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Blue Christmas

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 Read More

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I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is a Christmas song written by British songwriter, Tommie Connor. The fun song was commissioned by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store’s Christmas Card that year.  The original sketch on the Christmas card was drawn by Perry Barlow, an artist for The New Yorker. Thirteen-year-old, Jimmy Boyd, originally Read More

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Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in July 1945. Big Band Leader, Vaughn Monroe, first recorded the song on December 22, 1945. The song was actually written during a heat wave in Hollywood, CA. In the book Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo, Sammy Cahn said: Read More

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Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

We all love to hear Have a Holly Jolly Christmas during the holidays.  What a wonderful greeting or farewell. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas was written by Johnny Marks in 1962.  Marks also wrote the song, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  The Quinto Sisters titled their first album Holly Jolly Christmas in 1964. In 1964, Have a Read More

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What a Wonderful World

With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought What a Wonderful World would be a great song to discuss this week. Louis Armstrong recorded this song by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss in 1967.  He was only paid $250 for the original recording.   He accepted the spec payment to ensure the orchestra would also be paid. Read More

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12 Days of Christmas

Christmas season will officially start in just a few weeks, but I thought we would get a head start before enjoying a Thanksgiving song next week. The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas Carol that resolves around a series of gifts “my true love gave to me.” The song was published in 1780 Read More

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Profile of a Performer: Burl Ives

If you watch the animated feature Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer at Christmas time you will remember the narrator, Sam the Snowman.   This snowman is voiced by the powerful vocals of Burl Ives. Ives goes on to sing such hits as A Holly Jolly Christmas and Silver and Gold in the special. Burl Ives was Read More

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The Christmas Song

The song has it’s origins in the hot sweltering summer.  Mel Tormé arrived for a writing session in July 1945, at the lake house of his writing partner, Bob Wells.  He noticed the first four lines of the now famous song, written on a note pad on the top of the piano. When he asked Read More

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a song that can bring tears to the eye, especially if one is away from home and family for the holiday season. The song was written for just that reason, to honor the soldiers overseas who longed to be home during World War II.  The song lyrics explain that Read More

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Jingle Bells

Although we now sing Jingle Bells at Christmas time, the song was originally written for another holiday, Thanksgiving. Legend says that the author wrote the song for a children’s Sunday School Class at Thanksgiving. The poem was written by James Lord Pierpont and published in 1857 under the title One Horse Open Sleigh.  The song Read More