Huey "Piano" Smith

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

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One of the most unique Christmas holiday albums of all time, this was recorded in 1962, after Huey "Piano" Smith's small string of hits and the departure of lead singer/secret weapon Bobby Marchan from the ranks. But the band kept rockin' and the vocals are ably handled on this disc by Gerri Hall, John "Scarface" Williams, and even Smith himself on the title cut. Six of the ten songs were written by Smith, and tracks like "Happy New Year," "Almost Time for Christmas," and "White Christmas Blues" closely mirror the melodies and arrangements of some of his better known hits like "We Like Birdland," "For Cryin' out Loud," and "Little Liza Jane." Even old standbys like "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night" get the Crescent City groove applied here. Adding guitar to the regular sax- and piano-dominated New Orleans sound is Mac Rebennack. An LP of Christmas cheer, New Orleans style.

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