Reworked Brooks Album Leads Country Holiday Releases

Lee Greenwood, Michael McDonald also issuing Christmas discs.

An amended, movie-related album by Garth Brooks leads a short parade of new country Christmas packages for the 2001 season.

On Tuesday, Capitol Records released a new version of Brooks' 1999 holiday collection, The Magic of Christmas. It contains three new cuts — "Call Me Claus," "'Zat You, Santa Claus?" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Three cuts from the original album were deleted.

"Call Me Claus" and "'Zat You, Santa Claus?," a Louis Armstrong standard, are featured in the upcoming TNT holiday special "Call Me Claus," of which Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are executive producers. The movie is scheduled to air December 2 and will go on sale as a home video December 11.

Most of country music's largest labels — including Sony, Warner Bros., Mercury, Curb and DreamWorks — are not issuing new Christmas titles this year.

RCA will be selling a collection titled Country Christmas 2001 through Target department stores. Made up mostly of previously released material, it will contain four new cuts: Brad Paisley's "364 Days to Go," Kenny Chesney's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town," Sara Evans' "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and Diamond Rio's "What Child Is This?" No release date has been set.

Other holiday titles and their release dates:

  • Lee Greenwood - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (September 11)
  • Paul Overstreet - My Favorite Time of the Year (September 11)
  • Aaron Tippin - A December to Remember (September 18)
  • Various artists - No Wrapping Required (September 18)
  • Michael McDonald - In the Spirit — A Christmas Album (October 16)
  • Various artists - Prancer Returns (October 16)
  • Suzy Bogguss - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (October 19)
  • Dale Watson - Christmas Time in Texas (October 23)