Songwriters Under the Covers with Victoria Shaw

S2 E7 | FULL EPISODE

Songwriters Under the Covers Holiday Special

Chart-toppers Jim Brickman and Dave Barnes will get you in the holiday spirit with festive performances and heartwarming stories. Hits include “God Gave Me You” “The Christmas Song” and “ Christmas Tonight.” Anita Cochran and Wendy Moten are guests.

AIRED: December 02, 2020 | 0:54:31
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you so much!

Thank you.

[ Plays keyboard ]

♪♪

♪ I hear Christmastime in Rio

♪ Is sand and ocean, indigo

♪ So why don't we go?

♪ I hear Christmastime in Paris ♪

♪ Is crème brûlée and a Champagne kiss ♪

♪ Tell me, who would miss us if we got on a plane ♪

♪ And spent the holiday

♪ Away?

♪ Baby, let's go

♪ Don't say no, pack the mistletoe ♪

♪ And don't forget the stockings on the mantel ♪

♪ Who needs a tree?

♪ You and me, how sweet that would be ♪

♪ Celebrating intercontinental

♪ Celebrating Christmas 'round the world ♪

♪♪

♪ I hear Christmastime in London ♪

♪ Is carolers outside of Harvey Nichs ♪

♪ Baby, what a kick

♪ Maybe Mexico or Spain

♪ Tokyo or Saint-Tropez

♪ Let's just get away

♪ Baby, let's go

♪ Don't say no, pack the mistletoe ♪

♪ And don't forget the stockings on the mantel ♪

♪ Who needs a tree?

♪ You want me, how sweet that would be ♪

♪ Celebrating intercontinental

♪ Celebrating Christmas 'round the world ♪

♪♪

♪ Even Santa would agree

♪ It's exactly what we need.

♪ So why shouldn't we?

♪ Oh, baby, let's go

♪ Don't say no, pack the mistletoe ♪

♪ And don't forget the stockings on the mantel ♪

♪ Who needs a tree?

♪ You and me, how sweet that would be ♪

♪ Celebrating intercontinental

♪ Celebrating Christmas 'round the world ♪

♪ Celebrating Christmas 'round the wooooooorld ♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you!

Everybody needs a samba Christmas song,

a Christmas song you can samba to.

Well, welcome to "Songwriters Under the Covers,"

a very, very special holiday edition.

For those of you who have never seen this show

in its normal form,

it's basically the same thing but a little bit more enhanced,

where I have wonderful, talented songwriter guests --

friends, really -- who will sing you some Christmas songs,

holiday songs, that you probably will recognize,

and maybe some of it will be brand-new, like this one.

And we're just gonna celebrate the holiday spirit

in songwriter style.

Okay, so this next guest is one of those times where I say,

"I've known this guest forever."

Okay, I haven't known him forever,

but we met about 20 years ago.

We were set up to write with our friend Billy Mann,

and that first writing session yielded

a number-one Christmas song.

So after that, it was basically, you know, love at first write.

And we've been writing and performing and playing together

and just being buddies ever since.

He has had multiple Grammy nominations.

He's had 32 top-20 Billboard-charted singles.

-Geez Louise. -Yes. That's a lot, yes.

He -- listen to this.

He has over 7 million streams a week.

I think that's on Pandora alone.

And he's so popular that he was even the answer

to a "Jeopardy!" question. Okay?

-Yeah, that's it, right there. -You know you're popular.

He is for real, the best-selling solo artist of all time.

I mean, his distinctive style has been captivating audiences

for almost 30 years, especially his Christmas shows,

which I've toured with.

They are very, very special,

so I had to have him on this show.

Please welcome my buddy Jim Brickman.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I wrote that intro, you know.

That was good.

I thought it was me up until the very end, so...

[ Laughs ]

Oh, I've got an intro coming for you. Okay, good.

No, it's true. Whenever we think of --

when it gets to be around July, we think,

"Let's write a Christmas song." It's true.

Well, most people do write in the summer

because then people record them for the winter.

-It is great to be here. -I'm so glad you're here.

I've been wanting to do it for a really long time.

And it's a really special thing

because when you have all these amazing guests,

everybody brings something different.

And I actually have -- Victoria was asking me

to do the show many times, but I wanted to wait

until Christmas because that's where we have all the hits.

I mean, Christmas is Jim Brickman.

Jim Brickman is Christmas.

How could I not save the holiday special for you?

Thank you.

We've done a lot of those tours together.

Yeah, we've lived on a bus together.

-We have. -I was in the bu--

Well, You were on top of me I think. Excuse me?

You were -- I mean in the bunk above.

You slept in the bunk above me, but yeah.

So play a song and per--

-Oh, I'm gonna play a song? -Yes, you go first.

