Elmo Shropshire

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Elmo Shropshire
Fb wiki New York 2009 FOX GDNY 042.jpg
Shropshire performing in New York in 2009.
Background information
Also known asDr. Elmo
Born (1936-10-26) October 26, 1936 (age 86)
Lexington, Kentucky
GenresHoliday, bluegrass
Occupation(s)Musician, veterinarian
Instrument(s)Vocals, 5-string banjo, guitar
Years active1970–present
LabelsEpic, SonyBMG, Sony, Time Life

Elmo Shropshire (born October 26, 1936) is an American veterinarian, competitive runner and country music singer. Shropshire, who typically performs under the name "Dr. Elmo", is 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[edit]

Elmo Shropshire is a native of Lexington, Kentucky and has a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University in Alabama.[1] He was racetrack veterinarian at Aqueduct and Belmont Park in New York before moving to San Francisco to open his own hospital, Arguello Pet Hospital. In San Francisco, Shropshire began playing banjo in a bluegrass band, and later became a competitive runner.

Success with "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"[edit]

In 1979, Shropshire 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.[2] Since then, Shropshire settled a class action suit against Sony based upon the royalties paid from downloads and ringtone sales.[3]

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, Shropshire was sued by the Fred Rappaport Company, the producer of the show, over the right to use the song in show-related merchandise.[4]

In 2009, Shropshire appeared on Good Morning America,[8] and in 2010, he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[9]

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

On December 24, 2016, Shropshire performed on Fox News Channel's "FOX and Friends."[5]

On December 26, 2019 Shropshire is featured in the Wall Street Journal article "What's Your Workout" by Jen Murphy.[6]

Later years[edit]

Dr. Elmo 5k Track Race Malaga Spain 2018
World Masters Championships 2018

Today, Shropshire lives in Novato, California with his wife, Pam Wendell.[7] Since 1992, he has recorded several solo albums under the name Dr. Elmo. He has been a competitive runner for 25 years.

2022 RACING: Ranked #1 in the World in the Mile & 5K in his age division. Elmo is the USATF National Outdoor Champion (Lexington, KY) in the 400, 800, and 1500M and ranked #1 in the US in those distances.[8] He is the USATF 8K CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPION.[9](San Diego, Ca) Shropshire is the 2022 National Senior Games Champion in the 800, 1500, and 5K. (Ft. Lauderdale, Fl) [10] [11]

In October 2019, Shropshire won the US National 5K Cross Country Championship in his age division.[12] On October 13, 2012, he won his age division in the United States National 5K Cross Country Championship in San Diego, California,[13] 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.[14]


Elmo & Patsy[edit]


  • 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"
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[edit]


  • 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)


Dr. Elmo Music Videos[edit]

  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer Rap Version
  • Grandma's Killer Fruitcake
  • Uncle Johnny's Glass Eye
  • Christmas All Across the USA
  • Blame it On El Nino
  • The Witch and the Toad
  • Christmas in the USA
  • Prison Without Martha Stewart
  • All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
  • Haunted Hoedown
  • Pointy the Pyramid Pumpkin
  • Redneck Dracula
  • Doomsday Waltz
  • The Fly
  • The Scariest Thing I'll Ever Do
  • What Scares You?


  1. ^ https://www.ocala.com/story/news/local/2013/12/18/twisted-christmas-song-still-pays-the-rent-for-onetime-ocala-veterinarian/31930882007/
  2. ^ "AT LONG LAST SINGLES". Stubby's House of Christmas. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ Napoli, Lisa (30 October 2006). "Ringtone royalties" (Audio with transcript). Marketplace.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer' singer is sued". USA Today. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Elmo Shropshire sings 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer'". Fox News. 4 February 2017.
  6. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-guy-who-sang-grandma-got-run-over-by-a-reindeer-can-really-hoof-it-11577196842?tesla=y
  7. ^ Mason, Clark (24 December 2012). "Novelty reindeer song still has legs, 30 years later". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ https://mastersrankings.com
  9. ^ https://results.usatf.org/2022XC
  10. ^ https://nsga-results.fusesport.com/drawindividual.asp?id=578122&seasonid=741
  11. ^ https://nsga-results.fusesport.com/competitions.asp?compID=578833&id=741
  12. ^ (PDF) https://sandiego.usatf.org/USATF_ASSOC_44/files/7b/7bf3780a-3933-4bf0-b596-106cbe1e9a6e.pdf. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "USA Track & Field - Men's Age Division Results".
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-10-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944–2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-188-8.

External links[edit]