Charles Brown

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Merry Christmas Baby
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Please Come Home For Christmas
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I'll Be Home For Christmas
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Wrap Yourself In A Christmas Package
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Bringing In A Brand New Year
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Let's Make Every Day A Christmas Day
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When Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs Everybody Listens

Factfile - Charles Brown
  • The Lou Baxter & Johnny Moore standard Merry Christmas Baby was first recorded in 1947 by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (Johnny Moore, Charles Brown & Eddie Williams).
  • Brown recorded Please Come Home for Christmas in 1960. It was awarded a gold disc award in 1968, having sold over 1 million copies.
  • The flip side of Please Come Home for Christmas was Christmas (Comes But Once A Year) by Brown's friend Amos Milburn.

Isn’t it bit odd that a famous blues singer by the name of Charles Brown has been overtaken, in the Christmas stakes, by a cartoon character of the same name (ok almost the same) even though the real life character recorded a sparklingly original Christmas album as well as a batch of Christmas singles. I’m sure the real Charles Brown didn’t lose much sleep over it but given the warmth and originality of his Christmas offerings it does seem a bit unfair that the Christmas hoards forget about him each December. Especially since his 1961 album ‘Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs’ contained his much covered (Bon Jovi, James Brown and the Eagles) ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’. To date no one has matched Brown’s quiet thunder on this melodramatic tune that is perfectly suited to the Christmas market.

 ‘Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs’ is awash with originals and to a man they shuffle along at a slow but beguiling pace. Not exactly party material but perfect for any down time you can muster over the 12 days. ‘Christmas In Heaven’ is a perfect case in point, a lounge lizard with intricate guitar licks, dainty piano playing and Brown’s unmistakable vocals. There are moments of levity on occasion especially the album’s other standout ‘Merry Christmas Baby’. Although not written by Brown (Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore) he was the first to record it with his band Johnny Moore's Three Blazers in 1947, the single of which contained a version of ‘Sleigh Bells’ as its b-side. 'Merry Christmas Baby' would be subsequently covered by Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen. ‘Christmas Comes But Once A Year’ is another sparky number that trips along in a most jazzy of way, it is so rarely heard and more’s the pity. The album finishes on a high and most appropriately with ‘Bringing In A Brand New Year’ with its Wurlitzer parts offering a perfectly timed giddy centrepiece.

Charles Brown would go on to record multiple versions of ‘Merry Christmas Baby’. The 1970 version was retitled ‘New Merry Christmas Baby’ as Brown recast one of his most famous recordings to the next generation of Christmas music fans.


Charles Brown Christmas Album & Single Covers

Charles Brown Cool Christmas Blues
Charles Brown Merry Christmas Baby
Charles Brown Please Come Home For Christmas
Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs
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