Have You Heard...Christmas Edition 2018

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Mike Little is a deejay from Anderson, South Carolina and is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson where he deejays for the club on a regular basis. as well as a member of the Carolina Shag Club in Greenville.  He was a highly rated radio deejay for WANS AM Radio for 3-1/2 years.  He writes articles for several publications, including the newsletters of the Association of Beach & Shag Club Deejays (ABSCDJ) and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays (NARBDJ), for both of which he is a member.  He also writes articles for the Website,, as well as the SOS publication, Carefree Times.  In 2003, he received the NARNDJ's Rufus Oates Award.  In 2017 he was inducted into the Deejays Hall of Fame as an honorary member by the ABSCDJ.  Also in 2017, he was inducted into the Greenville Area Shaggers Hall of Fame as an honorary member.  He also serves on the advisory Board of Directors of the Carolina Beach Music Awards.




Have You Heard...

A Special Christmas Edition


Mike Little


  Have you heard about all of the Christmas music that has been released?  It is the most I have seen in several years.  It is more that I could write about, so it took time to be selective so it would fit into an article.  Here are twelve new or relatively new songs that you may want to consider playing for that special party for which you will be deejaying. Some were released late last year, and some were released this year.  I know that these are not the only holiday songs and albums that were released.  Of the music released this year, some of it just does not fit our genre or the ones selected, in my opinion, were better. Some of the music was recorded as a singles, where others are part of a full album or an extended play disk.


The Twelve Songs Of Christmas 2018


The Twelve Songs Of Christmas 2018


All The Gifts I Need is Love by JD McPherson.  The song comes from his new Christmas release, Socks.  Jonathan David "JD" McPherson was born in the rural area of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  He was the son of a cattle rancher and farmer, his mother being a church minister.  He had never been in a group of some sort until he was 16 years of age.  He took a strong interest on 1950's Rock & Roll, becoming fans of and influenced by such artists as Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and Led Zeppelin.  He studied visual arts at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree, later working as an art and technology teacher.  After deciding to pursue music more seriously, he send a demo to the small independent label, Hi-STYLE Records, which led to his first album release.



Alone On Christmas by Mike Love.  The song comes from Mike's new Christmas album, Reason For The Season.  Mike Love is an original member and co-founder of The Beach Boys, along with his cousins, brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl, and their friend, Al Jardine.  The group became popular in the early sixties worldwide with their trademark harmonies and Southern California beach and surf-themed music.  They released their first single, Surfin', in late 1961, and within a few months the song hit Billboard's Hot 100.  Mike Love co-wrote, along with fellow band member Brian Wilson, Fun Fun Fun, California Girls, and Good Vibrations.  His lead vocals can be heard on such songs as Surfin' U.S.A. and Little Deuce Coupe.  In 1988, The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in the same year released Kokomo, penned by Mike and John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas.  Following the death of Dennis Wilson and later, Carl Wilson, Mike Love was given exclusive license to tour under the name of The Beach Boys.  Following the 50th Anniversary Tour, he resumed touring under The Beach Boys' name with Bruce Johnston, who had replace Brian Wilson, after Brian decided to stop touring and concentrating on songwriting.


Boogie Woogie Santa Claus by Eden Brent.  Eden Brent has cut her first Christmas album with her husband Bob Dowell, a British musician and arranger.  If you only buy one holiday compact disk for this season, An Eden Brent Christmas With Bob Dowell is the one to get.  Boogie Woogie Santa Claus is one of my all-time favorite Christmas tunes dating back to the early fifties.  The song was original recorded by Mabel Scott in 1949 and covered by Patti Page the following year.  The tune was written by singer and songwriter Leon Rene, who also wrote Bobby Day's Rockin' Robin, The Four Tunes' I Sold My Heart To The Junkman and When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano, that was given to us by The Ray-O-Vacs  as a Shag song.  Eden Brent was born in Greenville, Mississippi, where she and her husband live.  Eden has been playing the piano since she was three years of age.  Eden was nicknamed "Little Boogaloo" by her Mississippi mentor, Boogaloo Ames, for her signature Boogie Woogie piano playing and her juke joint vocals.  However, she is much more than that, having accomplished herself as a well-known Blues artist, winning three Blues Awards. 