Oh, okay, I go first.

This is a song that Victoria and I sang on the holiday tour

that for some reason

Victoria could just never get this song.

It was like -- because I think you said,

like, "Every chorus is different,

and that doesn't make any sense."

No, it confused me. It confused me.

Because, of course, Victoria has to

dissect my songwriting as well.

In real time, while she's singing.

"You shouldn't have done this, by the way.

♪ Ooh-ooh I don't like this."

No, but especially at the holiday season,

it's all about the things that are the simple things.

It's not about the gifts under the tree.

It's not -- you know, it's all about the time

we get a chance to spend together.

And to to many of us, those are the simple things.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Hey, Christmas day, snowflakes fly ♪

♪ It's the dream of every child ♪

♪ Santa's sleigh across the sky ♪

♪ And all that really matters in this crazy world ♪

♪ Is you and I together, baby, just remember ♪

♪ The first lights on our tree, the way you look at me ♪

♪ The north winds blow, the church bells ring ♪

♪ The simple things are free

♪ The wondrous shining star

♪ The love that fills our hearts ♪

♪ The gift is in the simple things ♪

♪ The simple things just are

♪ So here we go

♪ Let's just dance

♪ Teach my soul to take this chance ♪

♪ Put my heart in your hand

♪ And hold me in your arms before this golden fire ♪

♪ Warming every morn of this cold December ♪

♪ The winter's moonlight blue, the miracle of you ♪

♪ Hark the herald angels sing

♪ The simple things ring true

♪ The wondrous shining star

♪ The love that fills our hearts ♪

♪ The gift is in the simple things ♪

♪ The simple things just are

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ The winter's moonlight blue, the miracle of you ♪

♪ Hark the herald angels sing

♪ The simple things ring true

♪ The wondrous shining star

♪ The love that fills our hearts ♪

♪ The gift is in the simple things ♪

♪ The simple things just are

♪♪

♪ The simple things just are

♪♪

Yeah! [ Cheers and applause ]

I love that song.

I love to listen to it more than I like to sing it.

And you wrote that with Beth Nielsen Chapman, right?

I did, yes, and Darrell Brown.

Oh, right. Ilove that song.

Yay! All right.

Well, I get to introduce my next songwriter, my next guest.

When you reach out to somebody during a pandemic

and ask them to be on your TV show,

you're really not sure if you're gonna get

a yay, a nay, or "what are you, cray-cray"?

You know, like, what, are you crazy?

But I was so happy

when this incredible singer/songwriter said yes.

I was thrilled.

Now, and so many times I introduce people

as my oldest, dearest friend.

We've known each other for a while, not super well,

but I did get your cell number,

so that's the reason I was able to ask him,

which is the important thing.

But he is -- ugh, my God -- a Grammy-nominated songwriter.

I'm gonna read some of my notes here.

Besides having his own successful albums,

which are dreamy and amazing,

he's had songs recorded by people like Blake Shelton,

Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Marc Broussard,

Tim McGraw, Reba, I think Lady A.

I mean, it's -- he's got a long list

of very talented friends

who love him just as much as I do.

Please give a warm welcome to Mr. Dave Barnes.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you.

I'm so happy you're here.

Well, thanks for having me. Absolutely.

Not many people know that I just showed up with a guitar.

I wasn't supposed to be here, but I found out

they were taping tonight and I thought,

I'm just gonna stand here till she asks me.

That's what happened. It was really odd.

But you were kind of let me on. I did threaten her with hugs,

which right now are a threat.

But, yeah, this is so fun.

And Jim, I mean, we --

I don't know that we've met formally,

-We've never met. -Oh, you're kidding.

But we did a demo recording.

You sang a demo recording of a song that Vic and I wrote.

Thank you. Oh, y'all wrote that.

-That's a small world. -Isn't that weird?

-And you've never met? -But we never met.

Well, see, now it's a musical matchmaking.

Now they're gonna write. Now they can have a big hit.

-Yeah. -And I'll be like, "Hey!"

One of the things you're the best at, Victoria.

-Yeah. -Musical matchmaking.

That's great.

And I'm especially thankful

that I'm getting to do this Christmas show.

Christmas music is, to me --

I grew up loving Christmas music.

And so when I started to write and play, I sort of knew that

it was eventually gonna go that way.

I didn't know when. I didn't know how.

And I was at this writing camp, which is really random,

and I got paired with a friend of mine, Clint Lagerberg,

who's a great writer,

and we were writing Christmas songs.

It was, like, a Christmas writing camp.

And so I'd never really ventured out into the Christmas world.

And this is still kind of early in my career.

And -- but I love Christmas duets.

Like, I love a good Christmas duet.

