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The Old Fashioned Christmas #40

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It’s our first ever Christmas show, so we took on the task of sifting the staggering number of bluegrass holiday songs down to a collection that isn’t cheesy or sticky sweet. We had to include “Christmas Time’s A Comin,” the most famous of them all, which was written by Tex Logan and recorded first by Bill Monroe in 1951. There are many versions but we settled on a fine one by Rhonda Vincent. “Breaking Up Christmas” is a favorite from old-time music, and here it’s fiddled by April Verch with Joe Newberry on banjo. I’m particularly fond of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” with its fugue like vocal, offered here by Chosen Road, and the original “Rise Up Shepherd And Follow” by Virginia folk duo Robin and Linda Williams.

Tim and Dennis Crouch - Holiday Pickin'
Rhonda Vincent - Christmas Time's A Comin’
Rick Lang - Bluegrass Holiday -
Becky Buller - O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Ashby Frank - Christmas in Virginia
Clifton Chenier - It's Christmas Time
April Verch and Joe Newberry - Breaking Up Christmas
The Barefoot Movement - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Tony Trischka - Precious Child
Matt Combs and Nate Strasser - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Wildwood Valley Boys - When It's Snowing In The Mountains
Barry and Holly Tashian - Long Long Ago
Charm City Junction - We Three Kings
Cox Family - Go Tell It On The Mountain -
Larry Sparks - Christmas in the Mountains
Chosen Road - Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
Robin and Linda Williams - Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
The Kruger Brothers - O Come All Ye Faithful

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's music news producer and host of The String, a show featuring conversations on culture, media and American music. New episodes of The String air on WMOT 89.5 in Middle Tennessee on Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. Twitter and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org