As Christmas approaches, all we seem to hear is repeats of the same old Christmas classics, or modern takes on them, so it is refreshing to listen to something new for a change.
And, despite what Andy Williams might think, Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for everyone, especially with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
So, when we first came across the upbeat festive single Santa’s on his Way, it did help lift the mood. It sounded like a crooning collaboration between Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, featuring Mel and Kim’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – a real mix of Rat Pack jazz and swing with ‘80s pop.
It’s catchy, energetic and really gets people into the Christmas spirit. Was it Michael Buble’s latest festive offering, or perhaps something from Harry Connick Jr? It’s neither of those, but we are delighted to say we managed to trace the festive treat all the way back to . . . a taxi in Gloucestershire!
And it turns out our Buble suspicions weren’t too far off the mark – the animated video on the cabbie’s YouTube channel explains how he imagined the track, under the heading: ‘Taxi driver from Gloucester UK writes song for Michael Buble’.
Taxi for Santa!
The man responsible for spreading festive cheer is taxi driver Michael Ian Brown, who has been singing semi-professionally for several years. He actually began writing this festive number about 13 years ago. After its very slow birth, Michael spent time adding to it during lockdown, and finally saw the finishing touches applied at the famous Abbey Road Studios. And the end result is this cheery Christmas number.
Gloucestershire Live caught up with 62-year-old Michael, who has been working with Associated Taxis in Gloucester for about five years after moving to the town from Swindon 20 years ago.
Michael told Gloucestershire Live: “I started to write it again during Covid. I always wanted to do this as I wanted to finish something. There’s a lot of misery around at the moment, so anything to brighten up people’s day is important. I played it to someone I know and I don’t think he could believe it was me singing. It’s all a little odd.”
Michael began writing the first four lines in 2010 and taught himself how to mix it when he returned to it in lockdown, as well as taking it to a professional studio in Stroud, where it was engineered and backing vocals were added.
But for Michael, the final step – being mastered at the Abbey Road – was a dream come true.
He said: “I remember as a lad having a picture taken on that famous zebra crossing when I was in a school band, so this does mean a lot. They did a great job in making me sound better!”
Michael continues to write his own material and performs semi-professionally at pubs across the South West.
And anyone jumping in his cab this Christmas might have the please of an exclusive live performance!
You can hear Michael’s Christmas song on YouTube at ‘Santa’s On His Way’ by Michael Ian Brown (youtube.com) or on Spotify.
Singing cabbie Michael Ian Brown has released a Christmas single, Santa’s on his Way. Picture: Will Luker, Gloucestershire Live