And so Clint and I were kind of talking and we were like,

"Let's try to write, like, a duet."

You know, which is hard because, you know,

you got to think about a lot of things when that's happening.

But -- and I love "Baby, It's Cold Outside,"

but it's a little -- that, um...

-Questionable lately. -Thank you. There we go.

And so I said, "What if we write, like,

a nicer song that's sweet and maybe not as threatening?"

-And non-druggie. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So this is what -- this is --

So I recorded this and I had the huge privilege

of our dear friend, everybody's dear friend,

Hillary Scott from Lady A, singing on the song,

which then was like, "Oh, wow. I'm a real boy!"

You know?

But she just sang her little tail off.

But this is that song.

This is a song called "Christmas Tonight."

Standing in for Hillary Scott...

-Yeah, yeah. -...is Victoria Shaw.

Hey, hey. No, ma'am.

♪♪

♪ Christmas tree

♪ Baby, baby, you and me

♪ We untangle pines and hung some memories ♪

♪ Suit and tie

♪ Places to be tonight

♪ Girl, you gotta know I don't wanna go ♪

♪ It's so toasty warm inside

♪ Baby, let's just light the fire ♪

♪ But I got a new dress

♪ Doesn't look real safe to drive ♪

♪ You got me that necklace

♪ Won't know what we're missin' ♪

♪ If we don't go out for Christmas tonight ♪

♪ So much snow

♪ The wind, you know, it's bound to blow ♪

♪ And mess up your hair, makeup everywhere ♪

♪ Let's don't go

♪ It's too late

♪ Whatever would we say?

♪ We can't break our plans, let down our friends ♪

♪ Baby, you best behave

♪ Baby, let's just light the fire ♪

♪ What about the city?

♪ Doesn't look real safe to drive ♪

♪ But the drive's so pretty

♪ Won't know what we're missin' ♪

♪ If we don't go out for Christmas tonight ♪

♪ You're lookin' too good to share ♪

♪ And maybe our friends won't care ♪

♪ Baby, we always got next year ♪

♪ Yes, we do

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Baby, let's just light the fire ♪

♪ I'll get the matches

♪ Doesn't look real safe to drive ♪

♪ I'll bring the glasses

♪ Won't know what we're missin' ♪

♪ If we don't go out for Christmas ♪

♪ Maybe we should stay in, baby ♪

♪ Oooh, won't know what we're missin' ♪

♪ If we don't go out for Christmas ♪

♪ Tonight

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Great job!

That's so fun!

-Yeah. -That's so fun.

-That's a great song. -It's a great song.

Both of you are, like, synonymous with Christmas now.

I mean, it's just spectacular.

Every Christmas you hear that song.

Every Christmas you hear "Simple Things."

Ah, it's fabulous.

-Yeah. -That was so much fun.

Don't you feel -- do you guys feel like

when you're writing Christmas songs --

I say this because I do --

like both of you, I do seasonal tours,

you know, where I'll do a show here in Nashville

at the Schermerhorn every year.

And we've started to do -- toured around a little bit.

But Christmas songs --

so I have a lot of Christmas songs.

Like, all of a sudden you realize, like,

"Oh, I gotta have a lot of songs to sing in the show,"

so I love writing them,

but the best and the worst thing about Christmas songs --

and tell me how y'all feel about this --

is I feel like the good thing is,

you know when they're right or not.

It's not like another song you'll write

that's just a song and you can play it

for a few people and you're kind of like,

"I can't tell if I like this or not."

To me -- to me -- when I'm done with a Christmas song,

I know immediately if it's good or not.

I feel like it's a much -- the target is sort of more fixed.

And it's harder than you think, too. Yes.

It's not, you know -- you don't just think about,

"Oh, what are Christmas things? Like, Santa down the tree."

You have to, you know -- you have to think about...

Make it different.

...to make it different, and, you know,

because there are so many.

Well, I think so many are heartfelt.

So usually, you know, there's some sentimental,

unless it's fun and, you know, that's a different --

-Unless it's a samba. -Yeah. Ooh, a samba.

-Exactly. -Christmas samba.

But that is the best and the worst thing to me

about writing Christmas songs.

Well, because, really, in so many ways it's been said.

-Yeah, that's right. -Many times. Many ways.

♪ Many times, many ways

-Touché, Mr. Brickman. -But you actually got me.

I didn't realize you did that until Victoria started laughing.

And I was like, "God, that's a great lyric.

Oh, okay, okay. No, okay. Okay, okay."

All right, this was the first song we wrote together.

This is what made us fall musically in love.

And we had it --

we were kind of talking about the troops overseas

a little bit.

That was a bit of an inspiration for us.

And this song has been used for stuff like that.

