Have You Heard? Christmas 2014

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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  

  ...these Christmas songs?  Each year I try to keep you informed about new Christmas songs that have just come out.  Sometimes, it becomes difficult as there are fewer seasonal albums released, and some seasonal music is not released until after publication deadlines.  This year is no exception.  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.

Twelve Songs For Christmas 2014


Do You Hear What I Hear by The Blind Boys of Alabama and  Taj Mahal.  Grammy Award winning blues singer Taj Mahal joined five-time Grammy Award winning Alabama gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama, to record a Christmas album, Talkin' Christmas.  You won't believe what has been done to the standard Christmas carol, Do You Hear What I Hear.  Unbelievable!  This one is sure to be a hit for the season in the Beach Music and Rhythm & Blues arenas.  The Blind Boys of Alabama first sang together in 1944.  Staying true to their roots over the years, even with personnel changes, they have maintained their goal to spiritually uplift audiences.  Taj Mahal is well know to us in our market with hits over the years, such as Mr. Pitiful, Ooh Poo Pah Doo, I'm Ready, Deed I Do and You Rascal You.  Henry Saint Clair Fredericks is a self-taught singer and composer who plays the guitar, piano, banjo and harmonica.  Born in Harlem, New York, Taj Mahal grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, being raised in a musical environment.  His mother was a member of a local gospel choir and his father was a West Indian jazz arranger and piano player. 


  I Like Christmas by Casey James.  Fort Worth, Texas singer and guitarist Casey James has just released his original tune, I Like Christmas.  The third place finalist on the ninth season of American Idol started playing the guitar at age 13 and, prior to American Idol, had his own group, The Casey James Band.


  I'll Be Home For Christmas by Rhonda McDaniel.  Rhonda McDaniel.  Rhonda McDaniel has been singing since she could talk.  She joined her first band at the age of 13 and, while singing with Brasstown Ball, now known as Brasstyme, since around 1991, she has become very successful as a solo artist.    Over the years, she has been nominated for numerous awards in the Beach Music circuit and has won her share of the awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year by the Carolina Beach Music Awards for seven years running.  Her award-winning music includes Touching In The Dark, Why Am I Crying, I Need You Now and Where The Boys Are.  Rhonda has also found success with sever collaborations, including the award-winning You Bug Me with Holiday Band's Mike Taylor.  


Santa Claus Has Fallen In Love by Swamp Dogg.  This song comes from last year's seasonal album, Your Not So Typical Christmas.  Jerry Williams, Jr., better known as his pseudonym, Swamp Dogg, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, made his first recording in 1954 at the age of 12.  After recording as Little Jerry and Little Jerry Williams in the 1950's and 1960's, the R&B singer, musician, songwriter and record producer began releasing a series of satirical and profane albums under the name of Swamp Dogg, while still writing and producing for other musicians.  In the late sixties, he started working with A&R for the Musicor label and later in 1968 worked as a producer at Atlantic Records.  It was also around this time frame that he established a songwriting partnership with Gary Anderson, who performed as Gary U.S. Bonds.


Just Not For Christmas by Summerdaze Band.  This newly released single will be appearing on the group's upcoming album, Under The Radar.  The seven member band, which includes female vocalist, Cassie Kessler, was formed in 2005 by keyboardist and vocalist Mitch Simpson.  The eastern  North Carolina/western South Carolina band's instrumentation includes two saxophones, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, as well as flute and mandolin.  Summerdaze has released several albums over the years, including Keep Movin', which contained the hits Something Fried and She Throw'd Bad Luck On Me.   


Keep A Little Christmas by Nina Whitaker.   This is the title track of her new album.  Nina Whitaker is the former Miss Louisiana and Hall of  Fame Star Search Grand Champion.  Nina is comfortable singing in any setting, whether it be an intimate club or an arena stage.  She has been the guest performer at The Freedom Awards honoring Oprah Winfrey, President Bill Clinton and actress Ruby Dee.


Merry Christmas Baby by Karen Clayton.  Late last year, Karen Clayton, lead vocalist of The Castaways band, recorded Merry Christmas Baby for a project.  The number is a remake of the Otis Redding classic.  Joining The Castaways in 2005, Karen has been nominated seven times for Female Vocalist of the Year for the Carolina Beach Music Awards.  Most recently, she has displayed her songwriting talents for the past three Castaways releases with Two Steps Forward, Same On Me and I'm Just Saying.  From the band's beginnings in Durham, North Carolina in 1061, The Castaways have been pleasing audiences with their unique flavor of Beach, Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll for generations of fans.



Oh No Santa Claus by Carly Jamison.  This new single comes from New York City songwriter and singer Carly Jamison, whose songs mix elements of traditional Country, Rock, Folk and Blues with modern urban lyrics. She recently recorded her first studio album in Nashville, Tennessee with some very talented musicians, including Dan Baird of Georgia Satellites fame, who played all of the guitars on the recording.  


Santa I've Been Naughty by Gretchen Wilson.  This song comes from Gretchen's new album, Christmas In My Heart.  The Pocahontas, Illinois native made her debut in 2004 with the Grammy Awards winning song, Redneck Woman.  The song served as the lead-off single of her debut album.  Now living in Lebanon, Tennessee, Gretchen has charted over 13 singles in Billboard's Country charts, five of which reached the Top Five.


Snap Your Fingers by Sir Jonathan Burton.  This one you will like and so will the dancers.  It is a remake of the old Joe Henderson classic with a Christmas flavor.  The seasoned song is part of Sir Jonathan Burton's new album, Southern Soul Christmas.  A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jonathan moved to North Carolina in the 1990's.  In 2002, he crossed over from Rhythm & Blues and Beach Music to the Chitlin Circuit market.  He is best known our arena for his smash hit Too Much Booty Shakin', as well as Nothin' But A Party, Juke Box Party and Beach Music Lover.   


This Christmas by Anthony Hamilton.  The song comes from his new album, Home For The Holidays.  The number is very upbeat, as a lot of his songs are.  His rendition of this tune reminds me a lot of Roy Rogers' Built For Comfort.  You might also want to check Spend Christmas With You on the album.  It, also, has merit.  Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Anthony Hamilton started singing in his church choir at age ten.  He attended South Mecklenburg High School, where he sang in their award winning choir.  He left Charlotte in 1993 to pursue his musical career.  Ever since his knockout 1996 debut album, XTC, fans have known that he has one of the most unique voices in modern Rhythm & Blues.  Just last year, his song, Woo, scored big in the Beach Music market, leading Craig Woolard to rerecord the number, making it one of Craig's biggest hits.


We'll Have A Merry Christmas by Gary Lowder.  Late last year, Gary Lowder released his Christmas single, We'll Have A Merry Christmas.  As a former member of several bands in the Beach Music arena, he was a founding member of The Carolina Breakers and now heads his own group, Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot.  He has also released several single albums, of which Coastin' was nominated by the Carolina Beach Music Awards for Album of the Year and the title track, Song of the Year.  In 2013, Gary was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. 


  From my household to yours, have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.