You’re trimming the tree and drinking hot cocoa and you need a soundtrack. We’ve got you fam.
You need your sounds to be like you – Memphian. Check out this list of songs and albums by Memphians to keep you in the holiday spirit.
If you’re a real Memphian then you know about Carla Thomas. Her father, Rufus, was a local icon and she was born into the Memphis music scene. Among her soulful hits were a couple of Christmas songs – “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is You.” While you’re in the mood for classics, check out Memphis’ own Rock N Roll granny, Cordell Jackson. Her “Rock N Roll Christmas” and the less known “Be-Boppers Christmas” are great choices.
Valerie June gives her folksy spin on her recently released Christmas single, “Let it Snow.” She also has a cover of “Winter Wonderland.” Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and up and coming artist McKenna Bray each have great renditions of “Hark, the Herald.” McKenna also covers “Silver Bells” and “O, Holy Night.” Jessica Ray, daughter of STAX records bassist Ray Griffin, is making her name in the Memphis music scene. She added her EP, “A Christmas Vibe” to her growing music catalog. Another up-and-coming artist, Reagan Strange, recently released a sultry cover of “O, Holy Hight.” For a real departure from the traditional, check out “3 Kings” by Memphis rapper, Yo Gotti, featuring Fabolous and DJ Khalid.
If you want to set it and forget it, try some of these Memphian Christmas albums. There are the classics like “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Elvis Presley and a “Christmas in Soulsville” by STAX Records. Al Green’s “The Christmas Album” and B.B. King’s “A Christmas Celebration of Hope” are other famous Christmas staples. But here are some other choices to add some cheer to your holidays. Memphis rappers Indo G and Lil Wyte each have their own NSFW Christmas albums.
Memphian Tav Falco of Panther Burns fame released a Christmas album, “Tav Falco Christmas” which showcases covers of traditional songs. Famous Memphis band Booker T & the MGs brings in a feeling of the holidays with their instrumental album “In the Christmas Spirit.” The Memphis Ukulele Band has a twangy Christmas album with traditional covers and a cover of Carla Thomas’ “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas.” Memphis singer and guitarist, Robby Grant, has a great alternative to traditional music with his Christmas album, “Put a Quarter in the Christmas Vending Machine.”
So whatever kind of mood you’re in for the holidays, WeAreMemphis has the soundtrack to your season. Head on over to our Memphis Music page for on Memphians making music.