Yeah, for -- the USO actually came to us

when they wanted to do a song for Operation Care Package,

sending all the men and women of the armed forces gifts

during the holiday season.

They wanted to put a musical gift inside.

And so they put this song called "Sending You a Little Christmas"

in the package.

And we've had the incredible pleasure

of having Johnny Mathis record the song.

-Yes. -My gosh!

So when it comes to Christmas... Yes.

...that was -- That was like the bonus

'cause we already had Kristy Starling,

who is the one you hear on the radio most of the time.

But then Johnny Mathis recorded it.

-Geez Louise. -It was -- yeah.

-Yeah. -All right.

♪♪

♪ Mmmmm

♪♪

♪ A photograph, a blanket

♪ Some mistletoe, confetti snow ♪

♪ An angel to put on a tree

♪ A Santa Claus in crayon

♪ To make you smile today

♪ While you're so far away

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Wrapped up with love

♪ A little peace, a little light ♪

♪ To remind you of

♪ I'm waiting for you, praying for you ♪

♪ I wanted you to see

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Till you come home to me

♪♪

♪ A gingerbread, a candy cane

♪ A stocking I made with your name ♪

♪ I filled it with your favorite things ♪

♪ A way to say I love you

♪ Like kisses through the air

♪ Hoping you'll feel me the-e-e-ere ♪

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Wrapped up with love

♪ A little peace, a little light ♪

♪ To remind you of

♪ I'm waiting for you, praying for you ♪

♪ I wanted you to see

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Till you come home to me

♪ Home into these arms of mine

♪ Home where you belooooong

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Wrapped up with love

♪ A little peace, a little light ♪

♪ To remind you of

♪ I'm waiting for you, praying for you ♪

♪ I wanted you to see

♪ So I'm sending you a little Christmas ♪

♪ Till you come ho-o-ooome

♪ Ooh-ooh-ooh

♪ Till you come home to me

♪♪

Come on, girl, sing. Dang!

[ Cheers and applause ]

-Thank you. -Yeah!

Ah, so much music.

So sometimes I bring out new emerging artists.

Sometimes I bring out my heavy-hitter good friends.

And this is one of those times.

We're having more people on this show

because it's a holiday and we're getting in the spirit.

I've known this woman longer than I've known anybody

on this show, on this stage.

She is a fabulous singer, an accomplished musician,

and a first-class songwriter.

As a matter of fact, she and I were label mates

when we were both on Warner Bros.

She had a big number-one song. I did not.

Ladies and gentlemen, my friend Anita Cochran.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I love you, Vic.

Shaw: I love you, too. Are you in the holiday spirit?

I'm always in the holiday spirit.

And you like to write holiday songs.

I do. Christmas is my favorite time of the year,

like many people, right? I love it.

Yeah, I love the decorating, all of it.

-I like New York City. -Not so much the taking down.

Right. That's why I leave it up all year long.

Hey! Touché. Touché.

All right. So you're gonna do an original.

And I want you to tell the back story on this.

Well, like I said, Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

And when I moved to Nashville, it was, like, my first time

of not being near my family for the holidays.

And I was like, "Well, I have to go back home."

So it was always exciting every year going back

to Michigan where I was from.

And I've spent every Christmas with my mom since --

until she passed away.

But it was always important for me to be home.

And so I wrote this song, and it's about going back home.

And I'm sure we've all experienced that,

where we love to be with our loved ones.

So it's -- I grew up in Michigan where it was very cold

and we had lots of snow.

So this is called "Snowing in My Hometown."

[ Applause ]

♪♪

♪ Packing up my suitcase, goin' on a trip ♪

♪ It's the time of the year for ol' Saint Nick ♪

♪ I haven't been home in such a long time ♪

♪ Gonna see my family and old friends of mine ♪

♪♪

♪ I hope to beat Santa, want to see his sled ♪

♪ And maybe join in on the reindeer games ♪

♪ The weatherman says it's gonna be cold ♪

♪ But you warm me up under the mistletoe ♪

♪ 'Cause it's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ Silver bells are ringing and hearts are aglow ♪

♪ The carolers are singing old songs we know ♪

♪ It's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Everyone's gathered around ♪

♪ Everyone's gathered around ♪

♪ The city is sparkling in red, green, and white ♪

♪ I can't be late, gotta get that in line ♪

♪ 'Cause it's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪♪

♪ The tree is up and the lights are on ♪

♪ The presents are wrapped and the stockings are hung ♪

♪ The kids are all tucked in their beds asleep ♪

♪ Waiting for Santa and the gifts that he'll bring ♪

♪ 'Cause it's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ The silver bells are ringing and hearts are aglow ♪

♪ The carolers are singing old songs we know ♪

♪ It's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Everyone's gathered around ♪

♪ Everyone's gathered around ♪

♪ The city is twinkling in red, green, and white ♪

♪ I can't be late, we gotta get that in line ♪

♪ 'Cause it's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ It's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ You build a snowman and I'll build a fire ♪

♪ The snow's getting deeper, higher and higher ♪

♪ It's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ Man, it's really coming down ♪

♪ Sitting with mama by the Christmas tree ♪

♪ Waiting on Santa and little ol' me ♪

♪ 'Cause it's snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown ♪

♪ Snowing in my hometown

♪ Snowing in my hometown

♪ Snowing in my hometo-o-own

[ Cheers and applause ]

Anita Cochran!

