Backstory — Chestnuts

In 1945, when songwriter Bob Wells first penned the line "chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." chestnuts were as much a part of the Christmas season as eggnog and gingerbread. And then, just a few years after Nat King Cole recorded his iconic version of that song...they weren't. What happened? It's one of the few examples from recent history of a Christmas tradition dying out — literally — in a single generation. Is it lost forever? Or are we poised for a roasty toasty Christmas comeback story? 

Thank you to Sarah Fitzsimmons, director of restoration with the American Chestnut Foundation, for appearing in this episode.

Music in this episode

Share a Christmas memory on the podcast! Just record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast@gmail.com. Keep it reasonably short, clean and family friendly, and be sure to say your name and where you're from. 

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