Christmas Ain't No Time For The Blues by Clifford Curry.  The song was first released in 2011 as a single on the Crowe Entertainment label.  The song has once again been released for the 2018 Christmas season on Ground Quake, this time with four different versions.  One of the versions is the original sung by the late Clifford Curry.  We all know Clifford from his popularity in the Beach Music world giving us great music such as She Shot A Hole In My Soul, We're Gonna Hate Ourselves In The Morning and Baby Won't You Shag With Me.  Another version of Christmas Ain't No Time For The Blues is a duet with Nashville Rhythm & Blues singer Ashley Townsend.  Ashley grew up with music.  Her mother was with the Motown Soul group Menagerie and her father was a minister.  At an early age, Ashley was a Disney singer.  Before embarking on her full-time musical career, she was a minister.  She is presently with a four-member group, Ashley & Jon.  The mini-CD also has a version of Christmas Ain't No Time For The Blues sung by Ashley, as well as a Karaoke version.


Christmas Celebration by The Austin Blues Revue.  This great remake of the B.B. King classic can be found on the group's new holiday release, An Austin Blues Revue Christmas.  The Austin Blues Revue features sixteen of the top touring band members including those from Delbert McClinton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Marcia Ball, Memphis Slim, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson and more.  The revue also features The Texas Horns.  This is not a one-cut release.  Check out The Austin Blues Revue's takes on Clarence Carter's Back Door Santa and Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin' that was written and recorded by Sir Mack Rice and popularized by Albert King.  You also need to listen to the band's smooth, jazzy version of Silent Night.  This album is a winner.


Christmas Eve With You by Doyle Wood.  This single was released by Daxwood Productions in 2017, but late in the Christmas season.  The song was co-written by Doyle Wood and Laura Stevens, who provides background vocals.  It is always good to have a new Christmas ballad for the dancers during the season, and this is it.  Doyle is also backed by a host of talented musicians.   He has enjoyed a wonderful career, not only in production and engineering, but fronting many talented musicians and working with many writers.  His latest full CD release, Still Dreamin', is going strong with a number of cuts from the album being played all over the Carolinas and beyond.  Daxwood has a strong customer base in Europe, as well as the United States.


Lonesome Christmas by Eric Clapton.  This comes from the talented songwriter, musician and singer's new album, Happy Christmas.  Eric Clapton grew up in a very talented musical family.  His grandmother was a skilled pianist.  His mother and his uncle introduced him to classical music.  Already known as a skillful guitar player, he was asked to join The Yardbirds, playing with the band from 1963 until 1965.  He later teamed with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker to form the trio, Cream.  After the breakup of Cream, he formed Derek & The Dominos.  He left the group for his drugs and alcohol abuse, later emerging as a solo artist and participating with other bands.  Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee in the Grammy Awards.  His awards came for his work with The Yardbirds and Cream, as well as a solo artist.  Over the years he has received 18 Grammy Awards.  Eric Clapton was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame three times.   


Merry Christmas Baby by The Monkees.  This one is part of the new Monkees' album, Christmas Party.  In 1966, the new television show, The Monkees, debuted starring Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork.  The show was an instant success.  Though made for television, The Monkees' songs ventured into the Pop charts with hits such as Neil Sedaka' I'm A Believer, Last Train To Clarksville and Little Bit Me, Little Bit You.  The group also received success with Gerry Goffin and Carole King's Pleasant Valley Sunday, as well as Daydream Believer, a song written by John Stewart of The Kingston Trio.  In 2011 when The Monkees were celebrating their 45th anniversary, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork decided to reunite and scheduled a tour of North America that lasted throughout the summer.  Michael Nesmith had dropped out of The Monkees in 1997.  Unfortunately, Davy Jones died in 2012 at the age of 66.  When the 50th anniversary roll around in 2016, Nesmith rejoined the band in honor of Davy.  Did you realize that after all these years that Christmas Party is the first Christmas album that The Monkees has ever released from the files, the late Davy Jones sings lead on two of the cuts.


