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Christmas Music Guru
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  • Register:09/07/2005 11:04:22

Date Posted:07/13/2013 03:30:16Copy HTML




 


For this latest In The Spotlight tribute, I have chosen yet another recording artist whose Christmas music is sadly either under-appreciated or little-known today.

The artist is that good old country girl Lynn Anderson, and the album is her 1971 Columbia Records Christmas LP, The Lynn Anderson Christmas Album.

For some reason, there are a number of folks out there who are either reticent or have an aversion to considering the Christmas music of country recording artists. That, indubitably, is to their great misfortune because country music artists have given us some exceptional and outstanding Christmas albums. These country artists include Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, Brenda Lee, Eddy Arnold, Danny Davis, Buck Owens, Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Dean, Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride and, of course, the artist being spotlighted here, Lynn Anderson.

Lynn, who was the daughter of country music singer/songwriter Liz Anderson, fist gained national prominence in 1967 when she became a regular on the Lawrence Welk Show. She released her 1971 Columbia Records Christmas LP when she was at the peak of her success as a recording artist. The album resides in the 2nd Tier of my Top 500, coming in at #185. It was released on CD by Sony Music in 1994, but is now sadly out-of-print; however, copies can be found on Amazon (click here) and eBay from time-to-time, but they usually go for big bucks.

The songs that I chose to spotlight for this In The Spotlight tribute are 2 of the 6 original Christmas songs on the album: "Mr. Mistletoe" and "Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell." All 11 songs on the LP are terrific, but these two songs are the album's shining stars:



 Click Here ~ "Mr. Mistletoe"


Click Here ~ "Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell"


And finally, what tribute to Lynn Anderson would possibly be complete without posting her Grammy Award winning and worldwide mega smash hit from 1970, "Rose Garden." Enjoy!

 Click Here ~ "Rose Garden"



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/13/2013 01:20:12Copy HTML



I know Mr. Mistletoe quite well, as though I didn't have Lynn's album, the song featured on the Country Style Christmas album that my mom had (with the weird -- to me -- Realm logo).  

Christmas is Christmas all over the world!
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/13/2013 04:36:59Copy HTML

I am partial to the Country singers from the Golden Age of Country Music.  There are a few of "Today's" Country Music Artists who have released Christmas albums, but they just don't compare to the artist previously mentioned in Chip's first post.

The County Christmas songs of today, there are a few good songs here and there, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy their CD's for 1 or 2 songs.  I do like "Where Are You Christmas" sung by Faith Hill, from the move "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy.

There may be a few more individual songs by other of todays Country Artists, but again, they just don't compare to Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Brenda Lee, Buck Owens, Danny Davis, Floyd Cramer, Marty Robbins, Jimmy Dean, Tennessee Ernie Ford and even Jimmie Rogers (Edited because he wasn't a Country Singer, but a Folk/Ballad Singer).   Oh, and we can't forget Gene Autry.  I'm sure there are a few more Country Music Singers, I just remembered Johnny Cash, but again I'm sure there are a few more from the 50's through the very early 1970's.

{EDITED by Christmas Always to correct a typo}

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/13/2013 06:59:51Copy HTML


I agree, Susan. By the way, of those four other recording artists you mentioned in your post, the only one who did not make my
Top 300 is Johnny Cash. Unfortunately, although his Christmas albums have some bright spots, they are decidedly weak overall. All the albums by the other three artists (Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers) are in my Top 300; however, Jimmie Rodgers was not a country artist as you indicated, but rather a folk/pop artist. The 'other' Jimmie Rodgers who died in 1933 was the country artist, but he never recorded any Christmas music.



Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/13/2013 11:53:35Copy HTML

Chip,

I thought Jimmy Rodgers was more of a Rockabilly song with some Country in there too, but I think back and a lot of his songs were Ballads and Folks Songs.  I don't know what made me think he was a Country Singer.

I like The Johnny Cash Christmas and I agree with you about his album having some bright spots, but his version of The Little Drummer Boy is different than the way most people would sing it.

Some other Country music singers like Roy Clark, Tom T. Hall, appeared on Compilation Christmas Albums but I don't think they ever released an entire Christmas Album on their own.

I couldn't remember Anne Murray, but her album came out in 1981, if I'm not mistaken, so she really doesn't fit in this category of Classic Country and I forgot about Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard (released a couple Christmas LP's), and Willie Nelson earlier.

Merle Haggard released Goin' Home For Christmas (PROMO) Epic Record PE38307 with a Winter Scene on the jacket, and there was another of the same title but the artwork showed Merle getting ready to board a train.  I can't tell what Record Label the second one was on.  The person listing it used the Bar Code for numbers.   Then there was Merle Haggard Christmas Present in 1973

Capitol ST-11230.

I'm not trying to detract from Lynn Anderson in any way and I always preferred her version of Snowbird over Anne Murray.  I still think there are a few other Country singers from the early years that released at least one Christmas album, but I can't think anymore.

{EDITTED by Christmas always to correct a missing letter in my first sentence.  The word is in red.  I left the "t" of the end of the word.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 07:20:18Copy HTML


Susan,


Glen Campbell's 1968 Christmas album That Christmas Feeling is in the 2nd Tier of my
Top 300 (album #237); and Merle Haggard's 1973 Christmas album A Christmas Present is in the 3rd Tier of my Top 300 (album #274).

