"Glad Tidings" (V. Morrison)
Merry Clayton, from Gimme Shelter, Ode, 1970
'til next year
That’s right, a little something extra to give you that HOTG Xmas spirit.
Our first treat comes from Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns, dispensers of year ‘round good cheer with their many great novelty tunes from the mid-1950’s to the early 1960’s. Featuring Curley Moore on lead vocal, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Santa Claus” is one of my favorite quirky, funny New Orleans Xmas songs. It was a part of the very short-lived, some say infamous, album, ‘twas the night before Christmas. Rumor had it that it was pulled soon after release because some found the r&b treatment of Christmas songs (including “Silent Night”) sacrilegious in 1962. But Jeff Hannusch suggests in the CD notes that the album tanked because of a bad distribution deal. Anyway, it’s short shelf life made it legendary and highly collectable. WestSide reissued it on CD in 1998; but that seems to be out of print now, too. I also recall that Dr. John credited Curley Moore as one of his vocal influences. I heard that. I think Earl King actually wrote this one.
For seconds, Merry Clayton’s take on the Van Morrison song, “Glad Tidings”, is another tune off of her Gimme Shelter album, recorded in Los Angeles. I featured a cut from this LP back in November. With Merry letting loose, this spirited number closed the album in fine style, and also aptly expresses my good wishes to each an every one of you this holiday season.
Hope you enjoy these. I’ll be taking them down right after Christmas and getting back to my growing list of planned posts. Carnival season is almost upon us. So, we’ll have to go there some in the early new year. Finally, for some well-written, well-played, modern New Orleans and Louisiana funk ‘n soul Xmas music featuring some of the area’s finest performers, I suggest you try the new Christmas Gumbo CD. I just got it Monday and am impressed.