30 Days Out (From Christmas): Soul Christmas

 soul-christmas

Day 27 – In 1968, Atlantic Records was arguably the best R&B record label on the planet.  With all due respect to Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, the Atlantic roster of artists created classic soul and R&B that topped the charts and rocked kids across the world.   So some of the biggest names on Atlantic (and its subsidiaries Atco and Stax) came together in ’68 to put together the simply titled Soul Christmas

First out of the gate was a song specificially recorded for the project: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter.  Although that’s an instant keeper, the highlight has to be the two tunes contributed by Otis Redding.  His “White Christmas” is brilliantly bleak, and the arrangement of “Merry Christmas, Baby” set the pattern for many more versions to follow.

The original Soul Christmas is available on CD with some bonus tracks (thanks, Rhino Records!).  It’s the second greatest Christmas album of all time, in our humble opinion.  Our pick for the best?  Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-URL! 

MP3: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter

MP3: “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Otis Redding

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Booker T. & the MGs

MP3: “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas” by Carla Thomas

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by King Curtis

MP3: “White Christmas” by Otis Redding

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