One Track Mind: Bob Seger, "Sock It To Me, Santa" (1966; 2011 reissue)

Share this:

One of the more interesting moments on the new collection Cameo Parkway: Holiday Hits comes at the very end, as an impossibly young Bob Seger and an early band called the Last Heard scurry through this original Christmas romp.

“Sock It To Me, Santa” begins with a coy little spoken-word segment (“Pop, Christmas just isn’t going to be the same this year …”), before the randy Seger and Co. leap in with a yelp (“‘Cause Santa’s got a brand new bag!”) and a repeated James Brown-style lick. The Last Heard returns with a wink, at the end of each chorus, to the same Godfather of Soul riff, but the song itself couldn’t be further from that kind of grease-popping soul. Instead, Seger settles into a shimmying, rockabilly-meets-R&B groove that probably made Mitch Ryder beam with paternal pride.

The lyrics? Pure mid-century hipster cool: “He’s dressed real mod, from his head to his toe! He’s lost a little weight, but his jelly still rolls!” Then: “Come on, Comet! Come on, Cupid! Don’t just stand there looking stupid!” There’s a reference to Batman, too, but you get the idea. Sock-hopping Yuletide fun.

“Sock It To Me, Santa” was recorded in 1966 as a single for Cameo, Seger’s pre-Capitol-era label, and is now part an 18-track collection of holiday favorites from the label’s first decade, between 1957-67. Also included on Cameo Parkway: Holiday Hits are Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker (including their timeless “Jingle Bell Rock”); The Cameos, the International Pop Orchestra, the Rudolph Statler Orchestra and Beethoven Ben, among others. The set has been issued by the new Razor and Tie-distributed Real Gone Music label, which launched in November with the Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks, Vol. 34, 35 and 36 — featuring concert recordings from 1971 (San Diego and Chicago), 1972 (Philadelphia) and 1977 (Rochester, N.Y.)

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B005NSROTO” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000002TSS” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0051VVOB2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00081U6IW” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000038A21″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close