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‘Arizona Christmas’ songwriter encouraged by Alice Cooper

Posted at 10:35 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 00:35:41-05

PHOENIX — Decembers in Arizona may be far from what's sung about in traditional Christmas music, but a local artist found the Valley’s mild winter temperatures as an inspiration for a song that caught the ear of a rock legend.

Abby Walker pursued a lot of careers before she found the one to allow her to say, “I am making a living doing what I love."

In College at Arizona State University, she was a biology major. Her minor in Spanish led her to consider becoming a diplomat. She was even once an aquatic athlete.

“I played underwater hockey, which is crazy,” said Walker.

While playing underwater hockey one day, she says she was kicked in the head and suffered a concussion. That injury, she says, kept her from learning the way she once did.

So, Abby fell back on a constant in her life – music.

Growing up, Abby was a regular in a church band singing or playing guitar.

The ukulele has become a primary instrument for her in a Christmas song growing in popularity.

The first lyrics for her original, ‘Arizona Christmas’ are sung "snow is falling all around, oh wait just kidding it's an Arizona Christmas."

The song is already on several streaming services, it's gotten some local play on the radio and it helped launch her to a stage in front of Alice Cooper.

“I've lived less than a mile away from the Phoenix (Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock) Teen Center for years and I had no idea until I heard about this competition,” she said.

With just a year before she got too old to enter, the 24-year-old auditioned for Alice Cooper's Proof is in the Pudding Competition.

The winner would get a chance to open for the Godfather of Shock Rock.

As a finalist, she was asked to perform an original Christmas song.

With a Christmas sweater on and grooving with her Ukulele, she sang to an audience she could barely see under stage lights. The only ones visible she says were the judges and recognizable face of Alice Cooper.

“Look at Rudolph’s bright red nose, oh his cheeks and shoulders are so red, too,” she sang.

She finished among the top eight, which she wasn't too happy about.

"It sucked,” she said.

For Abby, what didn't suck was how the song was received.

“I can see the judges laughing, I could see Alice Cooper laughing, she said. “I always want to connect with my audience. If my intention was to get laughs – that’s great.”

Backstage after the competition, Abby sought to introduce herself to the Cooper family.

She found out - no introduction was needed when Alice's Wife Sheryl said, "we've heard your name - it's floating around our household,” recalled Walker.

That's all she needed to hear to keep strumming and singing.

“That's more validation than anything,” she said.

Ever since, Abby has been booking regular gigs around the Valley, including one on Christmas day.

So I’ll be playing on Christmas, which I wrote another song about as an apology to my family,” she said.

If you want to hear more of Abby's original music, she's got afull artist page set up online.