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  1. #1

    Favorite Soul Christmas Song?

    What is your favorite soul Christmas song?

    Mine is an easy pick - Temptations Silent Night

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...s+silent+night

    Silent Night is not my favorite Christmas song (mine is Carol of the Bells)

    Honestly Silent Night probably isn't in my top 10

    But the Tempts version is perfect and second place is a distant second

    Merry Christmas everyone

  2. #2
    My favorite is by the Original Drifters. The Drifters were the only group that I know of where the entire group was fired by the manager

    One of the members got into an argument with the owner of the Apollo and that prompted their manager to fire the entire group. He then hired a group on the spot called the Five Crowns and renamed them "The Drifters". That group contained Ben E King.

    This Bill Pinkey live performance sounds very much like the original recording. The guy singing Clyde Mc Phatters part sounds good too. Anyhow, it is my favorite soul Christmas song.


  3. #3
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    I'd hardly call that a "Soul" Christmas song. I'd call it an R&B Group Harmony song. If we can use such styled songs, I'd say my favourite so-called "Soul" Christmas song is "Merry Christmas" by The Cameos:
    Last edited by robb_k; 12-24-2018 at 04:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    THIS would be my favourite Christmas "Soul song":

  5. #5
    "Christmas Just Ain't Christmas Without The One You Love" - The O'Jays

  6. #6
    What Christmas Means To Me by Stevie!!!!!!

    Also...

    Christmas Gift - Margie Joseph
    I Believe In Christmas Eve - The Miracles
    Back Door Santa - Clarence Carter
    Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding
    Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas - The Staple Singers
    Soulful Christmas - James Brown

    and This Christmas by Donny Hathaway!

  7. #7
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Temptations
    This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
    Please Come Home for Christmas - Charles Brown
    Christmas Comes But Once a Year - Amos Milburn

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post
    What is your favorite soul Christmas song?

    Mine is an easy pick - Temptations Silent Night

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...s+silent+night

    Silent Night is not my favorite Christmas song (mine is Carol of the Bells)

    Honestly Silent Night probably isn't in my top 10

    But the Tempts version is perfect and second place is a distant second

    Merry Christmas everyone
    Good Question. My favorite for the holidays is The Supremes' "Little Bright Star". And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  9. #9
    Old Washington Post article on Silent Night

    PS - how do you get YouTube videos to embed here?
    =================================


    ...... It had to be closing time just before Christmas when, perhaps after the last set, someone turned on the recording of a deep voice reciting the start of " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" over some twiddly organ-sounding thing.

    I rolled my eyes and started to drain the last of my drink when someone cranked up the volume.

    The song took a sharp turn. The drums kicked in with a downbeat intro, a da dum da dum, and then an electrifying preacher's voice said:

    In my mind . . .

    The guy next to me, I recall, said: "There go Dennis."

    The drums and bass and a male chorus swooped in: tenor, baritone, bass.

    Together they took an irresistible four-note walk up the scale, whoo-ooh-ooh-OOH, and then the gritty preacher's voice said:

    I want you to be free . . .

    And then they came back down the same doo-wop staircase, OOH-ooh-ooh-ooh.

    For all of our friends, I want you to listen to me . . .

    The bass was so deep and the music so loud the stool beneath me seemed to vibrate. I was transfixed, there in the dim light and cigarette haze.

    We wish you a meeeeeerrrrrrryyy Christmas...

    All the voices came together and then out of nowhere an unearthly falsetto voice appeared in the darkness of the bar.

    It was gliding, swooning, sailing over the rest of the voices. It was the first time I had any idea of what they were singing................


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Dec23.html

  10. #10
    Also love give love on Christmas Day by the temptations

    Frosty the Snowman by Jackson Five

    Merry Christmas baby by Otis

    I really like Ledisiís Christmas album

  11. #11
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    Here's another favourite of mine:

  12. #12
    ONE?? Can't. BUT ... if a one-off qualifies, would be Donny's 'This Christmas'

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    THIS would be my favourite Christmas "Soul song":
    Robb, thanks for posting this song. I'm not sure if I've heard it before but I like it very much. I'm sure you have some background on it!

    Edit: I played this for my wife and she liked it as much as me. Jan is still around and sings in her church choir located in a suburb south of Chicago.

    Thanks again for Send Me No Flowers also (lol).
    Last edited by mr_june; 12-26-2020 at 07:55 PM.

