Elmo Shropshire

Elmo Shropshire
Shropshire performing in New York in 2009.
Background information
Also known as Dr. Elmo
Born (1936-10-26) October 26, 1936
Lexington, Kentucky
Genres holiday, bluegrass
Occupation(s) Musician, Veterinarian
Instruments 5-String Banjo, Guitar
Years active 1970–present
Labels Epic, SonyBMG, Sony, Time Life
Associated acts Elmo & Patsy,
Website www.facebook.com/Dr.Elmo.Shropshire

Elmo Shropshire, DVM (born October 26, 1936) is an American veterinarian, competitive runner and country music singer. Shropshire, who typically performs under the name "Dr. Elmo," is a one-hit wonder best known for his Christmas novelty song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". He originally recorded the song in 1979 with his then-wife, Patsy, then re-recorded it solo for the 1992 album Dr. Elmo's Twisted Christmas and again in 2000 for the album Up Your Chimney. He also recorded two albums of year-round songs: Dr. Elmo's Twisted Tunes (1993) and Love, Death and Taxes (2000).

Personal life

Elmo is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, and has a degree in veterinary medicine from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. After moving to San Francisco, he opened an animal hospital, Arguello Pet Hospital, and became a competitive runner, all while continuing to play with his bluegrass band.

Success with "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

In 1979, Elmo recorded "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (written by his friend Randy Brooks), and instantly, Elmo & Patsy became regional superstars. They divorced in 1985.[1] Since then, Elmo has become part of a class action suit against Sony based upon the royalties paid from downloads and ringtone sales.[2]

In 2000, he served as co-writer of an animated Christmas special based on the song. For this television special, he also provided the voices of Grandpa and the narrator. In 2007, Elmo was sued by the Fred Rappaport Company, the producer of the show, over the right to use the song in show-related merchandise.[3]

On December 23, 2014, Elmo performed "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" on The Meredith Vieira Show as part of a segment called "Real or Fake".

Later years

Today, Elmo lives in Novato, California with his wife, Pam Wendell.[4] Since 1992, he has recorded several solo albums under the name Dr. Elmo.

In 2009, Dr. Elmo appeared on Good Morning America,[5] and in 2010, he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[6]

On October 13, 2012, Elmo Shropshire won his age division in the United States National 5K Cross Country Championship in San Diego, California,[7] and on October 27, 2013, he won a gold medal in the World Master's Games as part of the USA 4×400 relay team in Porto Allegre, Brazil. [8]

On December 24, 2016, he performed on Fox News Channel's "FOX and Friends." [9]


Elmo & Patsy


  • Playin' Possum (as The Homestead Act) (1974)
  • Elmo & Patsy (1974)
  • Will You Be Ready? (1980)
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (1983)


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
1979 "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" N/A
1983 "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (re-recording) 92 Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
1992 112
1997 64 87
1999 48
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Dr. Elmo


  • Dr. Elmo's Twisted Christmas (1992)
  • Dr. Elmo's Twisted Tunes (1993)
  • Love, Death, and Taxes (2000)
  • Up Your Chimney (2000)
  • Dr. Elmo's MisceLOONYous Tunes (2000)
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2002)
  • Christmas in the U.S.A. (2004)
  • Dr. Elmo Sings the Boos (2005)
  • Redneck Dracula (2006) (with the Halloween Ghouls)
  • Redneck Santa (2007)
  • Dr. Elmo Bluegrass Christmas (2010)
  • Old Kentucky Home (2013)



  1. "AT LONG LAST SINGLES". Stubby's House of Christmas. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. Napoli, Lisa (30 October 2006). "Ringtone royalties" (Audio with transcript). Marketplace.
  3. "'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer' singer is sued". USA Today. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  4. Mason, Clark (24 December 2012). "Novelty reindeer song still has legs, 30 years later". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  5. Video on YouTube
  6. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0795440/
  7. http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2012/USA-Masters-5-km-Cross-Country-Championships/Results/Men-Age-Div.aspx
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  9. http://video.foxnews.com/v/5260559535001/
  10. Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944–2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  11. Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.
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