Monday, December 5, 2016

The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 5

We've included a good mix of songs, not only in the Top 150, but also each day, so you'll get a good variety of songs by a variety of artists in a variety of styles.  Here are six more coming at ya on December 5:

"Christmas Time Is Here"
by Vince Guaraldi Trio

This holiday favorite instantly transports listeners to being kids for some reason.  It was released on the Soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in 1965, the music for the television special of the same name.  The angelic voices included on the song that fit the season are largely responsible for the song's relevance and popularity.

"Santa Baby"
by Eartha Kitt

Joan Javits (niece of Senator Jacob Javits) and Philip Springer wrote this song as a tongue-in cheek mockery of a woman who wanted extravagant gifts for Christmas. 

It was originally recorded by Eartha with Henri Rene and his orchestra on October 6, 1953 in New York City. She later said it was one of her favorite songs and reprised it in the 1954 move New Faces. The song was also featured in the 1989 movie Driving Miss Daisy.

"Go Tell It on the Mountain"
by Dolly Parton

We've already heard this song in The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time* by Mahalia Jackson.  Because the song is a spiritual and one of the most reverent, it is difficult to pull off and be true to the original intent. Dolly Parton recorded her version in 1990 and released it on the album Home for Christmas.  Her version does indeed seem genuine and thus has become a holiday favorite.

"Blue Christmas"
by Elvis Presley

This was written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948, then made popular by Ernest Tubb the following year.  It is one of the first to put out the notion that not everyone was happy at Christmas.

But when Elvis recorded it in 1957 in his one-of-a-kind style, he took it to the next level.  Elvis included it on Elvis' Christmas Album that year and released it as a single in 1964.  Elvis performs it in a bluesy style, a great pun on the title by the way, he gets his usual backing from the Jordanaires and Millie Kirkham can also be heard.   

"Deck the Halls"
by Nat King Cole

This traditional Christmas song is taken from the Welsh winter carol Nos Galan from the sixteenth century.  The chorus of "Fa la la" is from the Welsh song; the remaining lyrics are American from the nineteenth century.

Nat King Cole is another of those great Christmas artists.  He has several songs included in Inside the Rock Era's feature, and his version of this holiday favorite is one of the best there is.

"Silent Night"
by Garth Brooks
I wish we had a better video of this song and I will keep hunting.  It is from Garth's album Beyond the Season.  In addition to a humble recording, Brooks' inclusion of a story within the song adds special meaning.

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