An amended, movie-related album by Garth Brooks leads a very short parade of new country Christmas packages for the 2001 season. On Tuesday (Sept. 25), Capitol Records released a new version of Brooks’ 1999 holiday collection, The Magic of Christmas. It contains three new cuts — “Call Me Claus,” “’Zat You, Santa Claus?” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Three cuts from the original album were deleted.
“Call Me Claus” and “’Zat You, Santa Claus?” (the Louis Armstrong standard) are featured in the upcoming TNT holiday special, Call Me Claus, of which Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are executive producers. The movie is scheduled to air Dec. 2 and will go on sale as a home video Dec. 11.
Most of country music’s largest labels — including Sony, Warner Bros., Mercury, Curb and Dreamworks — are not issuing new Christmas titles this year.
Here are the other debuting holiday titles and their release dates:
Lee Greenwood , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Freefalls Records, Sept. 11; Paul Overstreet , My Favorite Time of the Year, Scarlet Moon, Sept. 11; Aaron Tippin , A December to Remember and Various Artists, No Wrapping Required, Lyric Street, Sept. 18.
Michael McDonald, In the Spirit — A Christmas Album and Various Artists, Prancer Returns (from the USA Networks special set to air Nov. 21), MCA, Oct. 16; Suzy Bogguss , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, www.suzybogguss.com, Oct. 19; Dale Watson , Christmas Time in Texas, Audium, Oct. 23.
RCA Records will be selling a various artists collection, Country Christmas 2001, exclusively through Target department stores. Made up mostly of previously released material, it will contain four new cuts: Brad Paisley ’s “364 Days to Go,” Kenny Chesney ’s “Santa Claus Is Back in Town,” Sara Evans ’ “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and Diamond Rio ’s “What Child Is This?” No release date has been set.