Appalachia Christmas Music

Christmas Music from Appalachia all the Way to Argentina

Jingle Bells by paul and jerry wilson

Last Christmas I wrote about the song Jingle Bells twice! First there was the history of the song and Pap and Paul’s great version from their Songs of Christmas CD. Second there was the fun video of all of us sitting around jamming on Jingle Bells during our Christmas.

Well after I shared those posts last year-the absolute coolest thing happened! José Luis posted a video of himself playing along with us on Jingle Bells. We’ve never met José in person, but have shared many emails and good wishes with him. This is what he had to say about the video:

“Jingle Bells, Repican las Campanas, engraved with the video of the Pressley girls and Uncle Paul, of Brasstown, in USA, where the cameraman shows a photograph of my dear father, with his Spanish Laud, and who gave me the taste for music, my books, the great Earl!!!, and a picture of me, with two years, (ago 68 !! hahaha.). Thanks for looking at it, hoping they have had a Merry Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2015. God Bless to all my contacts, and peace reigns in the World, José Luis from Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

From Brasstown to Buenos Aires – From Appalachia to Argentina. Yep the coolest thing ever.

A big THANK YOU to José Luis for sharing his love of music with us all.



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  • Reply
    December 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Miy lindo papá! Mucho sentimiento! Feliz navidad!

  • Reply
    José Luis
    December 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    My dear friends of the Appalachians, I want to thank you very excited, Tipper, to remember, the video I sent you last year, playing with the twins, and Paul. And to all those kind people who have spent a bit of time to write about it, I send the greatest gratitude too.
    Returning to watch that video, I much excited because I saw again my daddy, and I remember how happy he wore when he played his lute, and my guitar, something always happened to the Christmas and New Year.
    And yes … as some of you said, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Andes, it appears that the vibration of the music ran the spine, as I say, our common home AMERICA !!! .
    Dear Brothers in Christ, we live in the two extreme ends of America, for Christmas and New Year, I wish all of you all the best, and those who have relatives serving in the armed forces overseas, have them under protection God, and soon reunite with health and joy, a strong and fraternal embrace everyone from Buenos Aires, Argentina, José Luis, (The only Gaucho, banjo player, lol !!)

  • Reply
    Henry Horton
    December 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm


  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    December 21, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Wow! That was wonderful!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas to all and God’s best to you all for the New Year!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 12:11 am

    B. Ruth – I think that would be Earl’s sons Randy on the guitar and Gary on the bass. Sam Bush and Ricky Scaggs are on the mandolin and Phil Leadbetter on the Dobro. Earl came from right down the road below me in Cleveland County, down next to South Carolina. Earl was geographically Appalachian but barely hanging by a toenail. Earl was Appalachian spirited and as wholehearted as any. A Dobro is not a steel guitar. Never has been, never will be. I despise a string stretching Nashville pedal steel guitar but I love a real slide steel. Especially a Dobro!

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    December 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    We never know who our words will touch. That’s why we have to be so very careful with them.
    Prayers for a safe and blessed CHRISTmas week for everyone.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    betty richards
    December 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, healthy and safe New year. I enjoy your stories so much. They take me way back when I was growing up in West Virginia. Thank you, Betty

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 20, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I have seen Jose Luis comments along. Now we can see and hear him play. Just wonderful that he plays along with the Blind Pig Gang. I loved this post. Thank you Jose for sending it to Tipper!
    Merry Christmas to Jose and family and all the musicians that are watching and listening to the Blind Pig family that just might not be commenting. ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I also watched a video of Earl Scruggs in his later years playing Jingle Bells with the very young looking Ricky Skaggs…I am not sure who the others in the video were…but all were great musicians…

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    One just never knows where your great musical talents end up! That sure was wonderful listening! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    God made his people and scattered them all over this big beautiful orb on which we live. He made the Sun to shine on us all and his Son to do the same. He made no walls, no fences nor borders to separate us. We see geographical boundaries drawn on maps but none on God’s blueprints. God separated us by tongues when we contrived against him but didn’t forbid our learning to speak to our neighbors.
    Along back in the early 70’s, somewhere around the time Pap and Granny wrote you, Charley Pride wrote “All His Children.” A phrase in that song came to me after reading today’s post. “We’re all His children, his next of kin.” I believe that! He doesn’t choose sides no matter how we may claim it. He is a fair and impartial referee.
    As far as I know the United States has never been in a war with Argentina, much less José Luis. That makes José a brother in good standing!
    Merry Christmas José my Brother and Friend! To you, your family and friends, Feliz Navidad!
    Merry Christmas to all believing Blind Pigs readers and Happy Holidays to the rest!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    It’s so much fun when social media lives up to it’s full potential! This is absolutely wonderful-

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    December 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    What a way to enjoy the Internet! Jos’e did a fine job with the banjo, something the Blind Pig Gang has been missing. But after all these years, I still love all the Appalachian music. I remember the heartfelt letter Paul read at the Blairsville Courthouse, concerning Jos’e Luis and his appreciation of Applachian culture and music…Ken

  • Reply
    John Faircloth
    December 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    What a beautiful gift to share with this little flock you have called together! We are all “Blessed to be a Blessing,” and so you are doing your job. Thank you, The Pressley Girls and Jose’ Luiz

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    December 20, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Oh Tipper! I LOVED THIS POST!
    Your enthusiasm and ‘connections’ in a far-away land is exactly the kind of inspiration I felt when I was working with the American Field Service in New York (high school exchange program) for many years! If we had folks like you in charge, we would have friends all over the world!
    Happy Holidays! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    December 20, 2015 at 10:05 am

    What a delightful Christmas story of Jose Luis and the Pressleys joining together on “Jingle Bells”–a song that for many years has delighted those of us who grew up in Appalachia and hold fast to family traditions at Christmas and our heritage passed from generation to generation. We are to bring “Joy to the World” in every corner–from Appalachia to Argentina, from Appalachia to Guatemala, from Appalachia to Zambia–and all places in between, for Christ came to all nations!! May all who read these words have a blessed Christmas, indeed, and thank you, Tipper, for so ably keeping us in touch with people and with our heritage, and the things we hold dear, no matter where we live. I am especially thankful coming into this Christmas. I had a sort of “rush up, near emergency” heart catheterization procedure at Middle Georgia Medical Center on Friday, December 18, which resulted in one stent being inserted. I did wonderfully well and came home to Milledgeville on Saturday where I am resting and recuperating. “God’s not finished with me yet!” I cling to the promise of Psalm 118:17 (which please read) on such occasions. I appreciate all of those who knew about my procedure and prayed for me. I’m feeling wonderful on this Sunday morning before Christmas, but am resting, as doctors ordered. Merry Christmas to all!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Tipper–I reckon a tiny bit of Appalachian culture has worked its magic all the way down to Argentina. Maybe that ancient spine of time, the Appalachians, sends subterranean influences right down another spine of mountains, the Andes. Anyway, I really enjoyed this, and the sly smile on the face of Jose Luis right at the end was a pure delight and brought a much bigger smile to my face.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    December 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Now that is beyond cool – it is absolutely magnificent!
    Merry Christmas to José Luis and all the other members of the BlindPig family.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

    One of the very cool things about the internet – – and Music!

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    December 20, 2015 at 9:16 am

    That was fabulous!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Hey that was really neat,, Merry Christmas to you all..

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 20, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Tip, this one brought tears to my eyes. There is hope! Thank you Jose for being a part of the Blind Pig Family!

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