Three under the tree, Vol. 2

You think you know about Santa? You better think again.

We’ve made a few little discoveries as we go through the Christmas tunes.

— Did you know Santa is “a fine soul brother?” Yes, “the man’s got soul, he’s got soul, he’s got soul.”

So says Brook Benton on “Soul Santa,” a single released as Cotillion 44141 in November 1971.

— Did you know Santa “ain’t like old Saint Nick,” who “don’t come but once a year.” Apparently this Santa comes a little more often. Ahem.

So says Clarence Carter on “Back Door Santa,” which was on “Soul Christmas,” an Atco release from November 1968.


Both of these fine cuts are on another “Soul Christmas,” an Atlantic and Atco Masters compilation released in 1991. This is an excellent album of vintage R&B and soul from the ’50s to the ’70s, also featuring Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Joe Tex, King Curtis, Solomon Burke and the Sweet Inspirations.

(The Atco release I mentioned was released on CD in 1994 or 1995 as “Original Soul Christmas.” I’ve never seen it, but it obviously exists.)

— While those revelations about Santa may come as news to you, this one may not. Santa “looked a lot like Daddy” and “Daddy looked a lot like him.” Well, he did at my house.

So say the Tractors, joined by Buck Owens as they cover his Christmas classic, “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy.”

Buck wrote this in the mid-’60s with Don Rich, his guitarist and collaborator until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1974. I don’t have Buck’s version, but this one is true to the original.


It’s from “Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas,” by the Tractors, a 1995 release from the country-swing band that had a brief moment in the sun at about that time in the mid-’90s.

Enjoy. More to come.

Again, if you have requests, drop me a line. I’ll see what I can do.

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Filed under Christmas music, November 2007, Sounds

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