Archive for December 17th, 2010

Last night on The Colbert Report, Paul Simon appeared and played a new Christmas  song called Getting Ready For Christmas.  Before singing he explained that it was based on a sermon from December of 1941, in the weeks after Pearl Harbor.  The preacher was the Reverend J.M. Gates, a fire-and-brimstone Baptist from Atlanta who was famous for recordings of his sermons in the years before his death in 1945.  I don’t know much about him.  Actually, I had never heard the name before last night.

But the song Simon played was pretty good and there were samples of Gates’ recordings in the background at certain points in the performance that intrigued me.  I don’t know exactly which sermon Simon sampled but there are several examples of Gates’ work online.  One, Death’s Black Train Is Coming, was his bestseller and is a great example.  My favorite however is Hitler and Hell which plays very well in the video off the sound of the footsteps of the jackbooted figure that goes through the darkness in it.  I’m thinking that one of the recordings in the advertisement shown here might be the one used in Simon’s song.  Will Your Coffin Be Your Santa Claus! sounds like it might be the one.  Funny, that with such a catchy title it never caught on like Jingle Bell Rock or  Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer.

Anyway, gives a listen to the Rev. Gates, if you are so inclined and here’s Paul Simon’s new song, Getting Ready For Christmas.  It’s a very watchable video.

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