A smaller Christmas, Day 6

In the mail this morning is a note from Spin magazine hyping its latest content. The top feature is “Humbug Hit Parade: The 25 Weirdest, Darkest Christmas Songs.” I clicked through all 25 songs, but it’s just not my thing.

Yeah, there’s a ton of bad Christmas music out there, but I don’t wish to explore it. Which is why is haven’t read a word of a similar feature that’s an annual event on an otherwise tremendous site listed over there to the left on the blogroll. Nor have I stopped by a handful of Christmas music blogs that revel in that kind of thing. Sorry, fellas. Pass.

On that Humbug Hit Parade, though, is one song that’s long been a favorite.


“Back Door Santa,” Clarence Carter, from “Testifyin’,” 1969. The LP is out of print but is available digitally.

I guess you could call it weird — if Carter’s salacious “Ho, ho, ho” unnerves you — but it’s more naughty than anything. This Santa “ain’t like old Saint Nick,” who “don’t come but once a year.” Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Besides, if it makes you smile, how can it be on such a playlist?

A year and a half ago, I came across this record, which is Carter’s second LP. This version of “Back Door Santa” has a more laid-back drum intro than the rat-a-tat jump start sampled by Run-D.M.C. on “Christmas In Hollis.”

This version also is ever so slightly different than the version on Atlantic’s great “Soul Christmas” compilation, which came out on vinyl in 1968 and was reissued on CD in 1991. I’ve had that CD since it came out, which seems like forever.

Your Christmas music requests in the comments, please.

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.

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Filed under Christmas music, December 2012, Sounds

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