Little Richard, Al Green, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry all start to chart their success in 1955. Hop those socks, chicks and daddios.
The Chordettes hit with ‘Mr. Sandman’ the year before, and its puckish author Pat Ballard penned a novelty Christmas send up this year. Dorothy Collins charted to #51 with “Mister Santa.” Hey, that’s kinda funny.
Please, keep in mind, we want to rock and we want to roll. But we need to marry up doo wop, the blues, some jazz and some attitude here.
Let’s dole out the doo wop, baby cakes! The Voices look dapper and trim. I’ll let their “Santa Claus Baby” and “Santa Claus Boogie” speak for them. ‘Cuz i can find no more ’bout dem. Yet, they send me.
Bluesy and sultry Johnny Moore with his Three Blazers scorch their way through “Christmas Eve Baby.” Lock up the women!
Jazz standard bearer Louis Armstrong (he’s only 54 years old here) is still churning out the beat in 1955. “Christmas Night in Harlem” and “Christmas in New Orleans” paint you trumpetty landscapes of happenin’ holiday whoop-de-dos you wish you could get to.
That funny gospel exclaiming bit gets the workout with “Christmas Gifts” via Walter Schumann and Jester Harston exhorting us all jazzy-like to get going with the Christmas shopping.
After their #1 ‘Earth Angel’ (on the R&B charts) The Penguins released “Christmas Prayer.” Their heavenly harmonies connect churchy gospel to doo wop to the blues to that next level of cool.
“A Cool Cool Christmas” frostily delivers more doo wop by The Sabers. But this time they call it rock ‘n’ roll. Get some! The backup wailing and saxophone craziness makes one lose control, it does.
Let’s add some electric guitar and–voila! “Rock ‘n’ Rolly-Polly Santa Claus” by Lillian Briggs.
Some Cleveland schoolmates wanted to be as good as The Moonglows and The 5 Keys. They called themselves The 5 Stars and played dives and clubs until a couple recordings came out in 1955. “Rocking’ and Rollin’ with Santa Claus” is one of them, and it’s a keeper.