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Playing the piano, and then later taking up the guitar, Whitley delivers haunting vocals on this heartbreaking song about a boy who just wants peace on Earth for Christmas.
Recorded just a few years before his untimely death, this song has much more meaning now that he’s passed. His version of this song was included on A Country Christmas, Volume 4 in 1990, which was released a year-and-a-half after his death.
The full track listing for this album is as follows:
Dolly Parton – “Winter Wonderland” & “Sleigh Ride” medley
Charley Pride – “Christmas Without Mary”
Ed Bruce – “Christmas Started With A Child”
The Judds – “Who Is This Babe”
Keith Whitley – “A Christmas Letter”
Pake McEntire – “Santa Are You Coming To Atlanta”
Eddy Raven – “Santa Claus Is Coming For Christmas”
Hillary Kanter – “California Christmas”
He sings about how he asks Santa for more love, peace, and no hungry children, instead of material things most children ask Santa for.
The emotive storytelling prowess of Whitley shines through “A Christmas Letter,” painting a vivid picture of love, hope, and longing. The sincerity in his delivery, coupled with the heartfelt lyrics, creates a deeply moving experience, making it a standout track not just within Whitley’s repertoire, but within the landscape of Christmas music as a whole. The song’s ability to evoke emotions of love, loss, and the yearning for connection amidst the holiday season has solidified its place as a touching and timeless addition to the Christmas music canon.
His performance is absolutely incredible and it further proves just how legendary he is.
Watch the incredible, rare performance below.