Kenny Chesney Recalls “Awesome” Feeling Recording “Christmas in Dixie” with Randy Owen

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During his formative years in East Tennessee, Kenny Chesney loved the now-classic “Christmas in Dixie,” the 1982 release from Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama.

“Growin’ up in the South, I can just remember hearin’ that a lot,” he recalls. “I mean, every Christmas, you heard Alabama. You heard Randy Owen singing ‘Christmas in Dixie.’ And it was just one of those songs that… you know, my hometown radio station played every year. And I just always remember lovin’ that song.”

When the artist with 2015’s most successful tour made his own holiday album a dozen years ago, he also created a lasting yuletide memory, when the lead singer of the legendary band from the Heart of Dixie joined him on his record.

“I got into the music business and was able to get to know Randy and Mark [Herndon], Teddy [Gentry] and Jeff [Cook]. They just mean so much to me. And you know, to have Randy come in and to lend his voice to one of my records was just an awesome feelin’. Somethin’ that I’ll be able to have forever. It’s pretty cool.

2003’s All I Want for Christmas Is A Real Good Tan also includes cameos from Willie Nelson on his standard, “Pretty Paper,” and The Grigsby Twins on “Silent Night.” If you’ve never heard of the duo, it’s because it’s Kenny’s mom Karen and her sister, Sharon.

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