Eddie Montgomery spent Christmases in Kentucky with siblings and fellow country music talents John Michael (a '90s country great and the father of rising Nashville star Walker Montgomery) and Becky (Dillon Carmichael's mother and musical collaborator).
Back in the day, a cornpone holiday song that seemed omnipresent in the '80s bonded the talented Montgomery siblings with past generations.
"Man, one of our favorite songs growing up was 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,'" Montgomery told Wide Open Country. "We thought it was funny, my grandmothers thought it was funny. You can't beat it."
Dr. Elmo Shropshire and then-wife Patsy Trigg learned "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" in the late '70s from its songwriter, Randy Brooks. Elmo & Patsy first recorded the song in 1979 while living in San Francisco. The over-the-top tale of holiday season hit-and-run brought even more levity to playlists dominated by comparably serious tales about Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
What started off as a regional hit spun on country radio stations became a widespread phenomenon by 1983. If that reads like hyperbole, consider this: "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" was more popular for several years in the '80s than the undisputed king of Christmas songs, Bing Crosby's "White Christmas."
Elmo & Patsy weren't just moonlighting as country performers for the sake of a novelty song. They cut a serious bluegrass album together in 1974. Before that, the couple played bluegrass, gospel and country music together in the band Homestead Act.
Montgomery formed hit-making country act Montgomery Gentry in 1999 with the late Troy Gentry.
Montgomery Gentry added to the sarcastic holiday songbook when the duo covered Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas From the Family." In 2001, Montgomery Gentry's version cracked the Top 40 of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.