Three under the tree, Vol. 15

Once again, a little misdirection with our three tunes. You figured it out back in Vol. 6. It’s still not all that complicated.

The first one sounds like Chuck Berry, but really is …

diffxmascd.jpg

“Run Rudolph Run,” Dave Edmunds, 1982, from “A Different Kind of Christmas,” 1994. It’s out of print … which is a little surprising considering some of the other acts on it: NRBQ, Bruce Cockburn, T-Bone Burnett and Shawn Colvin.

Edmunds has long been one of my favorite performers, and that he would channel Chuck Berry is no surprise. Berry did this one first, as the B side to “Merry Christmas Baby” in 1958, but he didn’t write it. Rather, it was Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie. You may know some other Christmas songs written by Marks: “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

The second one sounds like James Brown, but really is …

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“Sock It To Me, Santa,” Bob Seger and the Last Heard, 1966, from “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas,” 1995.

There’s an interesting little history of this tune at The Seger File, a fan site. There, Scott Sparling discusses the mysterious songwriting credit — first “Punchy,” then “T. Keels” — and suggests they might be pseudonyms created to resolve a copyright challenge “since the riffs were pretty much straight out of Mitch Ryder/James Brown territory.”

This compilation CD, by the way, is a good one if you are into ’80s Christmas music. This by far is the oldest cut. Among the other performers: Elton John, the Moody Blues, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Waitresses, Billy Squier, the Kinks and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

The third one sounds like the Chantays, but really is …

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“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Los Straitjackets, from “‘Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets!” 2002.

They sound like they’re out of California, and they wear wrestling masks from Mexico, but this surf-rock instrumental quartet hails from Nashville. They’ve played in my town several times, but I must confess I’ve never seen them. They’ll be here again on New Year’s Eve. I may have to go see them … unless I’m setting off fireworks at midnight for our 12-year-old.

Enjoy. More to come. What, no requests?

2 Comments

Filed under Christmas music, December 2007, Sounds

2 responses to “Three under the tree, Vol. 15

  1. Eddie

    Would I be right in thinking you previously ran (run?) ‘A Musical Fruitcake’ It’s just that I downloaded an absolute gem from there a while ago.. a version of Leon Payne’s Psycho by The Western Caravan featuring Thirsty Dave. Anyway wonderful though this is it has some extraneous sound at the start and the ending is slightly clipped. I bought the CD via the link but the version on the CD is the original lyric – not the christmas one. I’ve tried emailing the label, the band’s website and various individual members, but heard nothing. A quick search on the web reveals a playlisting on WFMU around 2/3 years ago… but nothing else (There’s a very compressed version on the playlist archives of the WFMU site). No release details, catalogue numbers, etc., etc. I’d love any info. anyone has about this… and in a perfect world for santa to bring me a perfect copy this christmas… Many thanks.
    Eddie.

  2. Mike

    Thanks for spreading the Christmas cheer. The tunes are much appreciated here around the tree, and at work, too.

    I’d like to request anything else from Creole Christmas, but especially Dr. John’s “Merry Christmas, Baby”. I owned this disc at one time, but sadly can’t find it now. Ah, well. I seem to remember Dr. John’s version of this song being even more languorous than the Charles Brown version.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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