Gerson King Combo “Jingle Black” (Polydor Records, Brazil) 1977
by Allen Thayer
My partner in life and children has always been extremely understanding of my personal music obsession and vinyl acquisition habit, not questioning late-night solo outings to listen to fellow obsessives’ records or periodic credit card charges from Brazil, so the least I can do, I figure, is indulge her passion for Christmas music. I know. My first thought when learning that my (then) girlfriend sincerely liked Christmas music was, “Seriously? Were we really meant to be together?” But in the spirit of the holidays I found solace and guidance in the words Santa told Fred Flinstone from that Fruity Pebbles commercial, “’Tis the season to be sharing, Fred.”
I saw a recent post on Facebook about the four “C”s of digging: Country, Christian, Christmas, and Crap, and sometimes a real stinker of a Christmas record can check the other three boxes at the same time. But I’m here to take the power back and shine some light on some lesser known, yet funky, Christmas jams in this first annual “12 Days of X-mas Jams.”
For the better part of ten years, I’ve been shockingly lax in my normal digging criteria when it comes to holiday records, like the Star Wars Christmas Album featuring C3-P0 and R2-D2 (check for latter’s “solo” at 3:17). I have my personal faves from the cannon of passable mainstream Christmas albums, like José Feliciano, Lou Rawls, James Brown, and Willie Nelson, but for this series I’m digging deeper for album cuts from otherwise apocryphal albums or single-only jubilee joints.
First off, from a place near and dear to my heart, Brazil. Gerson King Combo’s uniquely funky take on the holiday chestnut, “Jingle Bells” with “Jingle Black.”
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