Blue Christmas was written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson.
The song was first recorded by Doyle O’Dell in 1948.
The following year the song was popularized by Ernest Tubb. His version appeared at #1 on the Billboard magazine’s Country & Western Chart in the first week of January 1950. His country version included an extra verse not later recorded on the Elvis Presley version.
However, crooner Billy Eckstine was the first to record the shorter version of Blue Christmas.
Of course, the Elvis Presley version made propelled it to a greater audience than the country music crowd it first appealed to. The Rock ‘n Roll version, recorded in 1957, began the signature version of the Christmas song. Elvis version cemented it’s status as a rock ‘n roll holiday classic.
Elvis’ 1968 television special, Elvis, is the only video footage of him singing a Christmas song. He referred to the song as “my favorite Christmas song of the ones I’ve recorded.”
The song appeared in The Year Without A Santa Claus.
Many others such as Celine Dion, the Beach Boys, Tammy Wynette, and Andrea Bocelli have also recorded the song.
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