It seems like no matter where you go, you just cannot get away from the music of Christmas. You hear it in the stores, you hear it in the car and you hear it at home. You probably know the following songs very well, but you may not know some of these fun facts.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
In the late 1930s, department stores bought and distributed coloring books each holiday season. In 1939, Montgomery Ward thought they could save money by writing their own; copywriter Robert L. May was given the assignment. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came from May’s own childhood difficulties as the smallest boy in his class. The story was made into a song when May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, developed the music and melody.
Written by Irving Berlin, “White Christmas” is thought to be the most popular Christmas song ever. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bing Crosby’s version is the best-selling single of all time. The song was originally written to capture holiday nostalgia. It was a story about a New Yorker stuck in California at Christmas. The song has been re-recorded over 50 times since its first release in the early 1940s.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Jimmy Boyd recorded the Christmas classic when he was only 13 years old. Many people thought the song was too risqué and was banned from play in multiple radio stations. Columbia Records had to appeal to the Council of Churches to clear the ban. The appeal worked and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” became a Christmas favorite.
The Christmas Song
Song writing partners Mel Torme and Bob Wells took turns going over to each other’s houses to write songs. One smoldering hot day in July, Mel drove to Bob’s home. When he arrived, he could not find Bob, but found words written on an open spiral note pad. It said “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide Carols being sung by a choir, folks dressed up like Eskimos.” Mel asked Bob what these words were and he said he was trying to mentally cool himself down by writing about a totally different season. The duo wrote the rest of the song in 35 minutes.
The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
David Seville was inspired to write “The Chipmunk Song” in 1958 when his son kept asking him if it was Christmas yet; he assumed he was not the only parent with a child overly excited about the upcoming holiday. “The Chipmunk Song” was the last Christmas song to hit #1 on the US Billboard Pop 100 Chart.
Who knew the Christmas classics had such history? What are your favorite classic Christmas songs?