This Christmas memory comes from Paul Williams, one of bluegrass music’s true legends – both as a songwriter and a tenor singer.
The year was 1957, November… I had just gone to work for Jimmy Martin in Detroit, Michigan. I had been released from active duty in the U.S. Air Force in October, and received a phone call from “The King” to come and work for him.
That Christmas, 1957, Jimmy asked me to go with him and his family to Sneedville, TN to spend Christmas. It had only been about seven weeks since I had been home with my parents, so I accepted Jimmy’s offer and went along with him. I got to meet his family – his brothers and sisters, his mother and his step-father.
It was a snowy time, cold, and I noticed how much these folks enjoyed being together, exchanging gifts, great food and so much joy all around. That’s what prompted me to write a Christmas song that we later recorded. Old Fashioned Christmas was a big seller, very popular on the radio and juke boxes. It still brings in a few royalties today, and that will be fifty years ago come 2008.
Five years later I married Jimmy’s youngest sister and we celebrated our 45th anniversary this past year.
God has truly Blessed our lives. We have one son, four granddaughters, and a wonderful daughter-in-law. Merry Christmas to everybody.