Three under the tree, Vol. 11

Over at, my fellow bloggers Jason and Jefito have begun another season of Mellowmas. The weather outside is frightful, and so is their choice of music. The lads lovingly select Christmas tunes, post them and then gleefully rip them to shreds.

On Sunday, they posted Jim Nabors’ version of “O, Holy Night.”

Rob saw that and left this comment:

“For a GREAT take on this song, check out Irma Thomas’ version on a compilation called ‘A Creole Christmas.’ Goosebump-inducing stuff.”

Rob is correct.

As a reward for his insight, I promised Rob I would try to counteract the effects of Camp Mellowmas — or is that Mellowmas camp? — by offering that terrific song here tonight.

It’s one of three tunes that are reverent but thrilling.

“O Holy Night,” Irma Thomas, from “A Creole Christmas,” 1990. Out of print.

Done as a New Orleans dirge with some terrific Hammond organ.

“Ave Maria,” Stevie Wonder, from “A Motown Christmas,” 1973. Also out of print.

A simple piano line and Stevie’s vocal — then listen for a 45-second harmonica solo about 2 minutes in — backed by a welling, soaring choir.

“Silent Night,” the Staple Singers, from “The 25th Day of December,” 1962, re-released on CD, 2007.

Listen for the reverb from Pops Staples’ guitar and some more sweet Hammond organ. (Circle back to Vol. 8 for more from this fine album.)

Enjoy. More to come.


Filed under Christmas music, December 2007, Sounds

4 responses to “Three under the tree, Vol. 11

  1. How I LOVE The Staples Singers!


  2. Billie

    Thank you very much for these posts. I enjoy visiting your page and finding these presents under the tree.

  3. There was a 2 LP Christmas set put out around 1988 or so by Warner Brothers titled “Winter Warnerland.” Other than 1 track (Peter Cetera doing Silent Night) I’m not sure what was on it but there might be some other gems on that one worth digging up and sharing as I’m pretty sure that set is long out of print.

  4. EightE1

    I feel duly rewarded. Great post. Hope all your readers dig Irma’s awesome “O Holy Night.”


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