How a TV News Reporter Came Up With the Idea for ‘The Maine Christmas Song’
Most Mainers know of '"The Maine Christmas Song", which was written and recorded in 1986, but do you know that the idea came from a local feature news reporter?
Bob Elliot grew up in Winthrop, Maine, and went on to become an NBC News correspondent before he came back home to work as a feature reporter at News Center Maine. He was unlike any other reporter we had seen here. His segment, "Bob's Basement", was must-see TV for Mainers in the '80s.
Bob would cover stories about the Cape Elizabeth dump, his attempt to run for US Congress (which he knew he couldn't win), and his trip to Boston to see all three major sports teams play on the same day.
Bob's segments were so popular, that a VHS tape of the "Best of the Basement" was released and could be bought in stores.
Sadly, Bob passed away in 1997 at age 47, but part of his legacy is "The Maine Christmas Song."
According to News Center Maine, Bob was tired of all the classic Christmas songs you hear every year, and wanted a new Christmas song that was all about Maine. With the help of songwriter Con Fullam, lead singer Malinda Liberty, and legendary actor Gary Merrill who recorded the opening narration, they had put together "The Maine Christmas Song " within two weeks.
It became a huge success, getting radio airplay and copies made available in music stores all over Maine. It even has a music video featuring staff of News Center Maine in a recording booth singing backup, including former News Center anchors Richard Rose and Pat Callaghan, along with Bob Elliot.
It was even made into a book.
It's been almost 40 years since its original release, but to this day, "The Maine Christmas Song" is still a Christmas favorite each season.
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