WKDQ’s Top Ten Country Classic Christmas Songs
Even though Elvis had a Blue Christmas and Dolly went through a Hard Candy Christmas, Alabama was enjoying Christmas in Dixie,Loretta had a County Christmas and it was a Holly Jolly Christmas for Burl Ives. Here's WKDQ "COUNTRY CLASSICS" show's top ten list of the best Christmas tunes of the last 60 years. In no particular order.
Let's start out with a true Christmas story from Loretta Lynn about hard times and a lot of love at Christmas. We're going up Butcher Hollar at the coal mining town of Van Lear Kentucky for this one. Loretta only did one Christmas album and this was the title song:
When I first put "Christmas in Dixie" on the turntable in 1982 (yes we still used those at radio stations back then) at WBKR in Owensboro I instantly knew it was going to be a classic and we'd still be listening to it 37 years later. And here we are......
Gene Autry was a cowboy hero in 1947 when he rode his horse Champion at the head of the Hollywood Christmas parade but the kids kept yelling for the second person in line after Gene--Santa Claus. Their cries of "Here Come Santa Claus" gave Gene the first line of a song he wrote after the parade finished.
Maybe it's the TV commercial for Ollie's Bargain Outlet, "Have an Ollie Jolly Christmas" that's got this one stuck in our brain. If you've been around a few years you have no doubt heard this happy tune since it was in a TV special in 1964. It has been voted one of the most played songs on radio since then. This week Billboard magazine lists this Burl Ives' tune in the top 10 on their hot 100.
This was first a hit in 1948 by Ernest Tubb but when Elvis recorded it for his 1957 Elvis Christmas album it would be a staple holiday tune for the next 60 years. We'll probably we listening to it 60 years from now.
This Brenda Lee tune has made it to number three on the Billboard magazine HOT 100 this week (Dec 21). She joins Burl Ives tune "Holly Jolly Christmas" in that magazine's top 10 for the first time ever. It only took 61 years to crack to top 10! Brenda was only 13 when she recorded this in 1958.
Alan Jackson wrote this tune in 2002 for his second Christmas album. It became an instant classic and is voted by many as their number one Christmas song.
The Christmas Guest dates way back to the Bible. It started out as a poem and several country artists recorded it with a musical background as a recitation. Johnny Cash and Reba McIntyre had good versions but there is something about the old voice of Grandpa Jones that makes the story of Conrad extra special.
Here come another tune that isn't just a Christmas song. Merle Haggard wrote it for his first Christmas album in 1973 titled "A Christmas Present". Since Merle put it on the album the DJs played it as a Christmas tune. Who's gonna argue with the Hag?
A song that will give you cold chills. This must be what angels sound like:
It's hard to choose just ten greats and I'm sure we left out a bunch of yours. I mean where's "Grandma Got Rub Over by a Reindeer" and "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas"?