It's snowin' tonight in the Blue Ridge
There's a hush over Chesapeake Bay.
The chimneys are smoking in Georgetown
And tomorrow is Christmas day . . .
So begins singer Maura Sullivan's hot-selling single, "Christmas Eve in Washington," which she wrote last December with WMZQ disc jockey Jim London. Sullivan's manager, David Henderson, says Sullivan and London composed the song one afternoon, and Sullivan performed it on London's morning radio show the next day, 10 days before Christmas.
Sullivan, a McLean resident, had been on London's show several times in the past. "We used to take ideas from the listening audience and combine them into songs," says Sullivan. The songs were successful, and the two decided to write a more serious Christmas song. "The response was unbelievable," says Sullivan. Henderson adds, "After hearing the song on the radio, some people called and said they they had to pull their cars off the road because the song affected them so much."
Last year, London and Sullivan did two two-hour concerts, at which they sold tapes of the single. They sold out all 1,000 cassettes for $3 each and donated the proceeds -- more than $2,500 -- to Children's Hospital in Washington. This holiday season, six stations will be airing a new version of the song. "We decided to take advantage of the time and do a more professional recording of the song in Nashville," says Henderson.
Sullivan will perform at Blues Alley on Dec. 18 and at Charlie's on Jan. 3. In addition, London and Mary Bell's Dec. 13 radio show, "The Morning Drive," will feature the singer live and remote from Children's Hospital, from 5 to 10 a.m., and on Dec. 20, Channel 5's "P.M. Magazine" will present both a video of and a segment on Sullivan.