Cody Johnson Sings “Pretty Paper” For Television Christmas Special


Cody Johnson gave us a beautiful performance of Willie Nelson’s original song, “Pretty Paper,” during the first-ever CMT Presents: A Cody Johnson Christmas.

Cody Johnson released his first Christmas album, A Cody Johnson Christmas, directly after the release of his successful double album, Human, in 2021. The album included some holiday classics as well as remakes of festive favorites made popular by other country artists like Merle Haggard (“If We Make It Through December”) and Willie Nelson (“Pretty Paper”).

The track list for A Cody Johnson Christmas

A Cody Johnson Christmas

Cody Johnson started recording his Christmas album as soon as he finished the recording for Human. He says his voice still felt healthy and he wanted to keep going. The star did just that, and recorded every song for A Cody Johnson Christmas in the same day! Cody was very hands-on when it came to picking songs for the album, but trusted Trent Willmon (Cody’s good buddy and producer) with tracking the band.

“He’s like, ‘Man, do you want me to record this without you?'” Cody shared. “And I said, ‘I trust you.'”

This allowed Johnson to play a few shows while Willmon worked on recording the band for the Christmas album. All Cody had to do is show up and record the vocals, and the album was ready to go.

While it sounds like a tiring day, Johnson shares that it was the most fun he’s had recording songs.

“I sang 10 tracks in one day,” Johnson recalled. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio.”

“Pretty Paper” Is An Original Song From Willie Nelson

This slow Christmas song was penned by Willie Nelson in 1963. Nelson played “Pretty Paper” for Fred Foster who pitched it to Roy Orbinson. Roy became the first artist to record the song, making it a hit. Willie Nelson recorded it soon after for his first-ever Christmas album using “Pretty Paper” as the title track.

Cody opened his CMT Christmas special by singing “Pretty Paper.” His performance had a scaled back arrangement, which gave his voice the chance to shine.

You could also see Cody’s beautiful wife, Brandi, singing along to the lyrics from her spot in the audience. Seeing how much she loved his performance made it extra meaningful to watch.

“Pretty Paper” has always been a beautiful song, but there’s something about Cody Johnson‘s rendition of it. You can listen to his recorded version from his 2021 Christmas album below.

Find out how to watch the full Cody Johnson Christmas special here.

Want to save this article?

Get this sent to your inbox, plus, get new articles & videos from us every week!

Sponsors / Partners

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info

Unapologetically Country

Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!