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A Mary Mary Christmas [NOW IN STORES]

3BlackChicks™
...on the edge of our seats

FLAVA that's still to come!
Sony Music Presents
Released -- October 10, 2006
Official Site
My Space
"Hark The Herald Angels Sing" -- [Windows Media] [Real Player] [Quicktime]
"Carol of the Bells" -- [Windows Media] [Real Player] [Quicktime]

"Christmas has to be my favorite season," says Erica Campbell and sister, Tina Campbell, agrees, "my absolute favorite season." As Mary Mary, the groundbreaking contemporary gospel duo, Erica and Tina have shown their love for the season with A Mary Mary Christmas, a jubilant album of brand-new Christmas music, from refreshing contemporary takes on best-loved carols to original songs written in the light of the Yuletide tradition.

"I think we really just wanted to capture how we feel at Christmas time," says Erica, "how we feel about what we believe and the original celebration of the season…with a little of the secular ideas of what Christmas is, a combination of all that."

With A Mary Mary Christmas, the artists have captured the essence of the holidays so successfully that it's hard to believe the album was recorded in July. "The process was different from making the regular records we make," says Tina. "We're trying to think presents and mistletoe, lovely wreaths and Christmas decorations but it's hot and we're in the studio and there's no visual resemblance to Christmas at all. We put our hearts into this record."

"I can't even tell you what the process was of trying to create original Christmas songs," Erica continues. "We had to think a little harder, really had to put ourselves into the mode of staying up late on Christmas eve, waking up at 5 o'clock to get my mother to let me open up the presents, you know, our childhood days. It was so much fun, it was a joy to make a Christmas record. You don't have to chase trends or be concerned about radio with a Christmas album. When you're making Christmas music, you just have to put yourself in Christmas mode and you can really be allowed to be artistic way more freely than you do with the regular records. I think that's the part that was a lot of fun about this album."

A Mary Mary Christmas was produced by Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell for My Block Records. (Erica's husband, Warryn Campbell, also helmed the first two Mary Mary albums, the RIAA gold- and platinum-certified Thankful and the RIAA gold-certified Incredible.)

"Warren really did his thing on this record," says Erica. "He came in with all these incredible ideas, he'd throw something out and just tell us to run with it. He'd start this incredible music that would kind of put you right in the mode of the season. He brought an incredible amount of genius to this record. Big ups to Warren!"

The album's new songs -- "'Tis The Season," "Only One," "California Christmas," "Still The Lamb," "Call Him Jesus," and "California Christmas Remix (featuring Damani)" -- were written by Warryn Campbell, Erica Campbell, and Tina Campbell while more traditional Yuletide fare -- "(Have Yourself A) Merry Little Christmas," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," "Carol Of The Bells" -- has been reinterpreted as soulful and rhythmic contemporary gospel/R&B.

While Tina is "definitely proud of" "(Have Yourself A) Merry Little Christmas" and other songs, it's "Call Him Jesus" that strikes a particularly deep chord. "I don't think people have ever really heard us sing like that," Erica admits, "but that song, 'Call Him Jesus,' is really true to how we grew up singing all our lives. So, it's Christmas, but it's a little old school just Erica and Tina before Mary Mary."

Mary Mary put their own twist on tracks like "O Come All Ye Faithful," one of the sisters' favorite Christmas songs, dressed up for A Mary Mary Christmas with thumping African drums and a horn section while the album's opening track, the bliss-filled "'Tis The Season," evokes a full-fledged joyous gospel fever by way of Motown.

Erica and Tina both remember Christmases growing up in Inglewood, California, as special times. "All of our Christmases were so much fun," says Tina, "that it would not be true of us to make a record that didn't show all of that fun and that joy and that excitement, because it was always a good experience. As long as we had our family around, everything else just fell into place, gifts or no gifts."

That family feeling comes through in the songs of the season and the spirit-filled grooves of A Mary Mary Christmas. "We had a really great time making the album," says Erica. "The babies were there, the family was there, it was as late as it could possibly be -- when no normal person in the world should have been singing, but we were singing and making the music but that's cool because that's what you do around Christmas time, you stay up late with your family. And hopefully, that's what people will feel."

With A Mary Mary Christmas, Erica and Tina have made a holiday album in the spirit of the very first Christmas that will continue to bring comfort and joy at Christmas for years to come.

Erica and Tina Campbell are Mary Mary, two real-life sisters who have brought revolutionary R&B, urban and hip-hop elements to the world of contemporary gospel music.

Growing up in Inglewood, California, Erica and Tina first sang publicly in the local church choir and received their first break in 1998 with a song on the "Prince of Egypt" soundtrack.

In 2000, Mary Mary's platinum debut album, Thankful --featuring the hit "Shackles (Praise You)"--earned numerous awards including a Grammy for Best Contemporary Gospel Album and three Dove Awards, six Stellar Awards, a Lady of Soul Award, a Soul Train Award. Incredible, their second album, became the nation's #1 Top Christian Album in 2002 and featured the Dove Award-winning hits "In The Morning" and "Thank You," featuring Kirk Franklin.

While Erica and Tina took a break after recording their second album to start--and spend time with--their respective families, the platinum-selling duo found the time to bring their exuberant gospel soul sounds down new avenues, including an appearance in the 2003 musical comedy, The Fighting Temptations, and performances in Africa.

In November 2005, Mary Mary took home the coveted American Music Awards trophy in the Contemporary Inspirational Music category, adding to a growing collection of critical and popular kudos that includes a Grammy and numerous other awards.

The Grammy-winning R&B/gospel duo Mary Mary crossed over into Top 10 pop territory when the group's self-titled new album, released in July 2005, debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling album chart, the highest Top 200 chart position in the group's career. (Mary Mary's previous albums--2000's Thankful and 2002's Incredible --peaked at #59 and #20, respectively.)

When the album subsequently debuted at #1 on the Billboard Gospel album sales chart, the album became the best-selling Gospel debut of 2005.

"Heaven," the first single from Mary Mary, made history as it broke chart records, most notably an unprecedented 9 week run as the #1 record on Billboard's Gospel Radio chart. "Heaven" was also a #1 R&R Gospel Radio Single and hit the #3 slot on the Billboard Bubbling Under - Hot R&B Singles chart." Yesterday," the second single from Mary Mary, became a Top 10 record on Billboard's R&B Adult Airplay chart.

 

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Track Listing

  1. 'Tis The Season
  2. Only One
  3. Merry Little Christmas (featuring Dontaé Winslow)
  4. O Come All Ye Faithful
  5. California Christmas
  6. Still The Lamb
  7. Call Him Jesus
  8. The Real Thing
  9. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  10. Carol Of The Bells
  11. California Christmas Remix (featuring Damani)

Developed by Francis Doody

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