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Beach Buzz December 2013

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The Tams Light Up the Stage at the 2013 CBMA Awards

 Photo courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb Photography – www.fotozbyrickie.com

 

CBMA Beach Bits:   The 19th Annual CBMA Awards weekend is officially in the books. There were certainly some surprise winners and some winners who came away surprised! Band of Oz, winning Group of the Year and Jim Quick, Entertainer of the Year, no surprise there. It was good to see Allie Privette win the Rising Star Award. This business definitely needs more young people with her level of enthusiasm to become an integral part of the industry over the coming years........Ms. Jody's Still Strokin' Song of The Year win was the category first time winner in history for a song not being Beach as its primary genre..... 

 

Both the Saturday afternoon Industry Awards and the Sunday afternoon Awards Show ran a little long, but the quality entertainment on board in both was well worth the wait. My personal thoughts on highlights of the Sunday Awards show – Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot along with Marsha Morgan were tremendous, The Entertainers performing Blurred Lines was fantastic, Gene Chandler was outstanding, Ms. Jody is always great and the closing sequence with The Tams was spectacular.........

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Duck's Beach Club

 
   

           Jim Quick & Coastline with Donnie & Susan Trexler

 Photo courtesy of Rickie Lipscomb Photography – www.fotozbyrickie.com

 

I had a blast in the DJ booth on CBMA Friday night in the OD Cafe working with Jim Quick & Coastline. Several special guests joined them on stage throughout the evening The crowd was still strong as we closed out the show around 2 AM...........The Sunday morning Band Fair in the OD Resort Ballroom continues to be a big hit with attendance growing every year. It is a great way for artists, radio stations, festival sponsors, DJ's etc. to meet and greet fans while also cultivating future relationships as well as prospective business clients.............2014 will mark the 20th year of the CBMAs, be on the lookout for notices of some special events around this anniversary celebration year prior to our regularly scheduled November 2014 weekend.

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A few years back, the Christmas compilations featuring songs by Beach music artists were flowing pretty much yearly. This has slowed down considerably of late – understandable, it is becoming harder to recoup the cost of producing such collections. Judy Collins' Sisbro Records did do a 2012 reissue of the previously out of print fabulous compilation Carolina Christmas, originally released on her RubyJude label in 2004. It has some killer holiday tunes on it, such as Casey York's Man Down My Chimney, Craig Woolard's One Night Of The Year and Jay Spell's Run Run Rudolph. An added bonus in the re-release is Lesa Hudson's outstanding Santa Can You Teach Me To Shag.

 

The Embers have released multiple Christmas CDs over the last few years in conjunction with their many holiday shows in December. A few recent strong seasonal songs from Beach music related artists have been independently released. The list includes 2011's Babes In Toyland from Hip Pocket keyboardist Steve Edmunds, Red Suit from former Sea Cruz chanteuse Molly Askins, White Christmas by veteran soloist Johnny Cobb, former Castaway Phil Wilson's Christmas Time and a new one from Angel Rissoff entitled Christmas Kisses (For My Baby).

 

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Here is something brand new and really nice – Newtrackrecords.com, headed up by Ken Hartsell, has put together a diverse Christmas compilation with eight tracks, including some outstanding tunes from Beach music artists. Carolina Christmas, representing both North and South Carolina, features Steve Owens & Summertime with a solid performance on This Christmas, Karen Clayton rockin' the house with Merry Christmas Baby, the soulful vocals of Tim Clark on Please Come Home For Christmas and Doug Winstead's smooth version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

  

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From a national music distribution perspective, I rolled into Barnes & Noble (one of the few retail outlets left that continues to sell CDs) last week to see what might be new this year in Christmas music. It seems that every reality singing show winner and every Pop, Country and/or Rock etc. star over the last thirty years has recorded a Christmas CD at some point or another. Many of those albums are brought back out each year by retailers, both by walk-in and online sellers. Subsequently, this year's new releases so far are fairly light, at least from the perspective of the style of holiday tunes that I try to find. R&B diva Mary J. Blige hits us up with A Mary Christmas, all covers of holiday standards, which the music sales associate said was one of the early best sellers. Kelly Clarkson's new Wrapped In Red includes some strong soulful cuts like the title track as well as Every Christmas, Underneath The Tree and 4 Carat. Just released, The Best Man Holiday movie soundtrack has some nice yuletide tunes from Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, R. Kelly, Charlie Wilson and Monica. New holiday albums of standards/classics are also released (some, not all,  of which contain previously released tunes from the same artists) from Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Jewel, Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson, Jonathan Butler and I'm sure more I have not found!

