ANOTHER CHRISTMAS MYSTERY
Santa Claus Please Listen To Me
UPDATED 12/19/12Hey Folks - just like we did two years ago, when we found out a few things about Electric Jungle, I figured we'd take a look at another trés obscure Christmas 45, which was apparently quite the hit with the Northern Soul boys over there in the UK. Whomever Artie Fullilove was though, you can bet the farm he never heard of the Wigan Casino...
The only name I've been able to turn anything up on here is that of the composer, which is listed on the label as Hawlett Smith. I'm betting it's supposed to read Howlett Smith, who is still active out on the West Coast as a jazz vocalist and pianist. As it says on his booking agency's website, "Smitty"' has done it all!, including a 'recurring role on General Hospital'. There ya go. He was also the composer of another Christmas Chestnut, the eternal Little Altar Boy.
According to John Manship, the UK's Rare Soul Man, the copy we have here is a bootleg, but he has the original pressing currently on auction at his site; "The ultimate Northern Soul Christmas record! No wonder this 45 was 'bootlegged' immediately it was discovered in the70s - quickly shipped to the Wigan Casino DJs. It was not until sometime later the original vinyl 45 revealed itself. A trick often used by the West Coast suppliers to the scene..." It always amazes me that any curiosity on the part of these guys doesn't seem to extend beyond the moment when some talcum powder infused DJ 'discovered' a record, let alone the people who actually cut it...
Anyway, here's the flip side, Raindeer Walk:
All in all, a pretty awesome 45, I'd say, and a cool way to get yourself into the holiday spirit!
"Peace On Earth, Santa Claus,
Peace On Earth, Santa Claus,
That's What I Really Want To Say"
I am right there with that, man.
Artie would have one more release, Marlu 1002 - Thank You b/w Strangers In The Night. Can any of you detectives out there fill in some of the blanks on this one?
Ok, folks, we've finally got a few leads here on this one! Super-detective (and all around great guy) Nick G. from out on the left coast weighed in with this:
"I can only turn up the thinnest of leads. According to the 6/25/1966 Billboard...
a few songs, but no publishing company seems to be administering his rights.
"Apparently, he was in a soul vocal group from 67-69 called 'The Bandwagon' with Billy Bradley, Terry Lewis and lead singer Johnny Johnson. The most significant recording seems to be Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache...
"Your friends at Ace/Kent did a Bandwagon comp so maybe they know more."
Just amazing detective work there, Nick, thank you for helping out, this is great! Anybody out there own the Bandwagon CD?
Hug the kids.