As mentioned in our first post from the 2015 “Holiday in the Stacks,” we are excited to share some of the Southern Folklife Collection’s holiday themed 78rpm discs. First up, maybe two of the best.
First, blues giant Sonny Boy Williamson (nee Alex Ford) with “Sonny Boy’s Christmas Blues” from 78-12536. Released on Mississippi’s Trumpet Records in 1951, it’s a tough number about a bummer christmas of drunken remorse (but with some great tape echo effects on Williamson’s voice). For more on Trumpet Records, see this excellent post from musicologist, archivist, and former SFC cataloger Jessica Wood. Listen to the track here:78_12536_PM_LC__SonnyBoysChristmasBlues_SFC
Next up a more upbeat celebration of the holiday, although also heavy on the booze, from a Vocalion disc released in 1934, the great jazz composer, bandleader, and music publisher, Clarence Williams and his orchestra, featuring Chick Bullock on the vocals. Listen to 78-13931 here. 78_13931_Christmas in Harlem
Coming up, Dale Evans sings about 8 tiny reindeer, Rosemary Clooney and Ford wish you a Merry Christmas, and Oscar and Lonzo twist up some holiday classics.