It's hard to think of a story in English literature that has inspired as many filmatic adaptations as A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Dickens' sentimental statement on Victorian social ills. Setting aside the more than numerous animated versions, we still have countless live-action versions, with many more undoubtably to come. One of the strangest is this, a seemingly forgotten TV effort that, to my knowledge, only aired once during the 1979 Christmas season. It was the basic story, with the kicker being that the setting was transposed from Victorian London to present day Tennessee, and the cast was populated by Country/Western singers! Really. Hoyt Axton as Scrooge, Mel Tillis and Lynn Anderson as the Cratchits, Tom T. Hall as Marley, and I believe Barbara Mandrell as the girl Scrooge left behind. I'm sure there were more, but can't think of them. Since I'm a fan of the story(and love tracking down all the film versions and variations), this one sprang to mind while I was watching scenes from the George C. Scott version(truly the best version in the past 20 years). With the rise in cable availability it seems like this forgotten version would rise to the surface(given all the channels vying for holiday programming), but that hasn't been the case yet. Maybe someday TNN or CMT will show it again.
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