As we approach the holiday season and the
conclusion of 2011, it's time again for Classic Urban Harmony to spotlight a legendary harmony "Sound of the Season".
The Dominoes - "Christmas
In 1953, Billy Ward's Dominoes had just
replaced one great lead, Clyde McPhatter, with another great lead, Jackie
Wilson. The Dominoes then consisted of Jackie Wilson, James Van Loan,
Cliff Givens, Milton Merle and of course the group's mentor, Billy Ward.
On October 12, 1953, the group recorded a number of songs, including the
seasonal side, "Christmas In Heaven" with Jackie Wilson doing the lead.
The song was written by Billy Ward, as was the flip side, "Ringing In A Brand
New Year". The record came out on King # 1281 in November 1953.
Though the Dominoes' "Christmas In Heaven"
never made the national charts, it never-the-less deserves its place as one of
the greatest R&B Christmas sides ever recorded. Listen to Jackie
Wilson's vocal inflections by scrolling down and clicking the YouTube below
and see if you agree.
From the Classic Urban
The Dominoes, 1953: Left to
right, Milton Merle, Cliff Givens,
Billy Ward, James Van Loan and Jackie Wilson
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)
Click the YouTube above to
hear the Dominoes'
"Christmas In Heaven"