Have a Rockin' Christmas with Ol'55!

Have a Rockin' Christmas with Ol'55!


We’re still a bit unsure as to why this is not on every Xmas playlist and wafting through the aisles of every supermarket and department store in the land throughout December. It was a massive record; one that reached #7 nationally, and remained at #1 on the 3XY chart in Melbourne until early ’77. Additionally, the band has played it at a couple of Carols By Candlelight events over the years – including last year – and, if there was any doubt as to their continued popularity, that was surely dispelled also last year when their 2CD anthology Time to Rock’n’Roll debuted at #21 on the ARIA album chart week of release.

(I Want A) Rockin’ Christmas" was co-written by Glenn A Baker and Ol’55 bass player Jim Manzie. It was perhaps the first clear indication of Manzie’s great talents as a writer of classic pop; he followed it up with the also brilliant “Stay (While The Night Is Young” and “(Feels Like A) Summer’s Night”. The single was produced by the great Charles Fisher, and with a great arrangement, dense instrumentation and multi-part harmonies, it rivaled the great work of Phil Spector and in particular his classic 1963 album A Christmas Gift From Phil Spector, featuring the likes of the Ronettes, the Crystals, and Darlene Love.

I suspect we’ll bang on about this one every December until the rest of the nation gets with the program; for now, let’s check out the original film clip, a Carol’s By Candlelight performance, and the single’s B-side, which is Ol’55’s cover of the Beach Boys’ 1964 Christmas tune “Little Saint Nick”.

Of course, if you don’t have Time To Rock’n’Roll, what better time than now to treat yourself to a copy. And if you want more rockin’ Christmas tunes, check out our I Like Your Old CHRISTMAS Stuff playlist, which kicks of with Ol’55 of course and also includes great tracks from Keith Richards,  Paul Kelly, Elvis Presley, Slade, Dwight Yoakam, Frankie Valli & Jeff Beck, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen, the Ronettes,  Wizzard, Solomon Burke, the Royal Guardsmen, the Sonics, Elton John, Leon Russell, Canned Heat, Twisted Sister, Sinead O’Connor and many others.

Oh, and have a Merry Xmas!

Carol’s By Candlelight  

Little Saint Nick” on Countdown


- Dave Laing 

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