Have You Heard? Holiday Edition 2013

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  Mike Little is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson, South Carolina.  He is also a member of the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ’s and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays.  He hosted for 3-1/2 years The Saturday Morning Beach Party on WANS, 1280 AM in Anderson, which was rated by Arbitron as the highest rated AM show listened to and number three overall for that time slot.  In 2004, he was awarded the Rufus Oates Award by the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jays for his writing contributions.  He now serves on the Board of Directors of the NARBDJ.

Have You Heard...

Special Holiday Edition


Mike Little


The Twelve Songs Of Christmas 2013

  Have you heard about this year's Christmas music?  Each year I try to keep you informed about new Christmas songs that have just come out.  Sometimes, it becomes difficult as some seasonal music is not released until after publication deadlines.  In any event, here are twelve new songs that you may want to consider playing for that special party for which you will be deejaying.


Angels In The Snow by Judy Collins.  This smooth song comes from Judy's new Christmas album, Christmas With Judy Collins.  A native of Seattle, Washington, her family moved to Los Angeles, California when she was a toddler.  She exhibited an early interest in music and began taking piano lessons.  Judy Collins, along with Joan Baez, became one of the two major interpretative singers to emerge from the Folk Music revival of the late fifties and the early sixties.



Christmas I'll Be Steppin' by R. Kelly.  The song comes from the motion picture soundtrack of the current movie, The Best Man Holiday.  Robert Sylvester Kelly, a native of Chicago, Illinois, is no stranger to the Beach Music world.  In recent years, he has come on strong in the market place, giving us hits such as Happy People and Step In The Name Of Love.  He currently has a strong hit song on the charts, Share My Love.


Christmas Paradise by Carole King.  The song comes from her new album, A Holiday Carole.  Born Carol Joan Klein to a Jewish Family in Manhattan, New York, Carole King married songwriter Gerry Geoffe while attending Queens College in Flushing, New York.  She was seventeen when the pair wrote the Number One hit for The Shirelles, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.  The husband and wife duo also wrote Chains for The Cookies, The Loco-motion for Little Eva, Take Good Care Of My Baby for Bobby Vee, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman for Aretha Franklin, Up On The Roof for The Drifters and many others.  After her divorce from Gerry, she met James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, with whom she would collaborate on songs.  Carole King went on to establish her own highly successful recording and songwriting career.


Christmas Without You by Sophia Clark.  This comes from the mini-CD, Christmas Songs.  Sophia is a Pop/Rhythm &Blues/Gospel singer and songwriter.  As P.A.D. Management states, “She sounds like a mix of  Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Christina Aquiler-all in one amazing voice”.   



Decorate The Night by Johnny Mathis.  This song comes from his new Christmas release, Sending You A Little Christmas.  You really need no introduction to Johnny Mathis with his giving us many hits over the years from his 1950's hits, Wonderful, Wonderful and That Ole Black Magic, to his eighties and nineties hits, Begin The Beguine, Once In A While, Fallen and Simple.  Born in Gilmer, Texas, his family moved to San Francisco, California where Johnny grew up.  Starting his career with recording singles, he became highly popular as an album artist.  Several dozen of his albums achieved gold or platinum status and seventy-three making the Billboard charts.  Over 350 million of Johnny Mathis albums have been sold worldwide.


Just To Be With You (This Christmas) by Nick Lowe.  The song is part of his new seasonal release, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For The Whole Family.  Nick Lowe is the English singer,songwriter, musician and producer who experienced minor play in the Beach Music market in 2002 with his recording of the Johnny Rivers tune, Poor Side Of Town.


Merry Christmas Baby by Pamela Mcpherson-Cornelius.  Pamela Mcpherson-Cornelius has been singing practically all of her life.  She is the godchild of Arthur Prysock.  Pamela's father, Lucky Romain, was the bass player for Arthur Prysock's band.  Donald Mcpherson, the original lead singer for The Main Ingredient, was her uncle on her mother's side.  She spent many a night in her younger years backstage at the Apollo Theater.  She was backstage at the age of seventeen when Al Green was appearing.  One of his background singers developed a sore throat.  Pamela got the opportunity to sing background with Al Green on three of his sets. 