Yeah!

I love these new traditional songs.

You know, let's start a new tradition of new songs.

I love that.

-Thank you. -Oh, fantastic.

Thank you so much.

-Thank you for playing with me. -Yeah.

-And singing. -Whoo!

[ Cheers and applause ]

I am so excited about this next guest.

Now, I have to tell you, I have been a major fan of hers

since I heard her hit single "Come In Out of the Rain"

in the '90s.

I was just like, "Oh, my God, who is that voice?"

And I have followed her career ever since.

She sings everything -- pop, country, R&B, rock, jazz.

There's nothing this woman can't sing.

And to this day, when she's not doing her own artist thing,

she is one of the most in-demand vocalists in the music business,

Faith and Tim -- they don't go out on their "Soul2Soul" tour

unless she's singing with them.

Same with Vince Gill and Martina McBride

and so many -- oh, Julio Iglesias.

I mean, she's amazing.

She's recorded -- Speaking of duets,

she's recorded duets with Julio Iglesias,

Michael McDonald, Peabo Bryson, Larry Carlton.

I mean, so amazing,

the big diversity of singers she has sung with.

She has released six studio albums

and just released a brand-new album

of covering classic country songs.

And that was produced by her biggest fan, Vince Gill.

Whoo-hoo! [ Cheers and applause ]

The song -- The album is called "I've Got You Covered,"

which I love that title.

Yeah, I love it.

And here's the thing -- Since this is --

So, we decided --

and when I say "we," I mean me, because this is my show --

that it would be okay to have a classic song,

a Christmas song,

sung by one of my favorite singers,

because I just wanted to hear her beautiful voice

sing a Christmas song.

And I'm so pleased to have her here.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Miss Wendy Moten.

[ Cheers and applause ] Thank you. Thank you.

Looking fabulous, my friend.

And I'm going to accompany you on this. Yes.

So I'm gonna go over to the big-girl piano.

That's right. Barnes: You graduated.

Yes.

Yeah, but look at us. Look, we're like velvet, uh...

That's what I'm saying. [ Crowd cheers ]

We got to start a band. We can...

when you have time. Okay. [ Laughs ]

She never has time. Yeah.

We got to start a COVID band.

That's right. [ Laughing ] A COVID band?

I got a COVID belly right now.

[ Laughter and applause ] Geez.

I've got all kinds of things under here,

keeping it together for me.

Trying to keep it together, right?

[ Laughs ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "The Christmas Song

(Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)" plays ]

♪♪

♪ Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ♪

♪♪

♪ Jack Frost nipping at your nose ♪

♪♪

♪ Yuletide carols being sung by a choir ♪

♪ And folks dressed up like Eskimos ♪

♪ Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe ♪

♪♪

♪ Will help to make the seasons bright ♪

♪♪

♪ Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow ♪

♪ Will find it hard to sleep tonight ♪

♪ They know that Santa's on his way ♪

♪ He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh ♪

♪ And every mother's child is gonna spy ♪

♪ To see if reindeer really know how to fly ♪

♪ And so I'm offering this simple phrase ♪

♪♪

♪ To kids from one to 92

♪♪

♪ Although it's been said many times, many ways ♪

♪ Merry Christmas

♪ Merry Christmas

♪ Merry Christmas

♪ To you-ou

[ Piano plays "Jingle Bells" ]

♪♪

Barnes: Yeah! Yeah! [ Cheers and applause ]

Shaw: Miss Wendy Moten! Wonderful Wendy Moten.

[ Cheers and applause ] Thank you so much.

Oh, my God. I appreciate it.

Boom. [ Laughs ]

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

I love that woman so much.

Oh, my God, what a voice.

Mmm! ' It is your turn.

So, even though this song was a request by me,

and it's not technically a holiday song,

I just think it still works in the spirit of it,

because it's written about love and faith.

And I like it. So just -- It's my show.

Play it. [ Laughs ] Ha-ha-ha!

I want to say this quickly -- true story -- about

when we did the video shoot

for this [Chuckles] -- for this song.

And I always think about this

anytime something's being recorded.

It's like trauma for me.

