Just before Thanksgiving, my car radio began blaring “Jingle Bell Rock.” Next came, “White Christmas,” but not the version Lady Gaga recorded last year. It was Bing Crosby’s original – the largest selling record of all time – released 70 years ago.
When it comes to Christmas music, the oldies appear to be the goodies.
Contemporary artists still record new holiday albums each year. As a Floridian, I’m hopeful that Colby Caillat’s “Christmas in the Sand” album has at least one original song that will become a classic.
However, newly composed holiday music is rare and most albums are filled with tunes like “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which were written in 1943!
One recent addition came in 1979, when Sir Paul McCartney wrote and recorded “Wonderful Christmastime” and, according to Forbes magazine, it has earned him roughly $500,000 every year since.
Another exception: Mariah Carey’s 1994 song, “All I Want for Christmas is You,“ was a rare holiday hit that ranks highest in digital downloads since 2003. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t be Late)” from 1958, is in second place.
As I pop in my Nat King Cole CD and sing “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” I admit a special fondness for music that’s older than I am – and just as resistant to change. Quite a holly jolly thought.