For Lisa Layne, Sept. 27, 1989 would mean more than simply her 27th birthday. She to be standing in ~ the microphone in ~ Nashville’s Masterfonics record studio. Nearby were some of the town’s finest studio musicians all set to record a brand-new bluesy Christmas song. The recording would certainly be noted under the surname of a retro rock and roll band that originated in new Orleans, Vince Vance and also the Valiants.

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As the tape began to roll, a funky, yet melancholic saxophone solo introduced the track until the suggest when Lisa Layne leaned into the microphone and also began come sing:

Take ago the holly and mistletoe

silver bells on string

If I created a letter to Santa Claus

I would certainly ask for simply one thing…

Here was one of those moments as soon as greatness was achieved – in a solitary take. The song, “All I want for Christmas is You” is just one of the peak selling Christmas song in the world, and also arguably the holiday’s ideal pop tune ever.

ns don’t require sleigh rides in the snow

Don’t want a Christmas that’s blue

Take back the tinsel, stockings and bow

‘cause every I want for Christmas is you.

Layne to be born in Tyler, Texas yet her family members moved to Dallas as soon as she was three. Because her father was a musician, music was component of she heritage. ~ graduating from high college she performed with her own band until she was scouted by the Valiants, whose operations were separation between new Orleans and also Dallas.

“All I desire for Christmas is You” was written by brand-new Orleanian Andy Stone, that plays the function of Vance, the rock geek through the pointy hairdo, and guitarist trojan Powers. Rock was motivated to compose the tune in 1973 once he to be touring through the band and spent a lonely Christmas in a Columbus, Ohio motel room. His words would dig deep right into the emotions that the season specifically when Layne erupts after a seductive mid-song sax solo:

ns don’t require expensive things

lock don’t issue to me

every that i want, can’t be found

under the Christmas tree

I had come to be so captivated by the song, and also its cotton singer, that with the resulting each Christmas season I want to interview her. With the assist of a Valiant ns was lastly able come make call a pair of year ago: “I never acquired a coin for the recording,” Layne recalled, nor was her name on the label. She was an employee because that the band just doing her job. Few Valiants were affiliated in the session, which had mostly Nashville musicians recording under the Valiants' name. The song, nevertheless, would end up being world well known with Lisa Layne together the powerful, however mysterious voice.

There is a Grinch in this Christmas story. It is singer Mariah Carey. In 1994, 5 years after ~ the Vince Vance recording, Carey released a track with the very same name. The Carey version is fully different, yet the article of love and longing is the same. “I guess they had the best to use the name,” Layne conceded, despite grudgingly. The Carey song comes i do not have anything near catching the moodiness the Layne’s Joplinesque performance.

After leave the Valiants, Layne worked out for a while in Nashville. If over there is one person in nation music background that anyone that tries to imitate has to be really, really good it is Patsy Cline, the best female voice that the genre ever produced. For 2 years Layne played the lead duty in a nationwide tour that a “Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.” She is one of only a couple of performers to have been endorsed through the Patsy Cline structure as being worthy of play the stellar role.

When ns interviewed her Layne was spending many of she time in Branson, Missouri. Boo Miller, that backed she on the stole guitar, also assumed the duties of manager and also “permanent partner.”

Now she is working largely out the Texas, despite she did have actually a Dec. 1 gig in Gretna performing “A Patsy Cline Christmas.”

She has actually a website under she name, which in ~ least provides pictures to go v her voice.

Amazingly, for every the anonymity that the initial version, “All I want for Christmas is You” is quiet the tune that most identifies her.

“Someone us knew in Amsterdam once called,” Layne said, “to say they heard that there. Sometimes during Christmas my mother calls saying, ‘Guess what I just heard top top the radio!’ “

Let’s see, can the song mother heard end like this?

You are the angel atop mine tree

You are my dream come true

Santa can’t bring me what i need

‘cause all I want for Christmas is you.

Vince Vance’s words, and also Lisa Layne’s delivery, will certainly reverberate for as long as there is Christmas—and loneliness.


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles that the new Orleans Carnival” (Pelican posting Company, 2013), is easily accessible at local bookstores and also at publication web sites.

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