Interview with Alan Rhody

“The tunes for Night is Alive’s newest album “Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be” were selected with the hope of bringing new meaning to a genre of music that is so near and dear to many. A mixture of classic favorites and modern hits, this album includes nine tracks of vibrant holiday music. Diving into the stories behind the songs, Night is Alive presents an exclusive interview with Alan Rhody, co-composer of the tune “Christmas to Christmas”.

Multi-award-winning songwriter and touring solo artist Alan Rhody has written countless songs and released multiple albums over his notable career. He has made dozens of network appearances in the US and Canada and written songs that have been career-changing hits for artists who are now household names.

“Christmas to Christmas” was penned in 1985 by Rhody and hit songwriter, Ron Hellard. The duo has written about a dozen songs together and remain very good friends, still co-writing occasionally. American country music singer-songwriter Lee Greenwood first recorded the tune and used it for the title of his Christmas album and television special.

“I was very excited and pleased when Night is Alive chose this song,” said Rhody. He has often wondered why the tune hasn’t been recorded by more artists in genres other than country, since he doesn’t consider it a ‘typical’ country song and the intro is set for jazz.

Sony had the publishing rights at the outset, with Rhody reclaiming his half of the song in 2017 retaining SonyATV to administrate, which Rhody believes is a good partnership. 

“I’m hoping more artists will continue to record the song,” mused Rhody. In fact, Night is Alive is the fourth, with soulful vocalist Andromeda Turre. The other artists thus far include Lee Greenwood, Tanya Tucker and Toby Keith. 

As far as his writing process? Rhody said it was Ron Hellard who brought the title idea to their session that hot summer day they created “Christmas To Christmas” in Rhody’s kitchen. Once he and Hellard finished the chorus, they “knew they had a winner.” He also feels it is one of their very best collaborations.

“It’s very personal when I write songs of this nature. whether alone or with a co-writer.” He said his wife Kathy’s presence is always there inside, with those.

So what did Christmas look like for Alan Rhody this year? It was a small gathering, just their two daughters and two grandsons, who all live in Nashville. Their son and his family live in New York City. Rhody and his family have lived in Nashville since the fall of 1977. 

You can hear Night is Alive’s version of “Christmas to Christmas” on “Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be”: www.nightisalive.com/christmas-aint-like-it-use-to-be


Interested in learning more? Sometime in early 2022, Alan Rhody will join the Daily Dose podcast, posted regularly 

on Night is Alive’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-yE-rSEiOYWEnIC9F6VXIw

Friday Feature with Drummer Tim Horner

Piano would be my next choice and I wish it had been my first, but I do absolutely love playing drums. After piano, I wish I played my violin (which I already play) better!

I honestly can’t say I have that one inspiration but so many great classical and jazz composers for me are very inspirational, from Ravel and Bartok to Duke and Gil Evans. As far as Drummers go, pick one of the greats and they inspire me. Freddie Hubbard inspires me, Pharoh Sanders inspires me, Bill Cunliffe and Martin Wind inspire me. I love most music and the musicians that play it well.

I’m not sure I have a great answer for this one as I’m on the 14th Floor in a 2 bedroom apartment with no terrace. It’s been quite tough, but I guess I’ve been trying to reflect on my life, my past, my future, what am I going to do if our industry doesn’t return, how to make a living. I’ve written a little bit of music and have been practicing some everyday but I’ll be honest, some of that has been tough. It’s easy to sit and play but much of the pure enjoyment of music for me has always been the free association with other musicians, ensemble playing, I really love and miss that!!!

Right now, wow anywhere!!!! Right when the lockdown hit, I was supposed to be going to Pakistan and Lebanon for the State Dept playing concerts and teaching. It’s safe to say I was really looking forward to that.

I wouldn’t mind having a small dog right now, but one that’s been trained, no training for me. I’ve had cats all my life, I’m allergic to them although I love them. If I had a bigger place with a backyard an Elephant or Water Buffalo would be nice lol.

Tim Horner,  and The Bill Cunliffe Trio can be heard on Night is Alive’s holiday album “Christmas in the Dog House”, available att https://nightisalive.com/shop/ and all major online music platforms.

5 Quarantine Questions with Jeff Rupert

Everything from Frank Sinatra to Harold Mabern.

Well, my hobby is yachting, but that’s on hold for a bit. I’ve just been practicing, writing new music for an upcoming album, and reading a lot.

I just smoked ribs for the family today. I enjoy cooking quite a bit. I like cooking a rib roast, and my boys love grilled lamb, and a creamed spinach dish. I recently started making filet au poivre that the family likes.

The chance to be a credit to society.

Billy Strayhorn, or my Dad.

Jeff Rupert has a new album, The Ripple, with fellow saxophone legend, George Garzone, available now!