American singer and actor Elvis Presley promoting the movie Loving You, written and directed by Hal Kanter.
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Elvis Presley Gets Country Star Duet Partner for 'Blue Christmas' Redux

A country star with a strong baritone delivery sang one with the King.

Last November, Kane Brown crooned Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" for an Amazon Original release. That recording reached a respectable No. 73 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. This year, some studio magic made Brown a duet partner of Presley for a twanged-up redux of one of the most iconic holiday songs in pop history.

Modernized elements make the mashup sound more traditionally country. As for how Brown stacks up against the King, he holds his own while demonstrating the baritone delivery he learned from studying the catalog of hero turned friend Randy Travis. Listen here.

Brown has named Presley as one of his favorite vocalists because of classics like "Blue Christmas."

"Elvis was just his own thing, man," Brown told The New York Times in 2022. "My nana was a huge Elvis fan; I remember she used to have this crazy bedazzled Elvis purse she would take everywhere, that was just his face blown up on a purse. As I got older, I started listening to his music, and if you really listen, he's not scared to do anything. I find myself trying to sound like him all the time, on 'Blue Christmas' or 'Hound Dog.' However long this world goes on, he'll still be talked about.

"Blue Christmas" entered the country music canon before Presley's 1957 version with the Jordanaires. Singing cowboy Doye O'Dell recorded it first in 1948. The following year, Ernest Tubb released a rendition that went on to become a No. 1 country hit. A 1960 version by country-pop trio The Browns cracked Billboard's Hot 100.

According to Classic Country Music Stories, Jay W. Johnson wrote the song lyrics on his commuter train from his home in Connecticut to New York City. He had been writing jingles for the radio and was inspired by some of the seasonal hits at the time like "White Christmas." He took the idea to his composer friend Billy Hayes and together they put the finishing touches on the song.

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