Memphis is and always has been(in our opinion) the epicenter of Holiday music for all time! It is no surprise that the birthplace of blues and the center of soul provides the lion’s share of holiday classics and modern melodies that consistently decorate the airwaves with joy, comfort, and on this tracklist at least, a bit of humor as well. Take a listen, and indulge in some holiday spirit! Here are 10 notable holiday songs to come straight out of Memphis! Enjoy!
Otis Redding — White Christmas
Otis Redding… There is and will never be anyone quite like him. If you close your eyes and let yourself be taken by the music, you can almost feel the snowflakes falling at your feet, the depth of the forlorn in his voice is everyone who is away from their loved ones this year.
Indo G — All I Want For X-Mas Is My Charges Dropped
And now for something completely different, and well, explicit! This track hits in a completely different way. Hilarious and real af, this song is sure to be a classic. Do yourself a favor and check the entire album, “Christmas N’ Memphis” which is, without a doubt, the best Christmas Album of all time.
Booker T. & the MGs — Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Booker T. & THe MGs are one of the greatest bands of all time. Without singing a single word, this track exemplifies the essence of the Holiday and the spirit of 1966. The Hammond organ sings out like a callback to a simpler time when relaxation was the way, and not a care in the world was evident. You can almost smell the chestnuts roasting.
B.B. King — Merry Christmas Baby
The Beale Street Blues Boy, otherwise known as B.B. King sure could make Lucille sing. 2020 has got us all feeling the blues from time to time, might as well indulge in one of the greats. The Holidays may be about hope and joy, but sometimes the blues are exactly what we need.
Al Green — I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Al Green’s version of this Holiday standard makes you want to stand under the mistletoe and snuggle up in front of the fire. Green gives a masterclass in falsetto and romance as he croons this classic tune in the only way it should be heard.
Star & Micey — 12 Days Of Memphis
For those of us who miss everything about Pre-Pandemic Memphis, this fantastic parody of 12 Days of Christmas name-checks everything from Gus’s wings to Al Greene’s Church. Don’t take it took it took seriously, Star and Micey definitely don’t! This tune shows nothing but love to the 901.
Elvis Presley — (There’ll Be) Peace In the Valley (For Me)
What Memphis music list would be complete without a cut from Elvis? Many Remember the King for his swinging hips and screaming fans, ninja moves, and sideburns, but it’s important to remember that the King had a larger than life vocal range and deeply soulful voice. This rendition of the holiday standard is beautiful, deeply moving, and utterly iconic.
Sir Mack Rice — Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin
The Classic R&B legend brings his unique style and fantastic turns of phrase to the holiday season with this incredible track. It has everything a classic track from “the time” should have, crying guitar licks, call and response, and incredible vocals, and a bit of a shuffle to make you move! The Stax Recording artist definitely was a pioneer.
Jessica Ray — A Kiss At Christmas
Our opening track features the smooth and soulful sounds of Jessica Ray’s beautiful vocals steeped in a playful walking bass line and a guitar melody straight from Nile Rodgers’ repertoire. Brilliant, inspired, and toe-tappingly joyful!
Rufus Thomas — I’ll Be Your Santa, Baby
The Album “Christmas in Soulsville” is the embodiment of joyful celebration and the soul and the season! Passionate Vocals (Check). Glorious Groove on the bass (Check). Funky Wah Guitar (Check). Innuendo? (CHECK CHECK CHECK).