CHRISTMAS ALONE



Dave Bussey kindly sent a recording of the Christmas program to me. I  noticed he played two versions of the song ďCHRISTMAS ALONEĒ, one by Jim Reeves, the other by Red Sovine.  The Jim Reeves version first appeared on the Bear Family JIM REEVES 16 CD box set. A reproduction of the lyrics, of that version,  in Jimís handwriting, appeared in the sleeve notes of the VoiceMasters CD album Jim Reeves ďA  Christmas StarĒ. The writer of the liner notes commented that judging from the lyrics Jim wisely decided not to record that song (commercially).




The handwritten lyrics read as follows:

XMAS ALONE

No one to wish me Merry Xmas,
No one to share this New Year coming on,
I wish that I could share this laughter everywhere,
But Iím spending Xmas all alone.
I would hang my best hose,
But Iím sure that Santa knows,
Iíll be spending Xmas all alone.
Darling Iím so blue, because Iím missing you,
Iíll be glad when Xmas time is gone.
No one to wish me Merry Xmas,
No one to hang the presents on the tree.
Much as I hate to say, it will be a lonely day,
Thereís no one to share the fun with me.


Jimís scratchy acetate of the song appeared on the Bear Family 16cd boxed set. He sings a first verse not written above.


Everywhere I hear all kinds of Xmas cheer,
But itís not for me since you have gone.
It seems that Iíll be left, without a Xmas gift,
Iíll be spending Xmas all alone.



He also sings ďshare the laughter everywhereĒ and ďhang up my best hoseĒ. On the Bear boxed set, the writer was unknown.


The song was recorded by Red Sovine on 1st September 1949 and released in 1950 on MGM-10782 as a Christmas single with ďDear Mister Santa ClausĒ. Lyrics as follows:



Everywhere I hear all kinds of Christmas cheer,
But itís not for me since you have gone.
I guess that Iíll be left without a Christmas gift,
Iíll have to spend my Christmas alone.
No one to wish me Merry Christmas,
No one to share this New Year coming on.
And it seems so hard to bear, with laughter everywhere,
Cause Iím spending Christmas all alone.
 
 
There will be no fun without a certain one,
Iíll be glad when it has come and gone.
Iíll not have a tree, thereís no one here but me,
Iím just spending Christmas alone.
No one to wish me Merry Christmas,
No happiness when heartaches interfere.
So much as I hate to say, itíll be a lonely day,
Spending Christmas all alone this year.



The writers listed on this 78 are: Johnny Bailes, Al Courtney, Zeke Clements & Muriel Deason Wright (better known as Kitty Wells).

Kurt Rokitta supplied the following copyright information: The American Library of Congress data reveals the song was first registered on 10th October 1948 (EU-146-490 unpublished work) by John Jacob Bailes & A.A. Courtney. A further registration was made on 25th October 1950 (EP-50-003 published work) and this time to Messrs. Bailes, Courtney, Clements & Wright. Sometime during that two year period, the song was sold firstly to Zeke Clements (Bailes had money problems) and then on to Johnny Wright who purchased all Bailesí catalogue and who included his wife Kitty Wells on the songís credits.

To me the most logical conclusion is that the acetate demo sung by Jim Reeves on Bear Family should have Al Courtney as the writer. Jim Reeves likely 'played' with it to improve the lyrics, and recorded it for  his own personal use.   Some may  suggest that Jim also had partly written  the original song, as there are the lyrics in his handwriting , but Iím sure he would have insisted to have his name included in the copyrights if he had actually written part of the copyrighted song.

Go on and listen to these interesting two versions at one of the three broadcasts at Christmas.

 

 

The show can be heard on www.ukcountryradio.com at any of the following times:

 

Thursday Christmas Eve 24th December 2009 at 6.00 p.m.

Friday Christmas Day 25th December 2009 at 12.00 noon

Saturday Boxing Day 26th December 2009 at 8.00 a.m.