Thursday, December 22, 2005
Freddy King - I Hear Jingle Bells
I have to apologize for my recent lack of participation in my own blog. I could say that it's been busy, and it has, but not much more than usual. Maybe I've been a bit burned out from constantly recycling the same superlatives in writing about various records here. How many ways can you say something is great, rockin' or whatever?
Anyway, I thought that I'd be remiss if I didn't gab a little about at least one seasonal favorite. And, in this case, it's one that I dug up at a record show just a few months ago, namely "I Hear Jingle Bells" by Freddy King. King released a host of records for the Federal label between 1960 and 1965. Some were vocal numbers and others, like his hit "Hide Away", were instrumentals. Either usually featured his fine guitar playing.
Today's record is a two-sided Christmas disc from 1961. The a-side is a fine, slow, bluesy tune called "Christmas Tears", with a good vocal, King's guitar and some nice piano accompaniment. But it's the flip that inspired me to write this bit today. "I Hear Jingle Bells" begins with the classic opening notes from "Jingle Bells", followed by a bit of rockin' blues guitar. King's vocal comes in next and it's upbeat and very soulful. The song even features a guitar break, more piano and the percussion indeed sounds like, well, jingle bells. It's quickly become one of my favorites, seasonal or otherwise.
I've managed to pick up a few of King's 45's the past couple of years and none of them have set me back more than a buck or two. This one ought to be around in that price range.