Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Day 16 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Joseph Spence

Sandy Gall is coming to town? Really?

Sandy Gall
A brief bit of explanation is called for here, I think: Joseph Spence was born in Andros in the Bahamas in 1910 and earned the name 'Folk's Thelonious Monk' for the unique way he sang utilizing a series of grunts and hums. As a guitarist he is said to have influenced the likes of Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and John Renbourn.

Never really widely known beyond the Bahamas and small parts of the U.S. Spence's style is a little...errr... odd and challenging when first heard. There's a good chance that anyone coming to this for the first time - and let's be honest a long time after - may well wonder what the hell is going on. Certainly the words to this Christmas standard seem to have got lost in translation.

And Sandy Gall? For those outside the UK, Mr Gall was an ITN Newsreader for many years.

Rumours that Spence was working on further Christmas records to include the names of fellow news presenters Alistair Burnett, Reginald Bosanquet and Gordon Honeycombe, when he died in 1984 can probably be discounted.

Alistair Burnett 
Reginald Bosanquet
Gordon Honeycombe
This is a Christmas favourite of Lady B so this is for her.

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