Jackie Wilson's MERRY CHRISTMAS was released in 1963, a time of great popularity for Christmas-themed recordings. Wilson, a vocal virtuoso whose soaring command was downright operatic, eschews light Christmas songs in favor of traditional renderings of holiday classics. Everything from "Silent Night" to "White Christmas" to "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is tackled with reverence.
The other half of this disc finds an equally accomplished R&B vocalist taking on holiday fare. Recorded just prior to Al Green's leaving secular music to join the ministry, THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM puts a disco and funk spin on lighter Christmas fare, including "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," and a Green-arranged version of the traditional "Feels Like Christmas." Green also delivers a stirring version of "O Holy Night."