Singing policeman Mervin Mayo releases Christmas tune and video

Singing policeman Mervin Mayo

The last two years have been a whirlwind for Richmond, Virginia policeman, Mervin Mayo, who became a viral sensation when his impromptu church rehearsal of a Marvin Sapp song garnered over a million Facebook views in 2020. The surprise fete also earned him coverage on CNN’s Headline News channel and a record deal with Tyscot Records. Earlier this year, he dropped “The Best Friend” which has already amassed a million digital streams, and now he’s heralding an original holiday song, “Christmas Time is Here” (Mervin Mayo / God’s Glory / Tyscot).

On the romantic ballad, Mayo celebrates both the sacred and secular aspects of the holiday season. His robust tenor bounces off an uplifting suite of strings, piano, and a soft backing choir. Producer Jeremy James (who’s worked with a variety of artists ranging from The Clark Sisters to Mali Music) combines the perfect balance of urban condiments with the bells and whistles that usually accompany yuletide tracks. It’s a welcome addition to the urban canon of seasonal melodies such as Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas” and The Jackson 5’s “Give Love on Christmas Day.”  

Music has always been a solace for Mayo who was raised by a single mother in Richmond’s tough Creighton Court housing projects where killings were regular happenings. His father was a heroin addict who was in and out of jail most of his life. “When I look back, I grew up in the wild wild West, but I didn’t know it was,” he says. A now-retired police officer, Curtis Simmons, became a role model to Mayo as a teenager and inspired him to become a policeman, a gig he’s held since 2005. “I said if I ever become a police officer, I want to do for others what he did for me,” he says. 

Throughout his life, Mayo has sung for fun. He grew up singing in church. As an adult he sang with the regional R&B group, CHARM  (Cool, Handsome, Attractive, Romantic, Men), and then later with the gospel group, CHANGED. In 2020, he was at his church singing Marvin Sapp’s “The Best in Me” and someone posted it on Facebook. In days, the video had gone viral, and the post eventually garnered a million views. A Tyscot Records exec spotted him and signed him up. 

Now, Mayo has a larger platform to share his music and to also spread the word that there are more good police than bad. “People want to think police are trigger-happy,” he says. “The last thing a police officer wants to do is shoot somebody because if you shoot somebody your career is done forever. That’s not what the average policeman wants. They just want to make it home.”

– From a media release

Official Video – “Christmas Day” – Willard Yancey

Enjoy the official music video from Willard Yancey called “Christmas Day.”  The holiday single is produced and directed by Jeshua Yancey for JYM Productions. 

“Christ Out of Christmas” – Yemi Ayeni

“Christ Out of Christmas”
Yemi Ayeni (2018)
WTL Records

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Sounds of Christmas are in the air.  Among them is Yemi Ayeni’s single, “Christ Out of Christmas.”

“They tried to take Christ out of Christmas, but they can’t take Christ out of me,” sings Yemi as her words gleefully sweep like brush strokes across the tune’s jazz-embellished canvas.  “He’s the reason for the season; that’s why we are here!”

Yemi is a UK-based singer/songwriter who says she penned “Christ Out of Christmas” to “draw more attention to the world’s denial and rejection of Christ [and give] a clarion call to action to the Church to defend our faith.”

"Glory to God" ft. Taylor Simone-Butts – Vernon Hill

“Glory to God” featuring Taylor Simone-Butts
Vernon Hill
From the CD, Great Joy (2015)
Available at iTunes

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

“Glory to God” is a featured single from the Great Joy holiday project, presented by producer/songwriter Vernon Hill. 

Taylor Simone-Butts leads the delightfully fluid Christian Adult Contemporary worship song.  Melodically, she calls us to proclaim, like the multitude of the heavenly host in Luke’s biblical narrative, 

We sing glory to God in the highest
Glory to God in the highest
Let there be peace on earth
Goodwill towards men
We sing glory to God in the highest 

The Great Joy CD is available at iTunes.

"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" – Wanda Mo'Net

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Wanda Mo’Net
Indie (2014)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” has been recorded by dozens of artists.  Wanda Mo’Net joins the list of singers and instrumentalists who has now covered the decades-old seasonal tune.

The gospel singer and Atlanta native delivers a recorded performance that boasts warm layers of clear, crisp urban contemporary-styled vocals.  Though I occasionally hear pitch correction technology at work, I imagine it is probably more for stylistic effect than for actual pitch inaccuracies.  After all, Wanda has been singing publicly since the age of three, has shared the stage with a host of gospel greats, and is a former member of the Georgia Mass Choir.

"This Christmas" – Joshua Rogers

“This Christmas”
Joshua Rogers (2016)
Mixed Bag Entertainment

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Certain Christmas songs put you in the holiday spirit from the opening note.  Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” is one of them. Forty-six years following its original release, Joshua Rogers delivers a cover of the R&B/soul classic.

Rogers, who became the youngest person and first male to win BET’s Sunday Best, chooses an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to “This Christmas.”  The gospel sensation‘s sage decision underscores his facility for traversing music genres and pays tribute to Hathaway’s creative genius.

Rogers is gearing up to drop a new album in summer 2017.

"Silent Night" – Ex Musiq

“Silent Night”
Ex Musiq (2015)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Ex Musiq’s gift to you this Christmas is a free download of “Silent Night,” available at

Despite their eclectic blend of gospel, hip-hop, pop, and R&B sounds, the Baltimore area inspirational trio presents “Silent Night” in its traditional form with an unaltered melody cushioned by warm layers of strings.

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" – Charles P. Walker

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Charles P. Walker
From the digital EP, Do You Hear What I Hear? (2015)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Charles P. Walker rolls in holiday cheer with a lively instrumental performance of “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  The saxophone arrangement is the title track from his digital Christmas EP.

Walker has drawn comparisons to sax greats Grover Washington and Kirk Whalum, among others.  Still, his style bears a uniqueness that has earned him session credits with Bernard Harris and Kevin Whalum as well as shared platforms with Smokie Norful and Donnie McClurkin.

Walker is a featured artist at the bi-annual Kingdom Global World Connect Conference, the Music Boat, and K-Love Christian Cruises.

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" – Livrè

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
From the CD, A Classic Holiday…Presented by MBK (2015)
MBK Entertainment/Sony Music Entertainment
Available at iTunes

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

For the Christmas holiday, Livrè delivers a delightfully harmonic and soulful arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

The urban inspirational quintet’s modern a cappella rendition of the 16th century carol is featured along with the music of Alicia Keys, Tyrese, Brandy, Elle Varner, and others on the multi-genre compilation disc, A Classic Holiday…Presented by MBK.

"O Holy Night" – Kevin Riley

“O Holy Night”
Kevin Riley (2015)

By Libra Boyd

This season, Kevin Riley lends his distinct baritone to the sacred Christmas standard, “O Holy Night.” Jansen Goodwin’s orchestral arrangement complements Kevin’s compelling performance of the holiday classic.
“O Holy Night” is available at iTunes.
Kevin resides in Little Rock, AR, and serves as pastor of In His Presence Worship Ministries.