Saturday, 25 February 2012

Big ten . . .

10 Please Come Home For Christmas Charles Brown

Yes, it’s Mr Black Christmas himself. Among the various legal requirements referring to the selection of music for a Christmas collection, there is one eternal. A Charles Brown record is essential. It’s simply non-negotiable. You can get away without any Elvis or even a version of White Christmas but there must be a Charles Brown.

A pianist from Texas, Brown came to fame in the post-war piano blues world of Los Angeles that also had Nat King Cole. I’ve got at least five different Charles Brown Christmas songs — and multiple versions of his two biggies. Merry Christmas, Baby (1947) he first recorded as one of the jacketed ones in Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers. Please Come Home For Christmas is far later and was written by Brown himself, with bandleader and A&R man Gene Redd. First cut for King records in 1960, it was a pop chart hit the following year and an even bigger hit in 1968.

PS If you've just caught up with this stuff and want to hear the actual tracks, either post a comment or email me asking for the relevant link.

Next The vexed question of the three ships' inland adventure

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