No Place Like Home by John Legend.  John Legend has released his 2018 Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas.  There are two guest artists performing with John on the album.  Stevie Wonder joins in with his harmonica talent on What Christmas Means To Me.  The other song is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  This one is a duet that features Esperanza Spalding.  A native of Portland, Oregon, she is a self-taught guitarist and bassist and trained in a number of instruments.  The four time Grammy Award winner won Best New Artist in 2011, the first for a Jazz artist.  John Legend is a native of Springfield, Ohio and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.  Though he has only been in the music industry for around fifteen years, he is only one of fifteen artists, and the first Black artist, that has won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar and a Tony Award.  In the Beach Music category, he has given us a number of shag tunes, including, Save Room (For My Love} and PDA (We Just Don't Care).  The song of choice on the release could be Bring Me Love, but you will have to play it at about a -7 or -8.  However, the sure song of choice is No Place Like Home.  This song may be the preferred song of all of the 2018 songs released this year.  Did you know that John Legend's real name is John Stephens?  At the turn of the new century, he was working as a salesman while trying to make music a career.  His friends began calling him "Legend" based on his Old School style of music.


One More Christmas by The Mavericks.  This one comes from the newly released Mavericks' album, Hey!  Merry Christmas.  If you missed it last year, check out Santa Wants To Take You For A Ride.  The song has potential.  It was released last year for a mini-CD.  Don't overlook Santa Does.  You might just elect to play this one, as well.  The Grammy Award winning Americana Country Rock band was formed in 1989 in Miami, Florida.  Among the founding members was lead singer Raul Malo, who later pursued his solo career and gave us It Only Hurts When I Cry.  In addition to the many songs recorded, the group gave us several Beach Music hits, including My Secret Flame.  The band split up in 2004, but reunited in 2013, recording several albums since then.  Following the split in 2004, lead singer Raul Malo went on to enjoy as successful solo career.


Santa's Flying Home by William Dell & The Wee Jams.  This jewel of a single was released late last year post-production of 2017 article.  The song has been remastered for the 2018 season with new cover art.  The band was organized in 1964 by keyboardist Barry Haughman.  They started out as The In Crowd, changing over to The Wee Jams when William Dell joined the group in the band's hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Other members of the group are Gordie Herbst, an accomplished guitarist, Dave Billingsley and Louis, aka "The Gent", Cioppa.  To The Weejams' loss and our loss, The Gent joined The Choir in Heaven on November 3.  The band is fulfilled with second tenor Dan Fera, vocalist and keyboardist Tom O'Hara, drummer and percussionist Phil "Phox" Seretti and the multi-talented trumpeter Hal Weiss.  William Dell retired from The Wee Jams several years ago but filled in for one of the members who was ill for an extended period of time.  He has never looked back and is enjoying his second career in the same job.


To Make A Miracle by Michael McDonald.  This song comes from his new album Season Of Peace.  Michael McDonald is best known around the coastal and inland areas of the Southeast for his work as a solo artist.  Over the years he has provided us with some great dance music such as some of his Motown songs, Ain't No Mountain High Enough and Reach Out, I'll Be There.  He really hit the beach scene when he released the jewel, Pour Me Another.  Michael McDonald is best known to the rest of the world for his work with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers.  Steely Dan had a number of hits, including Deacon Blues, Hey Nineteen and Stuck In The Middle.  The Doobie Brothers are known in our world for giving us songs such as Minute By Minute, One Step Closer and Little Darling (I Need You).   


Stocking Stuffer


  The Embers featuring Craig Woolard has released a holiday album this year in time for the big day. The live recording, I Love Christmas Music, carries ten songs, highlighted, of course, by I Love Christmas Music.  The Christmas release also features the ballad, This Time Of You.  This one, I believe, is sung by Andy Swindell.  The Embers were formed in 1958.  Drummer Bobby Tomlinson is the only remaining original member.  Craig Woolard fronts the band, also playing saxophone and flute. Keyboardist Andy Swindell also takes lead on vocals, as does other band members, including Jeff Grimes, Bobby Nantz, Gerald Davis and Stephen Pachuta.  Over the years, The Embers have won numerous awards including the South Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.  The group has also won numerous Carolina Beach Music Awards, with Craig Woolard winning the Male Vocalist of the Year a number of times.  The Embers serve as North Carolina's Official Ambassadors of Music.  Surely you have seen The Embers in concert.  And you may have seen their bus that is easily recognizable.  Did you know that The Ember’s bus driver is original member and drummer Bobby Tomlinson?   


From me and my family to you and your family, we hope you have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.