One of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is to put on a Christmas movie or an old-time TV special with a big cup of hot chocolate and enjoy some classics.
One of the best TV Christmas specials out there is the Johnny Cash and Family Special from 1978. The Johnny Cash Show was a staple of the late ’60s and ’70s during the country music TV show era. And boy, did they go all out of the holidays.
During this year’s holiday special, they had guests like Steve Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and more.
The special opens with Cash singing “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away,” which is absolutely phenomenal.
After a grand opening, Cash talks about why they hosted their Christmas show in California instead of Tennessee that year. Steve Martin then comes in with a great comedic bit about his and Cash’s friendship.
The special is forty-five minutes of skits and great music. But some of the musical performances I will rewind repeatedly are Kristofferson and Cash performing “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and Rita Coolidge performing “Love Me Again.”
Rita Coolidge’s voice is smooth, deep, and she nails every note. The sad love story of “Love Me Again” is a classic.
The Christmas show wraps up with Johnny with his six daughters, “Silent Night.” The harmonies are incredible. The layers they put on the classic Christmas song make it feel like you are hearing it while at a big family gathering. Musical talent clearly ran in the family.
If you want something to pass the time this Christmas Eve, this special is a great way to spend it.
From all of us at Whiskey Riff, Merry Christmas y’all.