05 December: Twice As Much and Vashti: Coldest Night Of The Year

Published December 05, 2017

I have to give credit to the wonderful Come To The Sunshine podcast for alerting me to this lovely track. I don't know so much about Twice As Much, but "Vashti" is Vashti Bunyan, who, in the present century, has enjoyed a revival of interest in her long-forgotten music.

Coldest Night Of The Year, featured on the 1968 Twice As Much album That's All, was written by one of the finest songwriting teams in the history of pop: Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. How could it not be brilliant?

Listen here.

04 December: Shana Lynette: Mr Russian Please Don't Shoot Down Santa's Sleigh

Published December 04, 2017

In you want bizarre, there's plenty of gold to be found in the decades-worth of Christmas music recorded by the misguided. This Cold War gem seems to have been committed to tape in 1983, and probably didn't do very much to thaw out relations - for musical reasons, if nothing else.

Could this possibly be the same Shana Lynette...?

Listen here.

03 December: Ray Conniff Singers: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Published December 04, 2017

I do have a penchant for this type of just slightly re-arranged versions of Christmas chestnuts. It's almost tipping over to the "aren't we clever?" side, but because they do sound like they're really enjoying recording it, it works. This is from the 1959 Christmas With Conniff album.

Listen here.

 

02 December: Brook Benton: Soul Santa

Published December 04, 2017

What would a soul singer like Brook Benton bring us but a Soul Santa? This 1971 single by the Rainy Night In Georgia singer is beyond cool.

Listen here.

01 December: Joe Loco Quintet: Jingle Bells

Published December 04, 2017

Welcome to this year's Advent Calendar, even though this first entry is backdated, because the first few days of December were quite busy for me.

I've often started these Advent Calendars with a Latin-tinged take on a popular Christmas tune, and why change a winning concept? I don't know so much about Joe Loco, but according to Wikipedia he was an American band leader of Puerto Rican descent. This take on Jingle Bells was taken from a Christmas EP released in 1955. Don't you just love the bongo and conga work here? I know I do.

Listen here.

ADVENT CALENDAR 2017