New York, New York (PressExposure) December 23, 2011 -- "Christmas Without You," a song that country legend Patsy Cline commissioned but never got to record, landed at No. 15 this week on Europe's prestigious Hotdisc Top 40 chart. The tune now belongs to Luanne Hunt, who has recorded several songs by former writers for Cline, Lawton Jiles and Buster Beam ("Let The Teardrops Fall," "Crazy Dreams," "How Can I Face Tomorrow?"). The duo wrote "Christmas Without You" in 1960 upon Cline's request.
"I've always believed if Patsy would have recorded 'Christmas Without You' it would have become a holiday standard," said Jiles, who began his music career in a band with Buck Owens. "It's the kind of Christmas song you hear once and want to sing along. It's very simple, but the simple songs are usually the ones people love the most."
Jiles says when he and Beam played "Christmas Without You" for Cline, she went crazy for it and immediately took it to her record label representatives. They loved it too, but had other ideas for the catchy tune. At the time, they were looking for Patsy's next single and thought the melody of the Jiles-Beam creation had hit potential. So they asked the writers if they would pen new lyrics for the song with a non-holiday theme.
Jiles and Beam quickly came up with new words and the title "How Can I Face Tomorrow?" The song was released within a few weeks, but despite heavy television and radio promotion, it only made a modest showing on the Cashbox Country Charts.
Jiles said he and Patsy were extremely disappointed "Christmas Without You" wasn't recorded in its original form. He hoped another artist would record it someday.
Over fifty years later Jiles finally got his wish courtesy of Hunt, an award-winning, Grammy-balloted artist on Star Creek Records. Jiles says Hunt's rendition of "Christmas Without You" will bring a tear to the eye of every Patsy Cline fan, reminding them of how much the songbird wanted to give them a musical gift for the holidays.
"I got a rush when I first heard Luanne's recording of 'Christmas Without You,'" said Jiles. "The song's been in my head for years and to hear it done the way I always envisioned it is very exciting. It's a perfect blend of the traditional and the contemporary."
"Christmas Without You" was produced by Eric Uglum (Alison Krauss, Ron Block, Ralph Stanley, Cherryholmes and Nickel Creek). It features an impressive twin-fiddle performance by teen sensation Christian Ward, who has shared the stage with Ricky Skaggs and currently tours with Rounder Records artist Sierra Hull. Also on the single are Austin Ward (upright bass), Roger Gillespie (drums), Hal Ratliff (keyboards) and Uglum (guitar, mandolin and harmony vocals).
"I'll never forget the day I recorded "Christmas Without You," said Hunt. "I was standing there at the studio mic hoping that Patsy was smiling down on me. I know her version would have been phenomenal, but I hope her fans will accept my recording and see it mostly as a tribute to one of the greatest country artists there ever was or ever will be."
"Christmas Without You" is included on Hunt's six-song holiday EP, "How Christmas Feels To Me." To hear more tracks from the EP or to purchase your copy, go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/luannehunt12 or http://www.luannehunt.com. View the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7txbkE2FsU.