Alan Jackson’s ‘Honky Tonk Christmas’ Celebrates 30 Years As A Holiday Staple

The Christmas project is getting the vinyl treatment in honor of the occasion.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

December 20, 2023

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Alan Jackson, Denise; Honky Tonk Christmas; Photos via Facebook

Thirty years ago, Alan Jackson released Honky Tonky Christmas, a fiddle-laced, boot-stomping holiday album that remains a staple for country fans as the festive season rolls around.

Penned by Buddy Brock, Kim Williams and Zack Turner, “the song “Honky Tonk Christmas” serves as the title track of Jackson’s fourth studio album and first-ever Christmas collection. Upon its October 12, 1993 release, the project made its way onto the charts, claiming the No. 42 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200, and No. 7 on the Top Country Albums chart. Fans took a liking to the bundle of holiday tunes because, in January of 1988, Honky Tonky Christmas was certified Platinum by the RIAA. 

Listen To The Title Track

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The Project’s Popularity Spread To Movies And Other Holiday Albums

Out of the 10 tracks, “Honky Tonky Christmas,” “I Only Want You for Christmas” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas” each landed a spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album also features a cover of “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas),” an upbeat tune with a woeful storyline that was originally recorded by John Denver for his 1973 album, Farewell Andromeda.

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Along with the chart success of these tunes, Jackson’s countrified version of the classic “A Holly Jolly Christmas” appears in the soundtrack of the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, while his original “Santa’s Gonna Come in a Pickup Truck” was reimagined with the addition of Alvin and the Chipmunks on their 1994 album, A Very Merry Chipmunk.

This album was followed by another holiday project in 2002 titled, “Let It Be Christmas,” which revisits many of the Christmas classics like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” and more.

Vinyl Treatment

To commemorate the milestone anniversary of Honky Tonky Christmas, the musical icon released the holiday album on Vinyl for the first time in October of this year.

The new pressing of the vinyl is available for purchase on Alan Jackson’s official website as well as through several other retailers like Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart. 

What Does Christmas Look Like In Alan Jackson’s House?

Honky Tonky Christmas is a project that celebrates family gatherings, the fun antics that come to life as the holiday approaches, and all the traditions that are carried on year after year. Alan Jackson spoke to his record label, UMG Nashville, back in 2018 and dished on what Christmas typically looks like in his household. As he explained, the day is usually laid back as he simply enjoys the gift-giving around the tree with his wife of 44 years, Denise, and their three grown daughters, Mattie Denise, Alexandra Jane, and Dani Grace.

“Christmas is pretty traditional. We don’t let anybody open any presents until Christmas morning,” Alan shared at the time. “We don’t let them get up on their own and take off, you know, everybody has to wait and kind of get situated, and maybe have a cup of coffee, and then we start all of the regular Christmas morning activities, opening presents, taking pictures and video.”

Alan Jackson with Wife and Daughters; Photo via Instagram
Alan Jackson with Wife and Daughters; Photo via Instagram

The Country Music Hall of Famer added that Christmas tunes are also a vital part of their holiday celebration.

“We have music going, you know, I try to keep Christmas music going in the background. I like to turn that on before I let them come down to the tree and everything.”

Alan Jackson has built an incredibly successful career as a country artist with projects that showcase his Georgia roots and authentic storytelling. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, has racked up 35 No. 1 hits, and has earned two GRAMMY Awards, 16 CMA Awards, and 17 ACM Awards. 

While he said goodbye to touring with his farewell trek in 2022, Alan Jackson still makes appearances at various events and every so often will take the stage to showcase his talents.  

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.