2020's A Holly Dolly Christmas was Dolly Parton's 47th solo studio album, but only her third full-length Christmas record following the Kenny Rogers collaboration Once Upon a Christmas (1984) and solo Home for Christmas (1990). The joyful yuletide set, supported by a prime-time CBS television special, became the superstar's eighth Billboard Country chart-topper; it also reached the peak of the Holiday Albums chart and the top twenty of the Billboard 200. On October 14, the Grammy-nominated instant classic will be expanded on CD and vinyl as A Holly Dolly Christmas: Ultimate Deluxe Edition.
The seeds of A Holly Dolly Christmas were planted in 2009 with Dolly's digital single release of "Comin' Home for Christmas." When the prolific singer-songwriter finally got around to recording a whole album, that song was joined by more original tunes ("Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas" featuring Michael Bublé, "Christmas Is" with Miley Cyrus, and "You Are My Christmas" with her late brother Randy Parton), tunes from various projects ("Christmas on the Square" from Dolly's television musical of the same name, "Circle of Love" from another TV movie, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love), and Christmas standards ("Pretty Paper" with its author, Willie Nelson; "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," "Holly Jolly Christmas"). Miley's dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, appeared on "Christmas Where We Are" and Jimmy Fallon joined Dolly for a spirited take on Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff's "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
A number of singles from the album met with chart success, including "Mary Did You Know" (No. 49 Hot Christian Songs/No. 18 Christian Digital Song Sales), "Christmas on the Square" (No. 49 Holiday Digital Song Sales), and "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas" (No. 3 Holiday Digital Song Sales/No. 10 AC). A Holly Dolly Christmas was so successful that more songs not released as singles still charted on the Holiday Digital Song Sales Chart: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (No. 4), "Circle of Love" (No. 8), "Pretty Paper" (No. 12), "Christmas Is" (No. 13), "Holly Jolly Christmas" (No. 16), "You Are My Christmas" (No. 21), and "Christmas Where We Are" (No. 34). When a live rendition of "I Still Believe" from the CBS special was released, it, too, reached two charts.
The original release on Butterfly/12-Tone was issued in a variety of formats, including a cassette with the bonus track "Three Candles" and an eight-track tape with "The Wish Book." In 2021, a digital deluxe edition included those songs as well as "I Still Believe." The upcoming Ultimate Deluxe Edition, available on 1 CD or 2 white vinyl LPs, adds a total of eight bonus tracks including "Three Candles" and "The Wish Book" in their CD/vinyl debuts but not "I Still Believe." The other six bonuses include Dolly's 2004 duet with Rod Stewart of Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (a top 5 AC smash which is still played every Christmas season), plus songs from two films. Three songs premiere from Parton's score to the 1986 TV-movie A Smoky Mountain Christmas (the title track, "(I'd Like to Spend) Christmas with Santa" and "Wrapped Up in You"). The set is rounded out by two cuts from the long out-of-print soundtrack of the 1997 animated film Annabelle's Wish ("Something Bigger Than Me," "Silent Night").
"A Smoky Mountain Christmas" is currently streaming now. (Parton performed seven songs on the soundtrack of the 1986 fantasy in which she starred opposite Lee Majors; with this release, three of them will have finally seen the light of day on an album.) Look for the Ultimate Deluxe Edition of A Holly Dolly Christmas from Warner Records and Rhino on October 14 at the links below.
Dolly Parton, A Holly Dolly Christmas: Ultimate Deluxe Edition (12-Tone/Butterfly 190296823435, 2020 - reissued Warner/Rhino, 2022)
- "Holly Jolly Christmas"
- "Christmas Is" - featuring Miley Cyrus
- "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas" - Dolly Parton & Michael Bublé
- "Christmas on the Square"
- "Circle of Love"
- "All I Want for Christmas Is You" - featuring Jimmy Fallon
- "Comin' Home for Christmas"
- "Christmas Where We Are" - featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
- "Pretty Paper" - featuring Willie Nelson
- "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
- "You Are My Christmas" - featuring Randy Parton
- "Mary, Did You Know"
- "Three Candles" (*) (digital-only bonus track)
- "The Wish Book" (*) (digital-only bonus track)
- "Baby It's Cold Outside" - Duet with Rod Stewart (from Stardust: The Great American Songbook Volume 3, J Records 82876 62182 2, 2004)
- "A Smoky Mountain Christmas" (#) (from A Smoky Mountain Christmas)
- "(I'd Like To Spend) Christmas With Santa" (#) (from A Smoky Mountain Christmas)
- "Wrapped Up In You" (#) (from A Smoky Mountain Christmas)
- "Something Bigger Than Me" (+) (from Annabelle's Wish)
- "Silent Night" (+) (from Annabelle's Wish)
(*) Previously Unreleased on CD & Vinyl
(#) Previously Unreleased
(+) Previously Unreleased Digitally