver the goods on Don't Believe In Christmas for you garage fans. Bob Seger & his Last Heard never sounded more like Mitch Ryder & his Detroit Wheels than they did on this one-- Sock It To Me Santa. Again, this might be his best record (at least in his top three along with "East Side Story" and "Ramblin' Gamlin' Man"). Hope this brings some cheer to your Christmas season, especially you broke mother fuckers.
I've done worn myself out for the moment, I'll get to more great rock'n'roll and some cool country Christmas discs in another posting in the next week or so. Feel free to post requests or your own favorites, if I have 'em I'll try and post 'em.
Labels: Christmas Records