We were shooting this video in Malibu, California,

and my wife was in the video at the end,

so she was behind the camera, most of the shoot.

And so she's kind of quality control, you know,

and she's kind of fixing my hair and doing all the things.

True story -- We do --

We're about halfway through the video shoot,

and I'd had a jacket on most of the time

which was hiding some things,

and mostly just extra me around the...

And so, say like, "Why don't you take the jacket off

and just do a, you know, walk up and down the beach

with just the shirt on?" And I was like, "Okay, sure."

I mean, and pants and everything.

Sounds weird when I say it like that.

And -- And I'm like, "Great." And I start -- true story --

I'm singing it, I'm feeling it, I'm really --

And the guy's like, "Cut!"

And I'm like, "What's wrong? Is it..."

"Hey --" And he walks over and he's like, "Hey, um,

so, it looks great, but just remember,

you've just got the shirt on now.

The jacket's not around there anymore."

And I was like, "Well, yeah, I know that."

He's like, "Okay, okay, let's just do it again."

So, we do it -- This is a true story.

We do it again. "Cut!" finally.

Annie walks over.

She's like, "He won't tell you this,

but you need to suck your gut in."

I was like, "Okay, that's hard. But you know what?,

It's helpful, it's helpful."

And so she showed me the footage,

and I was like, "Oh, my God."

She's like, "I told you."

So, the rest of the shoot -- true story --

I'm walking up and down,

singing this beautiful song to her.

And I would hear intermittently, during the shoot, "Cut!"

And I would be like, [Gasping] "Uhhh!"

And you can see, if you caught it

during the video, you would see

my [Gasps] and you just see me sort of [Gasps],

like the accordion going backwards,

just sucking in intermittently through the...

And it got -- like, the first two or three times,

it really hurt, and then I got to where I was like,

"If you don't yell, I'll be mad at you."

She's like, "I'm yelling it so much."

I'm like, "Well, I need it so much. You have to..."

So now, every time I sit like this,

I always feel like I want to have, like,

the guitar right here just in case,

you know, I can hear Annie's voice just yelling...

You truly suffer for your art.

Thank you for that. That's what --

That's where I was trying to go with this.

And thank you for putting those pieces together.

But here's the song. Please don't yell, God,

during this, or I'll start crying.

But this is this is "God Gave Me You."

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ I've been a walking heartache ♪

♪ I've made a mess of me

♪ The person that I've been lately ♪

♪ Ain't who I wanna be

♪ But you stay here right beside me ♪

♪ Watch as the storm goes through ♪

♪ And I need you

♪♪

♪ God gave me you for the ups and downs ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ God gave me you for the days of doubt ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ For when I think I've lost my way ♪

♪ There are no words here left to say ♪

♪ It's true

♪ God gave me you

♪♪

♪♪

♪ There's more here than what were seeing ♪

♪ A divine conspiracy

♪ That you, an angel lovely

♪ Could somehow fall for me

♪ You'll always be love's great martyr ♪

♪ I'll be the flattered fool ♪

♪ And I need you

♪ Yeah

♪ God gave me you for the ups and downs ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ God gave me you for the days of doubt ♪

♪ Yeah

♪ For when I think I've lost my way ♪

♪ There are no words here left to say ♪

♪ It's true

♪ God gave me you

♪ On my own I'm only

♪ Half of what I could be

♪ I can't do without you

♪♪

♪ We are stitched together

♪ And what love has tethered

♪ I pray we never undo

♪♪

♪ God gave me you for the ups and downs ♪

♪♪

♪ God gave me you for the days of doubt ♪

♪♪

♪ For when I think I've lost my way ♪

♪ There are no words here left to say ♪

♪ It's true

♪♪

♪ God gave me you

♪♪

♪ Gave me to you

♪♪

♪ Gave me you-ou-ou

♪ Gave me you

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank y'all.

Oh, that's a classic song.

That's just such a beautiful song. Thank you.

How many weddings has that been used in?

Oh, man. Wow Brickman: Lots.

Oh, yeah. That's a good one for that.

Absolutely. Everybody here has had these --

I mean, they play all your songs at weddings and massages.

[ Laughter ]

You know, all those nice -- And bubble baths.

and making babies, yeah, all that nice meditative stuff.

Yeah.

That took a right-hand turn really quickly, didn't it?

[ Laughter ]

You want those songs that people want to hear

on all those great, joyous occasions.

Speaking of joyous, this song gets played every Christmas.

I hear it constantly on the radio.

I do wish I wrote it,

but Jim did not write this with me.

But I do get to sing it with you.

This whole COVID distance thing, singing duets,

is really weird. Yes.

But I'm glad to look at your beautiful face.

