Patsy Cline is one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists in country music history. She really paved the way for both women in country music and country stars crossing over to pop radio. Her short career left its mark on the world. While she was alive she released three albums and never got the chance to do a Christmas song.
She did, however, want to record one. In fact, in the summer of 1960, she reached out to songwriters Lawton Jiles and Buster Beam to write a Christmas song for her. They delivered. The song was called “Christmas Without You.”
Patsy Cline took the song to her record company and instead of letting her record the Christmas song, they altered it. They were looking for a year-round hit. So, they stripped all mention of Christmas out and made it a sad love song. What they came up with was “How Can I Face Tomorrow.” The song was not a big hit.
Decades later, an independent songwriter named Luanne Hunt got her hands on the original song and finally recorded what would have been Patsy Cline’s Christmas classic.
If you listen to the two songs, you can see the similarities. The melody and even some of the lyrics are the same. Luanne Hunt has a great voice and performs the song beautifully.
However, if you listen really closely you can hear how much of a shame it is that Patsy Cline never got to record the original version of this song.
Speculation About Patsy Cline’s Lost Christmas Song
“Christmas Without You” is a beautiful and sad Christmas song. It could be right up there with “Blue Christmas” in terms of holiday tunes about pining for a lost love. Imagine if the label would have let her record the original version of the song. With a proper release date, there’s almost no way it wouldn’t have been a hit.
It could have been added to several classic country Christmas playlists. instead, the song she released hardly charted and is largely forgotten. It’s a shame that she wasn’t able to follow her heart as an artist and give her fans and country music in general another classic tune.
As it stands, Luanna Hunt does a solid version. Her voice is a great fit for the song and that fiddle sounds so beautifully lonesome. So, it’s not a complete loss at the end of the day.