Country artists from Carrie Underwood to Runaway June to Dolly Parton have already put out festive Christmas albums this year, but before we get to December, singer-songwriter Ben Rector is making sure to give Thanksgiving its due.
The Oklahoma native — who has been making waves on Americana and folk charts over the past several years — says he got the idea for his “The Thanksgiving Song” after realizing that Turkey Day is so close to Christmas, it often gets a little overshadowed. Still, the holiday of pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and stuffing offers plenty of its own traditions to celebrate.
“I realized I hadn’t ever heard a Thanksgiving song or Thanksgiving music,” Rector points out, “and I felt like everyone has an emotional connection and a lot of memories around Thanksgiving, just like they do Christmas, and it felt like a good opportunity to try to connect to that. It honestly just felt odd that I hadn’t ever heard someone try to do that, and I figured I’d give it a shot.”
He also knows firsthand how passionate some people (like his wife Hillary) can be about saving Christmas music for after Thanksgiving Day. “I also wanted to give Christmas music purists who want to save Christmas music until after Thanksgiving something to listen to and get in the holiday spirit,” he tells People, which premiered “The Thanksgiving Song.”
Of course, Rector’s not throwing shade against Christmas or its music: In fact, he’s planning to release a holiday album of his own this year. A Ben Rector Christmas is due out on Nov. 13.
Listen to the Best Country Christmas Songs: