BORN Country Takes A Look Back At 10 Favorite Country Christmas Albums Of The 90’s!
Country music stars and Christmas music have always gone hand in hand. Heck, some of the most well known renditions of famous Christmas songs have been recorded by country music artists. Classic recordings that first come to mind are the likes of Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” Elmo & Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” Bobby Helms with “Jingle Bell Rock” and of course, Gene Autry’s original recording of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Throughout the 90’s, it seemed almost a given that if you were on the country music charts, you were recording a Christmas album. With that being said, there were so many albums to consider for this list. Holiday records from George Strait, Suzy Boggus, Reba and more fell just short of the cut, which I think may have actually put some mental stress on me…
However, these following albums are amongst the absolute “must-haves” for this holiday season. Did your favorite Christmas albums of the 90’s make the cut?
10. The Tractors – Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas (1995)
My two favorite songs from The Tractors’ 1995 Christmas album are not traditional by any means, but they are certainly holiday musts on the BORN Country playlist. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ (In A Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train)” is of course a play on their 1994 smash hit, “Baby Likes To Rock It” and “The Santa Claus Boogie” is a blast just the same. If you haven’t heard these songs since the mid-90’s, I have a feeling your memory will be jogged immediately upon revisiting.
9. Vince Gill – Let There Be Peace On Earth (1993)
If this were a list of top Christmas songs, I don’t know if many would surpass Vince Gill’s recording of “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” a duet with his daughter Jenny. The album strangely received negative feedback from critics in 1993, however, the album reached #1 on Billboard’s Top Holiday Albums list of that year.
8. Lorrie Morgan – Merry Christmas From London (1993)
Before we get to the music, for whatever reason, the album cover for Lorrie Morgan’s 1993 release has always stood out in my memory. While Morgan’s Christmas outing is full of great holiday cheer, the standout is a medley of classics titled “A Christmas Festival” which includes “Jingle Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Deck the Halls”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “Joy to the World”, “Silent Night” and “The First Noel,” all in which Lorrie in joined by country music legend Tammy Wynette.
7. Joe Diffie – Mr. Christmas (1995)
Every once in a while, an artist releases an original Christmas song that really sticks. If you don’t get a kick out of Joe Diffie’s “LeRoy The Redneck Reindeer,” you may be doing Christmas wrong. Don’t let this humorous single fool you; Mr. Christmas is most definitely a holiday treasure. Diffie puts his Oklahoma spin on Christmas staples like “Let It Snow! Let Its Snow! Let It Snow!,” “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song” and more!
6. Sammy Kershaw – Christmas Time’s A-Comin’ (1994)
Sammy Claus delivers a fun collection of Christmas cheer with his 1994 holiday album! This is the only album on the list that includes “Frosty The Snowman” and “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” but perhaps even more notably, the title track “Christmas Time’s A-Comin'” which was originally recorded by bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. Another standout track is “Up On The Rooftop” in which his daughter Erin joins in.
5. Clint Black – Looking For Christmas (1995)
As far as I can recall, Clint Black’s Looking For Christmas was the first holiday album that I ever owned. If you aren’t familiar with Clint’s “Til Santa’s Gone (Milk And Cookies)” you have been missing out on one of the great original Christmas songs to come out of the 90’s decade!
4. John Berry – O Holy Night (1995)
John Berry’s incredible vocal performance on “O Holy Night” is incredible enough alone to put his 1995 Christmas album of the same name on this list. Add to that a handful of untouchable recordings of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Away In A Manger” and you have an absolute necessarily holiday collection.
3. Alan Jackson – Honky Tonk Christmas (1993)
Alan Jackson’s first outing of Christmas tunes more than lives up to the album’s title. Covers of country Christmas classics like Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December,” a “duet” with the late Keith Whitley in “There’s A New Kid In Town” and a Jackson original with “I Only Want You For Christmas” makes this an overall holiday gem. Of course, the only appearance of Alvin & The Chipmunks on our list takes this record over the top.
2. Garth Brooks – Garth Brooks And The Magic Of Christmas (1999)
Garth Brooks released two great Christmas albums throughout the 90’s. Beyond The Season came in 1992 and could have easily been included on this list as well. The Magic Of Christmas, though, is definitely the more fun of the two. Garth opens his 1999 release with “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” which may in fact be my favorite version of this holiday classic. For my ears, everything after that is Christmas icing on the cake.
1. Martina McBride – White Christmas (1998)
This is a given. Before I even put much thought into which albums would make this list, Martina McBride’s White Christmas is unchallenged as the best country Christmas album of the 90’s. I can’t remember a Christmas season that I didn’t go out of my way to hear Martina’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” McBride’s White Christmas has been re-issued a number of times, adding and subtracting songs here and there, but most notable, the addition of a “duet” with Elvis Presely on “Blue Christmas.” The music video is an absolute MUST.
Did your favorite 90’s Christmas album make our Top 10? What did we leave off? Tell us in the comments below!