For Lisa Layne, Sept. 27, 1989 would mean more than simply her 27th birthday. She to be standing in ~ the microphone in ~ Nashville’s Masterfonics recording studio. Adjacent were few of the town’s ideal studio musicians prepared to record a brand-new bluesy Christmas song. The recording would certainly be provided under the name of a retro rock and also roll band the originated in brand-new Orleans, Vince Vance and also the Valiants.

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As the tape began to roll, a funky, yet melancholic saxophone solo presented the song until the suggest when Lisa Layne leaned into the microphone and also began come sing:

Take back the holly and mistletoe

silver- bells ~ above string

If I composed a letter come Santa Claus

I would ask for simply one thing…

Here was among those moments as soon as greatness was accomplished – in a solitary take. The song, “All I want for Christmas is You” is among the peak selling Christmas songs in the world, and also arguably the holiday’s ideal pop tune ever.

ns don’t need sleigh rides in the snow

Don’t want a Christmas that’s blue

Take earlier the tinsel, stockings and bow

‘cause every I want for Christmas is you.

Layne to be born in Tyler, Texas but her household moved to Dallas when she was three. Due to the fact that her father was a musician, music was component of her heritage. ~ graduating native high college she performed v her very own band until she was scouted through the Valiants, who operations were separation between new Orleans and also Dallas.

“All I desire for Christmas is You” was written by new Orleanian Andy Stone, who plays the function of Vance, the rock geek with the pointy hairdo, and guitarist troy Powers. Stone was motivated to write the tune in 1973 once he to be touring with the band and also spent a lonely Christmas in a Columbus, Ohio motel room. His words would certainly dig deep into the emotions that the season specifically when Layne erupts after ~ a seductive mid-song sax solo:

ns don’t require expensive things

they don’t matter to me

all that ns want, can’t it is in found

under the Christmas tree

I had come to be so captivated by the song, and its anonymous singer, that through the coming of each Christmas season I wanted to interview her. With the help of a Valiant ns was lastly able to make contact a couple of year ago: “I never gained a coin for the recording,” Layne recalled, nor to be her surname on the label. She to be an employee for the band just doing she job. Couple of Valiants were affiliated in the session, which contained mostly Nashville musicians record under the Valiants' name. The song, nevertheless, would become world well known with Lisa Layne together the powerful, however mysterious voice.

There is a Grinch in this Christmas story. That is singer Mariah Carey. In 1994, five years after ~ the Vince Vance recording, Carey released a tune with the very same name. The Carey version is totally different, however the message of love and longing is the same. “I guess they had actually the ideal to use the name,” Layne conceded, despite grudgingly. The Carey song comes i do not have anything near capturing the moodiness that Layne’s Joplinesque performance.

After leave the Valiants, Layne resolved for a when in Nashville. If there is one human being in country music background that anyone that tries to imitate has to be really, really an excellent it is Patsy Cline, the best female voice the the genre ever before produced. For two years Layne play the lead role in a national tour of a “Closer Walk v Patsy Cline.” She is just one of only a few performers to have actually been endorsed through the Patsy Cline foundation as being worthy of play the stellar role.

When i interviewed she Layne was spending most of her time in Branson, Missouri. Boo Miller, who backed she on the steel guitar, likewise assumed the duties of manager and also “permanent partner.”

Now she is working mostly out of Texas, despite she did have actually a Dec. 1 gig in Gretna performing “A Patsy Cline Christmas.”

She has actually a website under her name, which in ~ least gives pictures come go with her voice.

Amazingly, for every the anonymity the the original version, “All I want for Christmas is You” is still the track that most identifies her.

“Someone we knew in Amsterdam as soon as called,” Layne said, “to speak they heard it there. Sometimes throughout Christmas my mother calls saying, ‘Guess what I simply heard on the radio!’ “

Let’s see, might the song mommy heard finish like this?

You space the point of view atop my tree

You space my dream come true

Santa can’t carry me what i need

‘cause every I desire for Christmas is you.

Vince Vance’s words, and Lisa Layne’s delivery, will certainly reverberate because that as lengthy as there is Christmas—and loneliness.


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles the the brand-new Orleans Carnival” (Pelican publishing Company, 2013), is obtainable at neighborhood bookstores and at publication web sites.

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WATCH informed SOURCES, FRIDAYS in ~ 7 P.M., repeated AT 11:30 P.M. WYES-TV, CH. 12.