First up is a recording I was blissfully unaware of until yesterday, when The Squire decided to send me in search of a copy. This utterly unspectacular single-entendre novelty, Give U One 4 Christmas, was issued by female ‘vocal’ duo HotPantz a.k.a Kelly Robinson and Shelley Mintrim. This dreadful piece of rubbish actually managed to scrape the UK Singles Chart, peaking at a dizzying number 64. Shocking; in a stocking! It's Ho! Ho! Hopeless!
Next a pair of tracks sent to me earlier in the year by WWR follower Dan Sheldon. Lee Smith’s A Letter To Mama, issued in 1988 by the tiny Nashville-based country label Airborne Records, backed with a bland, instrumental version of Silent Night - the same track as the a-side minus Lee's heartfelt vocalising. Unfortunately I can't tell you much about either Lee Smith, but Airborne was a country label that had Mickey Gilley, Stella Parton and Mickey Newbury on its books. The company also signed singer Curtis Wright but does not appear to have issued any recordings by him 9at lesat not as a solo act). This appears to have been Lee’s only release: if history is anything to go by I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised to discover that he was a local radio DJ. Maybe someone out there can enlighten us. Airborne's final release (in 1991) was a double album collection of Dr Martin Luther King speeches.
The next track, also provided by our kind benefactor Mr. Sheldon, is Happy Birthday Jesus by Little Christopher Darling (not the same Happy Birthday Jesus as the song recorded by Major Bill Smith or the one by Little Cindy). This time I have been able to find a little info about the Little Darling. Born in 1979 and hailing from Finksburg, Maryland, Little Christopher started singing gospel music at the age of five: he had a ‘hit’ (well, it got played on local radio a couple of times) with a cover of Bobby Grove’s Jesus This Is Jimmy. Happy Birthday Jesus (the same track appears on both sides) was issued as a promo of sorts for a cassette release of the same name and was issued around 1987. LCD released at least one other album (or cassette) entitled Please Don't Tell My Daddy (That Jesus Isn't Real). A surprisingly popular draw at churches in the area (he had ‘a special message for mothers and children’, according to one press notice), he was known locally as ‘the Little Evangelist’.
Anyway – have a listen and we what you think., If you can bear it I’ll be back next Friday with more.