Holiday in the stacks: A Kitty Wells Christmas Extravaganza

Holiday times can be pleasantly quiet times in Wilson Library and the Southern Folklife Collection (unlike the rest of the year when UNC is in session), but the work in the archives never stops.

In the midst of moving in new collections (like the just arrived Russ D. Bernard Collection which includes the archives of Country Music Magazine and the Journal of the American Academy for the Preservation of Old-Time Country Music), planning the upcoming Fiddle Concert and Symposium (free tickets available now), and digitization projects, we pulled a slew of holiday treats from the stacks to share. First up, from call no. 45-2168, the Queen of the Answer Song, Kitty Wells (along with the great Jordanaires) singing “Dasher With the Light Upon His Tail.” 45_2168_Dasher with the light upon his tail_Kitty Wells_Southern Folklife Collection

This isn’t really an answer song, but some bizarre attempt to usurp Rudolph’s status as the lightbringer. It comes as no surprise that this tune did not become part of the American carol canon, but it isn’t without merit.  Just listen to the Jordanaires say “Dash Away!” 45_2168_DashAway_Kitty Wells and the Jordanaires_Southern Folklife CollectionThe b-side makes up for the lackluster attempt to outshine Rudolph with a classic honky-tonk tearjerker, “Christmas Ain’t Like Christmas Anymore.”45_2168_Christmas ain’t like christmas anymore_Kitty Wells

If any of you have any favorite heartbreak holiday tunes, please do let us know. We’ll be bringing you more holiday treats throughout the week. We might even pull out Kitty Wells recipes for Cranberry Christmas Mold and Holiday Fruit Cookies from the Kitty Wells Cookbook and have a party.