Johnny Nash‘s 1969 Christmas album Prince of Peace turned up recently in suburban DC’s Value Village thrift shop. Initially captivated by the groovy 3-D cover, I was even more enthralled, once I returned home with the LP and cued up the 41-second opening track — a fresh pop arrangement of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” that stands apart, musically speaking, from the other more devotional songs on the album:
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” Johnny Nash 1969
[Pssst: Click triangle above to play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as arranged and produced by Johnny Nash and Arthur Jenkins]
This JAD (J for Johnny Nash; A for Arthur Jenkins; D for Danny Sims) release was produced, not surprisingly, in Jamaica, although it is not a ‘reggae’ album as such.
Pretend the red dots vibrate in 3-D pop art fashion
This 41-second offering joins Zero to 180’s official list of short songs.
Third appearance of Johnny Nash, by the way, on this music history website.
For the sixth year in a row – on its December 12th anniversary date – Zero to 180 has once again made the dubious and (it needs to be said) rather contemptible decision to post one of its own homemade recordings, under the laughable supposition that the “composition” in question is somehow deserving of a worldwide audience. It’s not — let’s be clear. This is the musical equivalent of a vanity license plate that serves, awkwardly, to salute another year’s efforts by Zero to 180 in its pursuit of the preservation of cultural memories in danger of being lost.
Those who have stumbled upon this post are invited to ignore this annual exercise in self-indulgence — a pathetic attempt to conflate my “work” (to the extent that it exists) with the greats who have come before. Let’s not kid ourselves that anyone, beyond family and close friends, might possibly be interested to learn that this year’s recording is not of the usual ancient vintage but something organized very recently in a makeshift recording studio in Silver Spring, Maryland.
“Mrs. Fletcher” (Dub Mix A) Dub-ble Trubble 2018
“Mrs. Fletcher” (Dub Mix B) Dub-ble Trubble 2018
Not much is not known about these recordings other than the fact that one musician laid down the guitar and bass lines, while another musician, who served as producer and mixmaster, provided all other sounds.
RARE PICTURE SLEEVE FROM THAILAND
In its way, “Mrs. Fletcher” extends the ‘pop dub’ aspirations expressed twenty years earlier in “One (Love),” Zero to 180’s final four-track home recording in Cincinnati before the big move 500 miles eastward — ten years or so before the first appearance of the Rocksteady Kid.
Zero to 180 Milestones: Let the School-Age Years Commence
- Inaugural Zero to 180 post that established a bona fide cross-cultural link between Cincinnati (via James Brown’s music recorded and distributed by King Records) and Kingston, Jamaica (i.e., Prince Buster’s rocksteady salute to Soul Brother Number One).
- 1st anniversary piece that featured an exclusive “Howard Dean” remix of a delightful Sesame Street song about anger management (with a special rant about how WordPress’s peculiarities made me homicidal the moment I launched this blog).
- 2nd anniversary piece that refused to acknowledge the milestone but instead celebrated the under-sung legacy of songwriter/session musician, Joe South – with a link to South’s first 45, a novelty tune that playfully laments Texas’s change in status as the nation’s largest state upon Alaska’s entry into the Union.
- 3rd anniversary piece that revealed the depths to which Zero to 180 will sink in order to foist his own amateur recordings onto an unsuspecting and trusting populace.
- 4th anniversary piece that formalized – as a public service – musical chord changes for an old (and tuneless) “hot potato” playground game called ‘The Wonderball.’
- 5th anniversary piece that paid tribute to the Buchanan & Goodman “break-in” records that helped fuel (along with Mad Magazine) this young music fanatic’s appetite for satire.