About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Jim Nabors’ Christmas in Hawaii (1981)

My copy of the 1981 album soundtrack was autographed by Carol Burnett!?

Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #20 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm sharing Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1981 TV variety special Jim Nabor's Christmas in Hawaii. The rare and forgotten, one-hour syndicated Christmas music special was shot in Hawaii, hosted by singer/actor Jim Nabors. His special guests are Carol Burnett, Tom Selleck, Susan Anton, the Brothers Cazimero, and the Honolulu Boy Choir. Fans of The Carol Burnett Show will remember that Nabors guested quite a bit on her show. It's nice to see him welcome the talented Burnett on his special too.

The highlights include Nabors’ reverent performances in a church with a live audience of “O Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fidelis” and “O Holy Night” accompanied by the Honolulu Boy Choir. Nabors also sings “Silent Night” at Pearl Harbor. It is a shame that this TV special is overlooked and forgotten. I'd love to see the comedy sketch with Tom Selleck, and the Hawaiian-themed version of the song "Twelve Days of Christmas"--two performances hinted at in photos on the soundtrack album.


The TV special’s soundtrack was released under the title Christmas in Hawaii with Jim Nabors by Blue Water Records. The song listing for Side 1: “Christmas All Over the World,” “Doodle Ee Doo,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Side 2 includes “Jingle Bells,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Aloha Kalikimaka,” “Hasegawa General Store,” “The First Noel,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Silent Night.”

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com



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