Thank you. Yeah, usually,

you're just right here in the bell.

Yes, in the bell of the big piano.

But I'm just here waving to you, as I sing.

[ Chuckles ] That's okay.

It sounds good, and that's the important thing.

And we're safe.

Is there a story behind writing this?

I wrote the song with Tom Douglas,

amazing songwriter,

and I wrote it in Nashville in between gigs.

And I was in Chattanooga one night.

The next night, we were in Memphis.

And on the way, the day of the show in Memphis,

I drove through here.

I say, "I have an hour to write this song

about -- that's about the gifts that we give each other

that are not the material things."

Oh, wow. And I want to set a --

But I want it to be a romantic song

that takes place at holiday time.

So, not necessarily a Christmas song

like we were talking think --

It's funny, it's not necessary,

but it is played every Christmas as one. Yeah.

So you create the backdrop of the holiday and the gifts,

but you just put a romantic story in it.

And I think that's what songwriters do, is, you know,

they create an environment for the story to take place.

And - And that's like with -- with Dave's song.

I mean, you see the people, right?

That's the mark of a great song,

when you can see the story, or you imagine the people

in your head. Absolutely, yeah.

This next song paints a picture for me.

Every time I sing it, I see the same picture.

It's such a beautiful song.

[ "The Gift" plays ]

Yeah.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ Winter snow is falling down ♪

♪ Children laughing all around ♪

♪ Lights are turning on

♪ Like a fairy tale come true ♪

♪ Sitting by the fire we made ♪

♪ You're the answer when I prayed ♪

♪ I would find someone

♪ And, baby, I found you

♪ All I want is to hold you forever ♪

♪ And all I need is you more every day ♪

♪♪

♪ You saved my heart

♪ From being broken apart

♪ You gave your love away

♪ And I'm thankful every day

♪ For the gift

♪♪

♪ Watching as you softly sleep ♪

♪ What I'd give if I could keep ♪

♪ Just this moment

♪ If only time stood still

♪ But the colors fade away

♪ And the years will make us gray ♪

♪ But, baby, in my eyes

♪ You'll still be beautiful ♪

Both: ♪ And all I want is to hold you forever ♪

♪ And all I need is you more every day ♪

♪♪

♪ 'Cause you saved my heart ♪

♪ From being broken apart

♪ You gave your love away

♪ And I'm thankful every day ♪

♪ For the gift

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪ All I want is to hold you forever ♪

♪ And all I need is you more every day ♪

♪♪

♪ 'Cause you saved my heart ♪

♪ From being broken apart

♪ You gave your love away

♪ Can't find the words to say ♪

♪ And I'm thankful every day ♪

♪ For the gift

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

That song is like a master class.

It is. It's just perfect.

Every melody in that song is, like, incredible.

Thank you. What a beautiful song.

Just one thing missing. [ Laughs ]

My name on it. Exactly.

Exactly. Oh, it's a perfect song.

You know, Jim started out writing jingles.

You know, some really well-known jingles.

I don't know if we'll get this on the show,

but maybe could you play, like, a little tiny taste

of some of the jingles you wrote?

Well, a lot of kitty litter songs,

a lot of toilet bowl cleaner songs and things like that.

I didn't -- I sang on some, which a lot of people --

Like, which ones? Uh...

♪ We are driving excitement ♪

♪ Pontiac, driving excitement ♪

♪ Pontiac

♪ Don't treat your puppy like a dog, dog, dog ♪

♪ Give him Puppy Chow

[ Laughter and applause ]

There were so many, but, you know,

I didn't -- I wrote a lot,

but it was a long time ago and they were fun.

Dave would be so good at jingle writing.

Oh, I don't know. My mind just got blown up.

Whoa. No, no, no.

I mean, I love -- I love jingles.

I was obsessed with them. That's what made me...

But I mean, I -- The problem is,

when I became a songwriter, you know,

I was so used to writing songs that were a minute long

or 30 seconds long,

I couldn't write a song longer a minute.

That's why he called Tom Douglas like, "I've got an hour."

You're like, "I'm giving you a lot of time, Tom."

[ Laughter ] There's 30 more minutes of me.

How do you transition from writing jingles

to America's new romantic piano sensation,

as you are billed? Well, I mean,

I do think of myself as a songwriter first.

But the piano playing, I really did feel like there

was a place in the world for music

that you could just calm and relax to

and chill to and and let go,

let your mind go to.

And so, really, for me,

the piano was the beginning of it.

I'd always written songs and jingles.

But, you know, the problem with songwriting, too, though,

is that you actually have to share your feelings.

[ Laughs ]

And that's that's -- You know, when you're a kid,

and you're growing up in the biz,

you want to be a songwriter,

it's hard to pour out your feelings.

