Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I finally found a copy of this amazing album when it came up on eBay earlier this year - a DJ promo copy no less with an obnoxious sticker tattooed to the front cover.
The Stoneman Family (or the Stonemans) ranked among country music's most famous family bands, and were closely associated with their legendary father, Ernest "Pop" Stoneman, who played with them for a number of years. The core of the band was made up of six of Pop's thirteen children: Patsy, Scotty, Donna, Jimmy, Roni and Van.
It's a great mix of country, bluegrass, and gospel - very folksy and all Christmas. There are some great covers but the original songs are just as good - how can a song entitled "Santa Played The Autoharp" NOT be good?
Most Christmas albums are recorded in the summer for a December release. However, Pop Stoneman died on June 14, 1968. - which makes the final track very bittersweet.
Entitled "Christmas Without Dad", in any other context, this song would lend itself to derision and some snickering. Knowing about Pop's death, I dare you to listen and not to shed tears.
The Stonemans - A Stoneman Christmas