Also in my 2nd Tier there are three other great country artists: Bobby Helms (Jingle Bell Rock - album #234);
Connie Smith (Joy To The World - album #240); and Faron Young (Country Christmas - album #241).

By the way, regarding Johnny Cash's 1963 Christmas album The Christmas Spirit, it is one of the albums that I will soon be adding to my
Bubbling Under The Top 300 list.

And lastly, I too greatly prefer Lynn Anderson's version of Snowbird. If she had recorded it before Anne Murray and released it as a single, I think it would have been an even bigger hit that it had been for Murray.





Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 08:15:50Copy HTML

I knew there were other Country artist from this era, but I couldn't think of them.  I was fortunate to find a VG+ to NM copy of "The Christmas Spirit"  by Johnny Cash from 1963, and I believe, I have "The Johnny Cash Family Christmas" too.  Then of course, he appears on many Compilation Christmas Albums.

Another artist I think we left out was Jim Nabors.  He wasn't strictly Country, but did a lot of Gospel and Pop Music too.

I agree if Lynn Anderson had recorded "Snowbird" and released it as a single before Anne Murray, it would have been a bigger hit than Anne Murray had.  I can't say for sure, but I think I remember something about why Lynn didn't record and release "Snowbird" before Anne Murry, but I can't remember right now.  I don't know it it was on a Documentary or what.  I could be completly wrong and thinking of something else too.

Thanks for the clip of Lynn Anderson's Version of "Snowbird"

{EDITED by Christmas Always to change the title of a Johnny Cash Christmas album from "The Spirit of Christmas" to "The Christmas Spirit"}

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 09:30:28Copy HTML


Susan,

Just an FYI: the title of Johnny Cash's 1963 Christmas album was The Christmas Spirit, not The Spirit Of Christmas.

As for Jim Nabors, he was not a country music singer, but rather crooner/balladeer.

And lastly, Anne Murray was acquainted with the composer of the song Snowbird, Gene MacLellan, and he offered the song to her first to record.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 01:57:55Copy HTML

Sorry Chip,

It was a typo I didn't catch, I will edit the post to change it.  It was a bit late for me when I did the post, I had gone to bed and forgot something to do on the computer and was up until 5:30 so my mind wasn't clear.  I normally am in bed by 10:00PM, and watch TV for about an hour and an half, but I got back up to do something I forgot online and then saw your response and I responded, and by the time I got off the computer it was 5:30AM.  I had been in a discussion about keeping The Spirit of Christmas alive 365 days a year, and that was probably why I typed the title wrong

I had known that Jim Nabors forte wasn't Country for the most part, but I have his Columbia Record album "Galveston" Catalog # CS 9817 from 1969,  which is part Country, Gospel, Pop, but I couldn't think of Crooner.   It has been several years since I've played it, and since my apartment is so small, I basically have only my Christmas LP's out.

Then I wasn't sure about Lynn Anderson being offered to record and release "Snowbird" before Anne Murray and it may have been an something else

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 08:20:56Copy HTML


Susan,

Yes, Jim Nabors did recorded some country tunes, as did many others like Andy Williams (who actually recorded two full albums of country music). But that didn't make him or Jim Nabors country artists per se. They were pop artists covering country tunes, and that's the point that I was trying to make.

By the way, I want to thank you for privately emailing me about your confusion regarding the first response post on this thread by James (aka JMFabianoRPL). I knew his post was going to cause nothing but confusion, which is why I did an administrator's edit of his post to clarify things by differentiating his quote of me from my post and his response message. This is exactly why I disabled the 'Quote & Reply' feature on the message board, as it always leads to confusion. However, James manually pasted the quote of my words on his post and then typed his reply message.

I edited his post on the afternoon of July 13th; however, even after that clarification edit you apparently were still under the false impression that the post was mine and not his. I will have to edit his post somehow yet again later this afternoon when I get home to further clarify.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/14/2013 09:26:18Copy HTML

Chip,

I didn't realize that you had edited James post, but in re-reading it, I see that it was his post, so I apologize for the confusion on my part.  I only saw that it was edited by you, and wasn't thinking that is was James post you had edited.  I am still running on only 3 hours sleep in 48 hours, so my brain sees things but I don't put the entire thing together and then I cause confusion for you and myself, and others.

In rereading the post, I see where my confusion came in and that is why I sent you what I did in the email as I was thinking it was you.  But I got it now, so I'm sure what I sent you, you already knew.

Yes, unfortunately even though you disabled the Quote and Reply feature, we can copy and paste and use "Quotation Marks" so it would be as if we were quoting you as a Quote and Reply.

I knew if I had posted what I privately emailed you, it would have added more confusion, so at least I think it is straightened out now on my part anyways.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Lynn Anderson:Mr. Mistletoe & Ding-A-Ling The Christmas Bell

Date Posted:07/15/2013 03:23:31Copy HTML

You mention that Anne knew Gene MacLellan, which was why she got Snowbird first.  I'm sure this would be to Stewie's chagrin ;-)  I will have to listen to Lynn's version, though.  I will have to really open my mind, though, since I LOVE Anne, and her version is iconic of course.

P.S. Sorry for the editing mixups.

EDIT: So I listened to Lynn's version, very good too! 
Christmas is Christmas all over the world!
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