As I’ve mentioned in a prior blog post, I spent some significant time going through my Christmas CD collection to see what lost gems were lurking that I had overlooked. I first encountered my Christmas Song of the Day for December 12 in a cover by Marti Jones and Don Dixon on the great various-artists CD Yuletunes. Rather than settle for that one, I decided to see if I had the original version in my collection, and I do. And though it doesn’t specifically mention Christmas, William Bell’s “Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday” was released on a 45 by Stax Records at Christmastime in 1967.
If Bell (born 1939) is known for any song, it’s his biggest pop hit, “Tryin’ to Love Two,” which was a surprise top-10 hit in 1977. It came out around the same time as Mary MacGregor’s similarly themed “Torn Between Two Lovers,” which may explain in part why Bell finally had a big hit after years of trying. Long before that, Bell wrote or co-wrote “You Don’t Miss Your Water,””Born Under a Bad Sign,” associated with Albert King and Cream, and “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” which Billy Idol covered under the name “To Be a Lover” in 1986.
“Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday” is a celebration. Bell has received a letter than his woman is returning home, and he is thrilled. So are those glorious Memphis horns. The song is two and a half minutes of glory; it’s no wonder that, unusually for holiday songs in 1967, it got to #33 on the Billboard R&B charts.
This song rarely shows up on Christmas compilations these days, but it is on William Bell’s best-of CD.