Another STAX Christmas

Booker T. and The MG’s

In the Christmas SpiritSome of my favorite sources for holiday music are the various STAX Christmas and compilation albums. Do you know STAX/VOLT of Memphis, TN? The OTHER major source of soul music in the 1960s besides Motown in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Black Christmas – The Emotions. The female vocal trio had its best commercial years after leaving the label with Best Of My Love. This is a black empowerment track.

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Carla Thomas. One of the first names I think of on the label. From 1966, when it got to #11 on Billboard’s special Xmas list, the same year her B-A-B-Y was #3 RB, #14 pop.

Silver Bells (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston) – Booker T. and The MG’s. Released as a 1967 season single. Booker T. Jones was born in 1944 in Memphis, TN.

Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staple Singers; a downer, social justice song. But I love Pops’ and Mavis’ voices here.

Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont) – Booker T. and The MG’s, #20 on the Xmas list in 1966

Gee Whiz It’s Christmas – Carla Thomas. written by Thomas, Steve Cropper, and trumpeter Vinny Trauth. #23 on the Christmas charts in 1963. It was inspired by Carla’s #10 pop/#5 RB hit Gee Whiz (Look In His Eyes)

Sort of a hit

Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday – William Bell. Written by Bell and Booker T. Jones. This went #33 RB in 1968 and was a regional pop hit in the DC area. Born in 1939 in Memphis, he was a prolific songwriter.

The Mistletoe And Me – Isaac Hayes. A keyboard player/songwriter for STAX, the singer died in 2008. This non-album invokes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and We Three Kings, among other songs. I contend that this is a GREAT Christmas song. But I’ve never heard it on the radio

Winter Snow (Isaac Hayes) – Booker T. and The MG’s. Yes, it is a melancholy instrumental. Sometimes the season is like that.

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