'Soul Christmas' (1968)
The stars of the Atlantic Records R&B roster came together for this fantastic 1968 set. The best rock & roll Christmas albums stay true to tradition while spinning it in fun new directions, and this perfects that balance. Otis Redding does a slow, heart-weary "White Christmas" and a satisfied, Southern-fried "Merry Christmas Baby," while Carla Thomas spins her signature hit "Gee Whiz" into the fireplace-stoking forget-me-not "Gee Whiz, It's Christmas." And then there's Clarence Carter's stocking-stuffer supreme, "Back Door Santa" – "I ain't like old Saint Nick/He don't come but once a year/I come runnin' with my presents every time you call me, dear."