  14. #14
    I like Issac Hayes "The Mistletoe and Me," especially the part where they cut in the "Jingle Bells" song at the end.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_june View Post
    Robb, thanks for posting this song. I'm not sure if I've heard it before but I like it very much. I'm sure you have some background on it!

    Edit: I played this for my wife and she liked it as much as me. Jan is still around and sings in her church choir located in a suburb south of Chicago.
    Thanks again for Send Me No Flowers also (lol).
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    Duplicate post of the following post.
    Last edited by robb_k; 12-27-2020 at 04:23 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_june View Post
    Robb, thanks for posting this song. I'm not sure if I've heard it before but I like it very much. I'm sure you have some background on it!

    Edit: I played this for my wife and she liked it as much as me. Jan is still around and sings in her church choir located in a suburb south of Chicago.
    Thanks again for Send Me No Flowers also (lol).
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    Yes, it has an interesting back story, but I think you'd more likely hear it directly from Jan, herself,than reading it here, written by me. I'm too old, now to write this due to dementia. I spent over 2 hours typing the history of this record, and lost it all, and then lost shorter (less complete versions of) it twice more, after about 15 minutes each, by clicking on the back arrow of this page, by accident, thinking that it was the arrow for the other window I had open to do research to refresh my memory of a few details.  I must be a glutton for punishment.... I'm trying one more time:

    In early 1963, record producer, and owner of Chicago's Formal Records, Don Talty, was watching Jan's group, The Passions, sing in a high school talent contest. He signed her to a singing artist's contract and made a deal with her parents to be her manager, but didn't sign the four male back-up singers. He got her some singing lessons and wrote some songs for her, and recorded them. But, thinking she needed better material, he made a deal with Curtis Mayfield to write songs for her and assistant-produce her recording sessions together with his regular arranger, Johnny Pate.

    The Curtis Mayfield songs became the A-sides of 2 of Jan’s first 3 Formal Records’ releases, and the 3rd, “Mama Didn’t Lie” sold so well regionally, that Talty decided to lease it to Chess Records to give it top-level national distribution. But, Curtis Mayfield was angry about not getting producer credit, producer pay, and 100 % of the music publishing rights, and Chess didn’t want him involved in any more of Jan’s releases on their label. They had already signed Jan to an artist’s contract with their label, so, Talty was in a tough position. He would lose his chance to earn money from Jan’s career if he would insist on making the production deal only if Mayfield would be included. So, he secretly agreed with Curtis that they would continue producing and releasing the recordings they had already worked on together (“Behind The Curtains” and “Christmas Time”, of which they had already made preliminary recordings, and agreed to get them pressed up and released. So, despite Chess having an exclusive right to record and release Jan’s recordings for the next two years, Talty and Mayfield could release what they recorded before Talty made his post “Mama Didn’t Lie deal with Chess. However, near the end of “Mama Didn’t Lie’s “ run, when he and Curtis chose to release “Behind The Curtains”, not wanting to anger Chess’ head of Soul Production (Billy Davis), Talty chose to finish off their recording in tiny (almost rural) Sauk City, Wisconsin, at an old colleague of his’ (Jim Kirchstein)’s recording studio, and have Jan’s song released on one of release them on one of the latter’s record labels (Cuca(Pop & Polka), Sara (R&B), or Night Owl (Garage Band and Hard Rock). I think it is interesting and weird that Kirchstein chose to release it on Night Owl Records, his Garage Band label, when Sara was mostly R&B and DooWop, and Cuca had, at least a few R&B and Soul Cuts on it (Birdlegs & Pauline, Harvey Scales and The 7 Sounds, and Betty Moore(AKA Moorer). Here it is(I heard it on the radio and bought it immediately):


    As to "Christmas Time", later, in late fall 1963, when Talty and Mayfield were ready to finish their Christmas song's production, and get it released, they decided not to use Kirchstein again, because he didn't have the connections or distributor to get Soul music sold. So they shopped it to some of Chess' competitors for lease, like Mayfield's production outlets, VJ, ABC, Okeh, and Mercury. But they didn't want to anger Chess, and possibly have to deal with a lawsuit, so they wouldn't touch it. So Talty and Mayfield took it to tiny Stacy Records, which DID produce some R&B and Soul ((Sollie McElroy's group) The Nobles, Preston Carnes, Chico Vance, Baby Jean, Al Duncan, Billy & Lilly, Bobby Gee & The Celestials, and had already handled Talty's own Paulette, and Ace St. Clair). Stacy also had handled a national hit by Al Casey. Interestingly, Stacey and Talty agreed to release Jan's Christmas song on a new Stacey subsidiary label, Hootenanny Records (named after Al Casey's national hit, "Surfin' Hootenanny". Unfortunately, Stacey didn't have much clout in the Soul market. So the record never sold much. I don't remember it getting airplay, either.

