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Roxy’s ‘Spectacular’ features original song

Believe it or not, opening night for “The Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular” is just a few days away.

Organizers have said this musical will certainly live up to its name, as it will be spectacular in many ways. “The characters and dancers are exciting; the music surely will put everyone in the Christmas spirit; and it will spotlight the true meaning of the season,” said Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council’s Susie Malone.

The Nativity segment will feature the song “The Holiest of Night” written by Denise Davis and her writing partner Christian Strignano.

The idea for this song originated when Davis and Strignano were in Davis’ office on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn., during the Christmas season. They started lamenting about how the Christmas season had turned into such a busy and hectic time.

Davis was wondering what to purchase for a friend for Christmas, and Strignano was wondering how he was going to get home to New York for the holidays to be with his family.

As they had many times before, personal stories started flowing. Davis was telling Strignano about one of her favorite Christmases, when she sat most of the day on Christmas Eve reading the Book of Luke in the Bible. She said she read the whole story of Jesus’ birth to his resurrection.

Strignano shared that when he was a child, his father would sit him and his siblings by the fire and read the Bible to them as well.

They both decided those were some of the best times of their lives.

Then, as would often happen, Davis started “doodling around” on the piano in her office – and soon a melody and title came together.

“Holiest of Nights” was born that evening in the office upstairs in an old house on Music Row in Nashville. Strignano and Davis basically wrote the song thinking one day it might inspire someone else to remember or be reminded of what Christmas was really all about.

Davis, being from Russellville, is familiar with the Roxy. As she was talking to show director Hillary Hall and Malone, she mentioned this Christmas song that had a sweet story and asked if it would be good for “The Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular.”

“If so, she’d love to help get it ready for the show – and we agreed,” Malone said.

Davis went into the recording studio with her past producer and co-writing friend Cliff Downs to record the song just for the show, Malone explained.

“She has worked with and known Cliff for almost 40 years,” Malone said. “They were in a very successful band together for eight years and have worked in the studio together many years, as he produced music for films and TV, and she would be the singing talent.”

Downs also co-produced Davis’ last Christian CD, which had several successful radio charters

on Inspo Christian Radio.

Downs, a native of Birmingham, and has lived in the Nashville area for 40-plus years, Malone added. He has had several No. 1 recordings and also won several awards, including an Emmy.

Davis and Downs are both excited to present their production for “The Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular” this year. Davis said she “just hopes it reminds us all what Christmas is really all about.”