Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 10

Other sources will give lists of The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time; this site actually lets you hear them so you can see which ones you like the most.  We have 150 of them and six more are featured below!
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
by Bing Crosby

Bing's version was recorded in 1951.  With his deep baritone voice, if Bing said it, it was true!

 "Let It Snow"
by Diana Krall

This gifted Canadian singer-songwriter has taken the world by storm, becoming the top-selling jazz artist of all-time.  Her signature nightclub-type voice and keyboard skills have won acclaim the world over.  She gives this favorite a nice touch.

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
by Nat King Cole

This popular hymn first appeared in the 1739 collection Hyms and Sacred Poems by Charles Wesley but it is not the one we hear today.  Wesley's tune is much more somber.  George Whitefield, Wesley's co-worker, changed the opening lyrics from "Hark!  how all the welkin rings" to the one we hear today.  Then in 1840, Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata and it is this cantata, adapted by William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of "Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing", that we are familiar with.

Nat King Cole gives us the signature version of this song.
"All I Want for Christmas"
by Spike Jones

We have hymns, Christmas carols, new songs and also a few novelty ones thrown in as well.  Donald Yetter Gardner, a music teacher in Smithtown, New York, wrote this song after asking his second grade class what they wanted for Christmas and noticing almost all hat at least one front tooth missing as they answered in a lisp.  Gardner then wrote the song in 30 minutes.

The song was published in 1948 after an employee of Witmark music company heard Gardner sing it at a music teachers conference.  Later that year, Spike Jones recorded the song with lead vocal by George Rock.

"Jingle Bell Rock"
by Bobby Helms

The first rock Christmas song is this one right here.  It was written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe and released by Bobby Helms in 1957.  It thus became the first rock Christmas song to become a standard, hitting #1 in 1957 despite being released just two days before Christmas.  It has since reappeared on the charts six more times and is second to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" in sales among Christmas songs.

"Silent Night"
by the Temptations

Featuring the great bass voice of Melvin Franklin and David Ruffin's super-high tenor voice, the Temptations give a great treatment to this holiday favorite.

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