    I'm exhausted, this took me 4 hours. I hope it's appreciated. When I finally finished re-typing it into a text file to transfer to the post when finished, in order not to lose it all for the 4th time, I tried to place the text into the post, but the post timed out. Luckily, I still had the text file - so I only lost the music file, which isn't difficult to re-do. So, I just made a new post. I wish this forum would have the feature that all my other fora do, which is that when you leave the page by accident, and you click on the back arrow to return to your post page, the programme KEEPS your text and media files there, as if you never left. Years ago ALL fora erased unfinished post drafts if you didn't post and left that page, but over the last few years they've all changed to the new system that saves them for you in case you are demented and can't remember that your post will be erased and irretrievable if you leave that page. But no harm done - I'm semi-retired, and have little time pressure.
    Last edited by robb_k; 12-27-2020 at 04:25 AM.

  17. #17
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    I also learned about this other Jan Bradley Night Owl release which I've never heard nor seen before:
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    It's either a duet by Jan and Chuck Tillman, or just Jan singing and Tillman, who led The Chuck Tillman Trio (Jazz Combo) accompanying her. I've seen several records by his combo and Jazz band, but never heard him singing on any of them. Also, I don't believe this record was released commercially, or I'd have seen it. I lived in Chicago in 1963, and was scouring the record shop bargain bins, record distributors warehouses, Walgreens' and Kresge's 10 cent sales, thrift shops, junk stores, yard sales, and friends and acquaintences' record collections. I probably looked through a million 45s in Chicago from the time that record was out in late 1963 through 1967. Had it been released, I'd have seen it.

    It seems that this and 3 other Night Owl releases produced by Don Talty, with the label's new print font, were NOT part of Jim Krichstein's Sauk City, Wisconsin label, but a new label owned by Talty, just stealing the name, without Kirchstein's permission. The Jan and Chuck record was from 1966.
    Last edited by robb_k; 12-27-2020 at 02:00 PM.

  18. #18
    HI Robb, thank you so much for the history behind Jan's early records, the Xmas song and her association with Curtis Mayfield. All that I've read is that she didn't have hits after Curtis didn't write or produce her, but did not know the backstory. Robb, you are very much appreciated here!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    I also learned about this other Jan Bradley Night Owl release which I've never heard nor seen before:
    Name:  Jan & Chuck - Night Owl.jpg
Views: 189
Size:  83.6 KB
    It's either a duet by Jan and Chuck Tillman, or just Jan singing and Tillman, who led The Chuck Tillman Trio (Jazz Combo) accompanying her. I've seen several records by his combo and Jazz band, but never heard him singing on any of them. Also, I don't believe this record was released commercially, or I'd have seen it. I lived in Chicago in 1963, and was scouring the record shop bargain bins, record distributors warehouses, Walgreens' and Kresge's 10 cent sales, thrift shops, junk stores, yard sales, and friends and acquaintences' record collections. I probably looked through a million 45s in Chicago from the time that record was out in late 1963 through 1967. Had it been released, I'd have seen it.

    It seems that this and 3 other Night Owl releases produced by Don Talty, with the label's new print font, were NOT part of Jim Krichstein's Sauk City, Wisconsin label, but a new label owned by Talty, just stealing the name, without Kirchstein's permission. The Jan and Chuck record was from 1966.
    Robb, this is very appreciated. My e-mail box is cleaned now so you can send me PMs now.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by stingbeelee View Post
    HI Robb, thank you so much for the history behind Jan's early records, the Xmas song and her association with Curtis Mayfield. All that I've read is that she didn't have hits after Curtis didn't write or produce her, but did not know the backstory. Robb, you are very much appreciated here!
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    Thanks. Yes, having Chess refuse to allow Curtis Mayfield be a part of Jan's production crew ruined her singing career. Billy Davis' Chess crew never gave her anything really good to sing. That fact made her turn to emulating Curtis' writing style to get her 2nd Chess hit (albeit regional, rather than national). Her "I'm Over You", and "The Brush Off" were a lot better than any song Chess gave her:

  21. #21
    Attachment 18489
    Here's "The Brush Off":

  22. #22
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    Here is another Christmas favourite of mine:

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