Guess who’s got a friend at Hallmark?

Jamestaylor_coverSinger/songwriter James Taylor says he’s seen fire and he’s seen rain—and in 2002 he saw the loss of his record contract.

So Taylor certainly had the right idea in pairing with Hallmark Gold Crown stores this year, where he has sold more than 1 million copies of his first Christmas CD.

The folk artist bypassed a record company and on Nov. 1 began selling James Taylor: A Christmas Album for $10.95, or $6.95 with the purchase of three Hallmark greeting cards.

And now his versions of Winter Wonderland, Go Tell It On The Mountain and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, among others, have gone platinum.

Some of America’s other big retailers have done this successfully before. Last year, special compilation CDs of Sting’s love songs were for sale at the checkout counter at Victoria’s Secret (AdFreak sheepishly admits being suckered in to that one). Starbucks sold a Ray Charles album that did quite well in their coffee shops. But James Taylor’s music for sale next to rows and rows of sentimental greeting cards, that’s pretty smart.

What could be next? Ashlee Simpson’s CD for sale next to the black hair dye? The new Motley Crue release in the hard-liquor aisle? Rolling Stones music next to the Mylanta?

Who knows.

—Posted by Celeste Ward