And -- 'Cause that's what great songs are, is your --

Honesty. Is honesty.

And that's really hard to find

when you're writing about kitty litter.

[ Laughs ] I don't know.

I felt like it was pretty honest.

I did. I felt it. I believed it.

That's why it rang true in my heart.

I believed him. Yeah.

As long as -- No, I used to get hired

by all the ad agencies, if they wanted someone to cry.

You know, they wanted a song to make people cry,

like, about your cat or, you know,

or something like a Kleenex or something like that,

that was really emotional, that's when they called me.

"Call Brickman." Yeah.

"He makes 'em cry." [ Laughs ]

And I love that your songs, your music is so well-known.

And they used it on the Olympics, right?

The Olympic Games, yeah. But only -- You know,

because I'm an instrumentalist, a lot of times,

I'm not the face of the song like a lot of people.

Like, something like "Valentine,"

like, it's, "Oh, you're the one that played the piano

on that Martina McBride song," or something like that.

You know, because I'm not the face.

Right.

And so I got used to -- In the Olympics, for example,

they talk over my music most of the time,

which is okay. I mean, you know,

at least I'm there. [ Laughing ] Right.

But they -- But they break --

they'll break away from the action.

So it'll be like,

"Back to downhill ski, right after this."

[ Piano plays softly ]

[ Laughter ]

"She was born in a small town..."

Oh, my God.

"...in Osaka, Japan. That's right.

She never dreamed of Olympic glory.

She didn't have a coat till she was 13."

[ Laughing ] Oh, my God.

"And now she's reaching for the gold."

[ Piano plays notes ]

"Another Olympic moment brought to you by NBC."

[ Piano plays notes ] I love it!

Oh, my God. That's where I am.

Although I did, last year --

I was very excited because last year,

instead of talking over my music,

they pole-vaulted over it. [ Laughs ]

So that was good. I was excited.

That's very exciting. This is so much fun.

I can't believe this hour's over.

We're gonna bring everybody back on the stage

so we can do one more song.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I'm so grateful to my friends -- Dave Barnes,

Wendy Moten, Anita Cochran,

and the invincible Jim Brickman.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I said "invincible," but I meant "incomparable."

[ Laughs ]

I hope you enjoyed this songwriter holiday show.

I sure did.

A little new tradition, a little old tradition,

and some wonderfully talented friends.

We're gonna end with a song that I wrote with Jim Brickman.

We had a lot of fun writing this one

on a -- on a very cool little keyboard.

And we're gonna give it a try right now to take us home.

[ "Fa La La" plays ]

If you have car keys or anything,

jingle them for your jingle bells.

♪♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la la la, it's Christmas ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la, the church bells chime ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la, we're celebrating ♪

♪ Love it's Christmas time

♪♪

♪ Snow is falling on our nose ♪

♪ Underneath the mistletoe

♪ Twinkling lights are green and gold and red ♪

♪ Looking so pretty

♪ All around the world, boys and girls are caroling ♪

♪ You can almost hear the angels when they sing ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la la la, it's Christmas ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la, the church bells chime ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la, we're celebrating ♪

♪ Love it's Christmas

♪ And the world looks beautiful and bright ♪

♪ It's like everything's alright ♪

♪ As we deck the halls with love and joy this season ♪

♪ Bum-bum bum

♪♪

♪ Bum-bum bum

♪♪

♪ Bum-bum bum

♪♪

♪ Bum-bum bum

♪ Snow is falling on our nose ♪

♪ Underneath the mistletoe

♪ Twinkling lights are green and gold and red ♪

♪ Looking so pretty

♪ All around the world, boys and girls are caroling ♪

♪ You can almost hear the angels when they sing ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ La la, it's Christmas ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ The church bells chime

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ We're celebrating

♪ Love it's Christmas

♪ And the world looks beautiful and bright ♪

♪ It's like everything's alright ♪

♪ As we deck the halls with love and joy this season ♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ La la, it's Christmas

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ The church bells chime

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ We're celebrating

♪ Love it's Christmastime

♪♪

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪♪

♪ Love it's Christmas

♪ Fa-la la-la-la

♪ La la

[ Cheers and applause ]

Good night, everybody! Thank you so much!

Thank you, Dave Barnes.

Thank you, Wendy Moten, Anita Cochran, Jim Brickman!

Happy holidays!

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

Moten: ♪ Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ♪

♪♪

♪ Jack Frost nipping at your nose ♪

♪♪

♪ Yuletide carols being sung by a choir ♪

♪ And folks dressed up like Eskimos ♪

♪♪

♪ Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe ♪

♪♪

♪ Will help to make the seasons bright ♪

♪♪

♪ Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow ♪

♪ Will find it hard to sleep tonight ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

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