Universal Music Enterprises has made two country holiday classics available on vinyl for the first time in decades: Glen Campbell’s That Christmas Feeling and Merle Haggard’s Christmas Present. Each was recorded at the height of the legendary artists’ popularity and displays all the unique qualities that made each Country Music Hall of Fame members.
Released in 1968 in the midst of a run of seven straight No. 1 country albums – and around the same time as double platinum Wichita Lineman – That Christmas Feeling captures the earnest Campbell at the height of his powers and popularity (True Grit would be released the next year). Known as a guitarist without peer and a singer with perfect pitch, timing and flair, Campbell helped expand the definition of music and broaden the appeal of the country genre from rural areas to the suburbs. His first Christmas album, available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years, exemplifies all these traits and includes the hit “Christmas Is For Children” and his take on “Blue Christmas” and Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper.”
Haggard’s Christmas Present, released in 1973, has the kind of depth and range you don’t expect to find on a Christmas album. There are a few crowd pleasers meant to bring holiday cheer here. But Haggard keeps it real with songs like four-week # 1, “If We Make it Through December,” a tale about the hardships of layoffs, and the lonesome “Daddy Won’t Be Home for Christmas.” It should be no surprise that Christmas Present is complex. Haggard, an accomplished storyteller who specialized in the entire human spectrum of emotions, passed away earlier this year at 79. Inspired by Johnny Cash, Haggard willed himself to stardom and can be listed as an influence for most country musicians.
Released together, these albums provide a timeless holiday listening experience that will appeal to fans of all ages.
1. Christmas Is For Children
2. Old Toy Trains
3. Little Altar Boy
4. It Must Be Getting Close To Christmas
5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
6. Blue Christmas
1. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
2. Pretty Paper
3. There’s No Place Like Home
4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
5. Christmas Day
1. If We Make It Through December
2. Santa Claus And Popcorn
3. Bobby Wants A Puppy Dog For Christmas
4. Daddy Won’t Be Home Again For Christmas
5. Grandma’s Homemade Christmas Card
1. White Christmas
2. Silver Bells
3. Winter Wonderland
4. Silent Night
5. Jingle Bells
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.