And in the beginning…

Our tradition began on Christmas Day 1999 with a book. The book was The Beatles Complete Scores, which Jon gifted his father, David. The book contains scores, or written music, of every song The Beatles recorded.

After opening gifts that Christmas morning, Grandaddy Elliott (Teresa’s father) wanted to show us the bass guitar that he bought earlier in the year. It’s a bit fuzzy who suggested that we record a song, but everyone thought it was a great idea and would be a lot of fun to let Grandaddy record his new bass.

We perused the book to find a song that worked well with Grandaddy’s novice bass playing skills and also had multiple parts, or a choir, so the entire family could participate in the recording.

We decided on “All Together Now,” a song that Paul McCartney wrote for a TV show called “Our World” and was eventually included in the “Yellow Submarine” movie. It’s a simple three-chord kids song with an acoustic guitar, simple bass line, and a fun sing-a-long chorus.

With Jon on acoustic guitar and Matt on drums, we laid down the first tracks of what would become our new family tradition.

Ever since, after opening gifts on Christmas morning, we head into the recording studio to record a Beatles song. Our goal is to reproduce The Beatles instrumentation, sounds, performances, and recording techniques as closely as our collective talents allow.

While the band is primarily our family (The Browns), anyone who shows up on Christmas Day becomes a Bartle, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Grandaddy Elliott, David, Jeremy, and Jon rehearse “All Together Now” on Christmas Day 1999.