The Best of B.B. King: The Christmas Collection (2003)
December 20, 2007
I love B.B. King and I love this CD. B.B. is *on* whether he is playing Lucille or singing or both! And the band is fantastic.
The Nashville String Machine Appears on tracks 1, 4 and 6.
Per the liner notes The Band is:
James Bolden – Bandleader/Trumpet
Walter R. King – Contractor
Calep Emphrey, Jr. – Drums
Melvin Jackson – Saxaphone
Leon Warren – Guitar
Michael Doster – Bass
James Sells Toney – Keyboards
Stanley Abernathy – Trumpet
The Track List:
1. Please Come Home For Christmas – Written by Charles Brown & Gene Redd. Cover of Charles Brown’s 1961 original performance.
2. Lonesome Christmas – Written by Lloyd Glenn. Cover of Johnny Adam’s 1975 original performance.
B.B. King – Lonesome Christmas
3. Back Door Santa – Written by Clarence Carter & Marcus Danie. Cover of Clarence Carter’s 1968 original performance.
4. Christmas in Heaven – Written by Billy Ward. Cover of Billy Ward & the Dominoes 1988 original performance.
5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (instrumental) – Written by Kim Gannon, Buck Ram & Walter Kent. Cover of a true classic first vocal performance by Bing Crosby on WWII Radio Broadcast 12/16/1943. Great song and great rendition. Listen for yourself here:
B B King – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
6. To Someone That I Love – Written by Charles Brown. Cover of another Charles Brown holiday classic.
7. Christmas Celebration – The CD liner notes say this tune was written by B.B. King. It was written by Lloyd Glenn and Jesse Thomas, but recorded once before by Mr. King in 1960. Hmmm.
8. Merry Christmas Baby – Again, the CD liner notes say written by Cavanaugh/ Smalley? But this classic tune, that has been covered by everyone who sings (well almost) was actually written by Louis Baxter and Johnny Moore. What gives with these credits? Doesn’t Universal Music have any proof readers or editors working for them. First performance of this classic would be by Charles Brown, of course, in 1945.
9. Christmas Love (instrumental) – Written by Riley B.B. King and first recorded by him on “A Celebration of Hope” released on MCA records in 2001. Now until I looked up this song’s authorship, due to the other liner note errors, I had no idea that B.B. had another Christmas CD since this one has a note from B.B saying it is his first. But on close inspection it seems that my 2003 CD was just another re-issue of the 2001 CD – just giving it a different name. The songs are the same and the liner notes are more correct (Track 8 is still wrong) on the 2001. Again I say Hmmm.
10. Blue Decorations – Written by Jerry Gillespie and originally performed by Brook Benton in 1992.
11. Christmas Comes But Once a Year – Written by Amos Milburn/ Franz Shubert. Sung previously by Marva Wright.
12. Bringing in a Brand New Year – Again the liner notes wrongly credit this song as written by Charles Brown. In fact it was composed by Billy Ward and originally sung by Charles Brown in 1961.
12. Auld Lang Syne (instrumental) – This time the liner notes credited no one other than to say that the song was Arranged by B.B. King. This traditional holiday song was in fact written by Scottish poet/lyricist Robert Burns (1759-1756). Listen to B.B. “rock it”.
Mr. King’s voice may not be as strong as it was in his younger year’s, but he still “got it”.
All is good and this is a must for everyone’s holiday music collection. No one can *NOT* like B.B. King singing and/or playing holiday music, unless you happen to be the original Ebeneezer Scrooge!.