Written by
Bob Stumpel

November 15

Christmas Time (1)

Album3 1994 Soul

The 1978 A/B single (collection Joël Dufour).

Single (A/B): Crossover/Atlantic 3549, November 1978 [with the song on both sides].
Compilation album3: Soul Christmas, Rhino R2 71788, 1994 [bonus track].

This song was written by Sadye Shepard (of Sadies Tune fame); it’s different from the track with the same title on Ray’s Christmas album.

It was routinely labeled as a DJ-only promotion single, but I think it probably was more of a Christmas present for Atlantic’s connections in the radio industry.

F.l.t.r. Jerry Greenberg, Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegun, Milt Jackson.

This release seems to be relared with a concert on December 19, 1977, where – according to a press release by Atlantic Records (related to the True To Life album): “New York City welcomed Atlantic recording artist Ray Charles ‘back home’ with a night at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as Cubistic Productions headlined him with Milt Jackson for a ’round of jazz and blues’ at Avery Fisher Hall; with Atlantic Records hosting a private party afterwards at the New York State Theater.”
A newspaper reported that Milt and Ray did a duet on “Merry Christmas/The Christmas Song” as an encore. Was this where the idea of the 1978 Christmas Time single was born?


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