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ABC to Re-Air CMA Country Christmas Dec. 22

Posted by on 12/15/2010

By Wendy Pearl
© 2010 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
“CMA Country Christmas,” hosted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, airs for a second time Wednesday, Dec. 22 (9:30-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Viewers now have a second opportunity to experience the music, memories, and stories of the season with some of our format’s biggest stars and their families,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore. “Fans have been calling since the original airing asking for more, and we are glad to give it to them.”
Artists who perform in the special and share with fans their favorite holiday traditions include Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Reba, LeAnn Rimes, Darius Rucker and Sugarland.
The special was taped in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena on a stage with beautifully lit, giant Christmas trees, wrapped packages and huge ornaments that hung overhead. Many of the thousands of fans in attendance reflected the theme with Santa hats and other seasonal attire.
The performances are outstanding, but some of the most insightful and fun moments of the program are interviews with several of the artists and their children including Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts and his daughter Brittany talking about Taylor Swift; Rucker leading his children Cary, Dani, and Jack, in a chorus of “Jingle Bells”; and McBride with her girls Ava, Delaney, and Emma talking about decorating for the holidays.
Other highlights include rare footage of 12-year-old Paisley strumming a guitar and singing the first song he ever composed, “Born on Christmas Day,” which received an affectionate tease from Nettles, who observed, “Might I add, you have really grown into your ears!” Paisley then offered an acoustic version of “What Child Is This” and later provided a blistering guitar groove to Crow’s cover of “Run Run Rudolph.”
Pulling heartstrings on the homefront, Rascal Flatts included messages to our military heroes recorded at Fort Campbell Air Force base during their salute of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with hand printed signs and messages for loved ones serving overseas. Another highlight was their impeccable harmonies on a jazz-influenced arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”
McBride received standing ovations from the audience at Bridgestone Arena for her soaring renditions of “Oh, Holy Night” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Rucker performed an original composition with a Frank Sinatra-like coolness that is sure to become a holiday classic, “Candy Cane Christmas.” 
Little Big Town performed a stunning version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” as well as provided their signature harmonies to a Sugarland performance of “Winter Wonderland.” Sugarland also delivered a stunning performance of “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.”
The special featured plenty of lighthearted moments, too, including blond-trussed vixen Pickler in a red, satin gown performing “Santa Baby”; Reba, surrounded by eight swooning Santas, singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”; Rimes’ moving rendition of Irvin Berlin’s “White Christmas” and rollicking take on the Brenda Lee classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” complete with dancing sailors; and of course, the full cast finale of “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Fans can celebrate the holiday season online with their favorite Country artists, who share their most memorable holiday anecdotes at  Video vignettes and exclusive behind-the-scenes stories and interviews are available to view at

“CMA Country Christmas” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer, Paul Miller is the director and David Wild is the writer. The special was shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.