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Also new: Under The Influence: Holiday Edition is the fourth Christmas release from Straight No Chaser. Their latest eight track Acappella incorporates Otis Redding's voice on Merry Christmas Baby and Cee-lo Green on White Christmas. Nick Lowe just released Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family, which includes an R&B styled I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday and a jazzy groove on Hooves On The Roof. Gospel singer extraordinaire Marvin Sapp comes on strong with

Christmas Card, a collection of jammin' holiday tunes such as Dance (Christmas Step), Home For Christmas and Don't Get It Twisted.

The Australian Pop group Human Nature released a seven track EP entitled Dreaming Of A White Christmas that has sensational versions of some classic holiday tunes including Please Come Home Christmas, Christmas Without You and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). A compilation of old and new,  Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas Album has a few cool tunes I've never before heard: Sleigh Ride by MPrynt, You're Mine by Jeremih and Doo Wop Christmas (That's What Christmas Is All About) by Kem.

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The Document Records label released a forty track compilation this year entitled Blues Blues Christmas Volume 3. Primarily way old holiday Blues holiday standards, there are a few rarities included like New Santa Clause  by Walter Davis, Far Away Christmas Blues by Little Esther, Don't Think I'm Santa Claus from Lil McClintock and Christmas To New Year's by The Larks. A better compilation of Christmas Blues jams comes from the X5 Music Group, under license from Alligator Records – Christmas Blues features a re-release of twenty tunes in their catalog gathered from their 1992 The Alligator Records Christmas Collection and 2003's Genuine Houserockin' Christmas.

 

Not yet released: Expected on December 3rd, Christmas, With Love from 2006 X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. A ten track set, features a couple of new originals with some standard covers like Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), White Christmas and Winter Wonderland. Also this week – a five track EP with an upbeat original as the title track (Christmas Is Where You Are) from The Jive Aces & Three Belles.

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If you love Soul and R&B Christmas songs as I do, one of the best compilations ever in the genre has to be the 1991 Atlantic label release entitled Soul Christmas. Several of the songs were originally on a 1968 album of the same name released by the Atco subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Eleven additional tracks were added to the 1991 version, with several renditions of classics that you do not normally hear during the holiday season. The immortal Otis Redding is highlighted on Merry Christmas Baby, White Christmas and a duet with Carla Thomas,  New Year's Resolution. Carla's very well known Gee Whiz It's Christmas is here, but also included is her not as familiar jewel All I Want For Christmas Is You. Speaking of jewels, how about Solomon Burke's Presents For Christmas, Brook Benton's Soul Santa, Donnie Hathaway's This Christmas and Clarence Carter's Back Door Santa.

 

 A couple of my favorites are Joe Tex doing I'll Make Everyday Christmas (For My Woman) and The Sweet Inspirations stupendous rendition of the William Bell written Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday. A couple more soaring spectacular holiday tunes -  the Lamont Dozier written Christmas Gift as performed by Margie Joseph and the Luther Vandross self-penned May Christmas Bring You Happiness. No Soul holiday compilation would be complete with the Drifters' performing White Christmas. There is much more, outstanding tunes from Booker T. & The MG's, King Curtis and The Impressions. All in all, an unbelievable set of songs that is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit!!

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The holiday songs will start in earnest for me later this week, we will be playing hundreds of different Beach, Boogie and Blues Christmas tunes on Way Down South (found on live365.com). Chasing the soulful grooves of holiday songs for many years, what you come to realize is that some of the best to be found are not necessarily the well known versions of familiar classics, but rather obscure originals from sometimes not so familiar artists.

Here is a list of original such tunes that will liven up any holiday gathering! 

 

 

1. Without Mrs. Santa Claus – The Olympics

2. I Got The Christmas Blues – Leonard Brothers

3. Mr. Claus Is Cheating – Karen Wolfe

4. It's Christmas – Unckle Eddie

5. I Want To Spend Christmas With Elvis – Marlene Paula 

6. Everything I Need This Christmas – JD Webb

7.Santa's Hideaway – The Colbys

8. Hey Santa – Mr. Vegas Man

9. A Christmas Long Ago – Alley Cats

10. I Want To Be Your Santa Claus – Ronnie Lovejoy

11. What Christmas Means To Me – Sensational Soul Cruisers

12.I'm Coming Home For Christmas – The Impressions

13. This Christmas I'll Be Waiting For You – Ms. Jody

14. Hey Santa – Chuck Leavill  

15. Spending Christmas With My Baby – MC Blvd

16. Warm This Winter – Gabriella Cilmi

17. Christmas Party – WC Clark

18. Hello Mrs. Santa Claus – Dexter Allen

19. Be There For Christmas – Ledisi

20. I'm Coming For Christmas – Bigg Robb

21. Everyday Is A Holiday – The Intruders

22. Love For Christmas – Gems

23. Our Love Is Like A Holiday – Michael Bolton

24. Christmas Everyday – Gia Ferrell
25. Santa Claus In Coming – Sam Moore  

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