Many country artists over the years have recorded wonderful Christmas albums that become favorites for their fans during the holiday season. These are five of my favorite country Christmas albums that feature a wide variety of standard holiday tunes and new classics.
Merry Christmas Strait to You – George Strait. Released in 1986, this classic country Christmas album includes Strait’s version of the Keith Whitley-co-written “There’s a New Kid in Town,” as well as the Hank Cochran/Harlan Howard-written “What a Merry Christmas This Could Be.” The title track was a new instant holiday classic, as was “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas.” The album also featured standards like “Frosty the Snowman,” “White Christmas,” and “Away in a Manger” among its ten tracks.
Merry Christmas from London – Lorrie Morgan featuring the New World Philharmonic. This beautiful album is one I have to pull out and listen to multiple times every holiday season. Released in 1993, Morgan’s album features standard like “O Holy Night” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” plus a medley of many Christmas standards with country legend Tammy Wynette and a cover of a song her father George Morgan wrote, “Up On Santa Claus Mountain.” Unique in their inclusion: the opening track “My Favorite Things” and the closing track “Ave Maria,” though both are beautifully done by one of country music’s great voices.
Merry Christmas to You – Reba McEntire. McEntire’s first Christmas album in 1987, it features many traditional Christmas tunes, including “Away in a Manger,” “Silent Night,” and “The Christmas Song,” plus a lively version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” “(her version is one of my favorite Christmas songs ever). Also included: the spoken-word “The Christmas Guest,” made popular by Grandpa Jones.
It Won’t Be Christmas Without You – Brooks & Dunn. The duo made only one Christmas album in their 20-year career, but they did it right, with a perfect combination of standards (“Winter Wonderland,” “The Christmas Song,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”) and new titles (“Hangin’ ‘Round the Mistletoe” and “Rockin’ Little Christmas”).
The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection – Taylor Swift. This Target Stores exclusive six-song release from 2007 includes two classics (“Silent Night” and “White Christmas”), two recent Christmas hits (“Santa Baby” and George Michael’s “Last Christmas”), and two tracks written or co-written by Swift (“Christmases When You Were Mine” and “Christmas Must Be Something More”). As she grows up, she’s sure to record a full-length Christmas album, hopefully with the beauty of this one.