Releasing holiday albums, especially if you're a country music artist, is simply a matter of course. It is just going to happen. Period. So instead of fighting the inevitable, Season 10 "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery has decided to embrace it and get it over with. The young country singer's sophomore collection of songs will be a compilation of traditional and original Christmas and holiday tunes. In fact, Christmas with Scotty McCreery will hit stores and be available for download on October 16.
And strange as it might seem, it is the first full-length major label studio album of holiday music from a country music artist graduate of "American Idol."
It would be easy to assume that this is a false statement, that there has to be a miscalculation. One can think of several songs and albums by former "Idol" finalists. All too true -- but there are no long-form album formatted country holiday music albums released by a major label artiest.
There are also quite a few pop Christmas albums and/or traditional holiday music albums from "Idol" alumni: Clay Aiken's platinum Merry Christmas with Love, David Archeleta's Christmas from the Heart (and his featured singing on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2011 release Glad Christmas Tidings), and various lesser selling offerings from Elliott Yamin, Mandisa, Katharine McPhee and various others, including the most memorable William Hung.
But none of those constitute country music. Not even close.
Carrie Underwood, the most successful "Idol" country star, does not have a holiday album -- although if she gathered up all of the Christmas singles she's appeared on over the last seven years, she would undoubtedly have enough for an album. Perhaps two.
Kellie Pickler hasn't recorded a holiday album -- yet. She's had a Christmas hit with "Santa, Baby," though.
There are other country artist alums from "Idol" that haven't recorded one, either: Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington, Lauren Alaina, Danny Gokey, Phil Stacey, Kristy Lee Cook, and Casey James. Even if one adds Kelly Clarkson's ventures into the country genre -- still no album.
And yet, technically, at least one artist singing country music did beat Scotty to the holiday punch, although it wasn't a major label release. Season 8's Michael Sarver (tenth place) dropped a holiday album in 2010. His label, Dream Records, refused to release the collection, simply called Christmas, so he dropped it independently through iTunes.
So Christmas with Scotty McCreery will be the first major label country album of holiday tunes released by an "Idol" finalist.
Will it be the usual holiday fare? According to the singer himself, yes and no. He told The Boot in early September that the album had two original songs on it, "Christmas in Heaven" and "Christmas is Coming Around." It will also include several traditional tracks, including "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," "Let it Snow," "The Christmas Song," and "O Holy Night." And since McCreery is such an Elvis fan, he included the classic Elvis Christmas song, "Santa Is Back In Town."
The album can be pre-ordered through McCreery's website, ScottyMcCreery.com.
(photo credit: Walmart, Creative Commons)