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Liner Notes and Lyrics: Home On The Radar Range

In late 1991, in between the debut album Thank Heavens For Dale Evans and the transition album Little Ol' Cowgirl, the Dixie Chicks recorded a Christmas single. It was recorded at Sumet-Bernet Studios in Dallas, the same studio where Dale Evans was recorded for $5000 of the band's own money (so the story goes), and could be ordered from the form in the Chick Chat, the Dixie Chicks occasional newsletter. According to long-time fan James Venhaus, the cassette and 45rpm versions were both available at the now-defunct Sound Warehouse stores as late as Christmas of 1992.

They entitled the release Home On The Radar Range, but the songs are Christmas Swing, sung by Robin Lynn Macy, and The Flip Side, sung by Laura Lynch. Both songs evoke memories of a simpler past; the Leave It To Beaver sort of scene depicted on the jacket. But they're as different as Christmas and New Year's Day. Christmas Swing is upbeat and even a little silly ("Santa's coming south to see us, his team of longhorn flying"). Robin gives it a happy, Christmasy folk sound. But Laura's rendition of The Flip Side is a slower, more serious look at what we've lost: "And this here is the flip side, a skip back to the past."

I've transcribed the liner notes and lyrics from the cassette version of the single. The foldout is only printed on one side, and the panels are arranged as follows:

On the short end of the foldout, the Dixie Chicks address is listed like this:

Dixie Chicks All Cowgirl Band
Bunkhouse P.O.B. 670444 Dallas, Texas 75367-0444

The running times are:

  • Christmas Swing: 3:17
  • The Flip Side: 3:20

[Panel 1]

The Band

Emily Erwin: banjo, bass, harmony vocals
Martie Erwin: fiddle, viola, bass, harmony vocals
Laura Lynch: bass, guitar, lead and harmony vocals
Robin Lynn Macy: guitar, lead and harmony vocals

Additional Musicians

Tom Van Schaik: percussion
Dennis McBride: dobro
Doc Browning: harmonica
Larry Spencer: fluglehorn

Produced by the Dixie Chicks and Larry Seyer
Engineered by Larry Seyer
Recorded at Sumet-Bernet Studios, Dallas, October 9 & 10, 1991
Mixed at Austin Recording Studio

Special Thanks To:

Lisa Brandenburg, Jeff Humphrey, Sam Paulos, Richard Sides, Asia Abraham, Jim Chapman, Michael Castro, Patty Lege, Linda Lyon and our parents.

[Panel 2]

Christmas Swing

Written and arranged by the Dixie Chicks and friends
©1991 Little Red Hen Publishing

The turkey in our radar range has roamed too far from home
We mailed our Christmas wishes in, now Santa's on his own
Momma wants some tupperware, Daddy wants a Stetson
There's snow on all the prickly pear, the winter round-up's done
It's sleepytime for cowgirls, the night has just begun
And that ol' Lone Star shines bright down on every Texan.

It's Christmastime in Texas
People go a carrolling
Divinity 'n mistletoe
And sing-a-longs with
But we rosin up the fiddle
And do the Christmas Swing.
Laura wants some go-go boots, a slinky in her sock
And add a pearl for Robin and a wind-up Snoopy clock
Martie wants a Barbie, Emmy wants a rhinestone ring
Santa's coming south to see us, his team of longhorn flying
Cowpokes know they best be good 'cuz Saint Nick may be spying
Let's two step, cowboy, to the Christmas Swing.
So blow you ol' blue northern
And make the cowbells ring
From Abilene to Beaumont
Folks sing along with Bing
And if it snows in late December we don't care!
We'll do the Christmas Swing.

[Panel 3]

The Flip Side

Music by Robin Lynn Macy
Lyrics by Lisa Brandenburg and Laura Lynch
Arrangement by Martie Erwin and Larry Seyer
©1991 Little Red Hen Publishing

In the world of high technology and store-bought Christmas trees
We've put away our phonographs and black 'n white T.V.s
We hang up plastic mistletoe, we light the logs with gas
But this here is the flip side, an old ghost of Christmas past.

Remember forty-fives in stacks and slumber party snacks
When girls were not allowed to leave their fathers' house in slacks
We still believed in Santa Claus, we still built things to last
And this here is the flip side, a skip back to the past.

Homemade gifts and recipes and old tales to exchange
At afternoons gathered 'round my mother's radar range
The candles lit, the doorbell rings, we'll put on
Vaughn Monroe
And warm our hands around the hearth with friends we've come to know.

This is the flip side and when the record's through
We'll remember simpler times when most folks drove but seldom flew
Should old acquaintance be forgot, should Barbie break with Ken
Just move the record needle back and play the past again

[Panel 4]

Photography: Carolyn McGovern
Art Direction: Olga Arseniev
Wardrobe Stylist: Ann Harkness
Set Stylist: Anne Ganucheau
Hair and Makeup: Al Tidwell, Lisa Williams
Dog Wrangler: Dan Northcut
Dog: Tess
Set Builder: Kenny Smith
Food Stylist: Kat Hughes
Photo Retouching: Mark Bassel, Steve Jean
Photographer's Assistants: Kenny Smith, Heather Ignatin
Costumes & Props: Barbra Kauffman and the Forreston Flea Market
Turkey: Ronald Morse and The String Bean Restaurant
Lighting Equipment: Nicki & John Harst at Light Tec
Separations: Classic Color

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