Sunday, December 4, 2016

Clarence Carter, "Back Door Santa"

In my continuing quest to find good Christmas music, I recently discovered Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa," which I never knew was the song sampled on Run DMC's classic "Christmas in Hollis." I've always loved Carter and the school of funky, rough and tumble of Southern soul he subscribed to. (Let's just say I'm the kind of guy who bought the nine disc Stax singles collection despite being poor as dirt in grad school at the time.) As always Carter has just the right amount of grunt, and you can practically hear the sweat.  Considering the fact that this man had his biggest hit with a song about stroking, the title "Back Door Santa" is not surprisingly a single entendre.

In recent years I have rekindled the excitement I used to have about Christmas. Having children of my own has allowed me to experience the holidays vicariously through them, and get enjoyment from their enjoyment. This year, with the world seemingly gone insane, I am also milking the comfortable repetitions and rituals of the holidays. I've been doing that with a lot of things, not just the holidays. Old favorites are coming back. I'm rereading books and digging up good music that I've let slip from my life. Southern soul music, like a big holiday glass of mulled wine, has never failed to warm me up. With the things being the way they are, I'll need it.

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