    Merry Christmas Baby by Straight No Chaser with Otis Redding.  The song comes from their new album, Under The Influence: Holiday Edition.  Straight No Chaser is a professional a cappella group which originated in 1996 at Indiana University.  The ten students' group name was inspired by the title track of Theolonius Monk's 1967 album, and is also a popular American phrase employed in requesting a drink at the bar.  The group remained together until graduation in 1999 when new students were selected to replace the graduating members.  In 2012, the original group changed their name to Another Round, taken from one of the group's earlier album titles.



 Merry Christmas To You by Jonathan Butler.  Jonathan Burton, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, gets a lot of support in the contemporary jazz markets.  He really isn't a jazz artist, but his work is smooth and slightly jazzy.  This song is the title track of Jonathan's new Merry Christmas To You album.  Out of the over two dozen albums and compilations released over the years, this is his first Christmas album.




  Run Rudolph Run by Jack Skuller.  This single comes from Jack Skuller, a handsome seventeen year old who resides in Weehawken, New Jersey.  Jack is a teen idol in the wrong era.  He has all the makings of a 1950's rock and roll artist.  In June of this year, it was announced that Jack would participate in Radio Disney's N.B.Y. (Next Big Thing).  All of the proceeds from this single will be donated to Performing Musicians On Call, an organization that brings live music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals.   




Sugar Daddy Santa by Holly Hanoyan.  This is a single recording.  Holly Blau Hanoyan, a native of Bellmore, New York, presently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied music at Boston University.




Winter Wonderland by Kool & The Gang.  The songs come from the group's first ever Christmas album, Kool For The Holidays.  Formed in 1964 as The Jazzmiacs based out of Jersey City, New Jersey, Kool & The Gang has given us the hits  Take My Heart, released in 1981, and Cherish, released in 1985.  Still active, the group toured with Van Halen in 2012.





    If you are looking for some new “get close” tunes to play during this Christmas season, try the newly remade Cagle & Nash tune, Celebrate The Holidays.  This particular release features Robyn Springer on lead vocals.  Cagle & Nash is the group that gave us the hit Pick Up The Phone.  Also, you may want to try the new belly rubbin' jazz version of White Christmas by Soul Tempo.  Soul Tempo is a Gospel group based out of New Hampshire, Connecticut and recently sang at the White House for President Obama.



Have you heard about the new line dance tune by Kelly Clarkson?  Run Rudolph Run is featured on her new album, the seasonal Wrapped In Red.  I know you are familiar with the name Kelly Clarkson.  The Texas native has released numerous albums since winning the very first American Idol on Fox TV in during the summer of 2002.




As I mentioned, I had to present my article last year in time for early December publication.  Here are some songs that were released after I turned my article and some songs that I had missed earlier.  Check these out...When I Look Back On Christmas by Davy Jones of The Monkees fame; Boogie Woogie Santa Claus by Charles Brown; All I Want For Christmas by JY & The Blue Mountain Express; It's Christmas Time Again by Marion C; Santa's Back by Shirley Jackson & her Good Rockin' Daddys; Santa For A Day by Jimmy Hall; I'll Be Your Santa Claus by Eddie Floyd; Snow Day by Toby Lightman; Rock N Roll Santa by Michael Des Barres; Christmas by Nellie Tiger Travis; Let's Have A Christmas Party by Fathead; That Spirit Of Christmas by The Detroit Memphis Experience; Christmas Time Is Here by Andrew Booker; Christmas Of Emotion by Eddie Caldwell; I'm Coming For Christmas by Bigg Robb; Santa Claus Baby by Joan Osborne and Santa Claus Is Back by Jake Chimento.


Merry Christmas!