Here’s a record that combines three of my favorite things: Christmas, promotional records, and “Tijuana Brass” style music.
The king of the genre, of course was Herb Alpert, whose “Tijuana Taxi” from the album Going Places lends its theme to this borderline racist cover illustration. (If not racist, the cover is as confusing as it is awesome. Why is Santa whipping an internal combustion vehicle? How is the band surviving the severe cold of the North Pole in those outfits? Why is the taxi looking at us like “I’m getting too old for this shit”?)
My favorite band in the category, though, is the Mariachi Brass featuring the great Chet Baker. I’m sure I’ll be featuring some of their records in “From The Stacks” pieces somewhere down the line, but a man named George Garabedian seemed to be the master of the mariachi giveaway album, judging by this Christmas gem for Philips 66 and his “Tijuana Taxi” themed record for Taco Bell. They aren’t bad records; in fact, they’re pretty fun in a nostalgic, corny way.
You can pick up these records at yard sales, charity shops, flea markets, and your local record store’s dollar bin for–you guessed it–around a dollar. Happy hunting.