White Christmas (song)

White Christmas (song)

. The morning after he wrote the song — Berlin usually stayed up all night writing — the songwriter went to his office and told his musical secretary, "Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I've ever written — hell, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!" [ [http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/white_christmas.htm White Christmas ] ]

Berlin wrote the song in early 1940 while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. The original verse pokes fun at a well-off Los Angeleno who, amid orange and palm trees, longs for traditional Christmas "up north". Berlin later dropped the verse but kept the now-famous chorus. [ [http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/white_christmas.htm White Christmas ] ]

"White Christmas" was introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1942 musical "Holiday Inn". In the film, he sings it in a duet with Marjorie Reynolds. The song went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Though Marjorie Reynolds was the actress playing Linda Mason, her voice was dubbed by Martha Mears for the movie, and in the script as originally conceived, Reynolds, not Crosby, was to sing the song.cite book
last = Mueller | first = John | title = Astaire Dancing - The Musical Films
publisher = Hamish Hamilton |date=1986 | location = London | pages = pp.204,425
id = ISBN 0-241-11749-6

The first public performance of the song was also by Crosby, on his top-rated NBC radio show "The Kraft Music Hall" on Christmas Day, 1941; the recording of that performance is not believed to have survived. He recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers for Decca Records in just 18 minutes on May 29, 1942 and it was released on July 30 as part of an album of six 78-rpm songs from the film. The song initially performed poorly and was far overshadowed by the hit song of "Holiday Inn", "Be Careful, It's my Heart". By the end of October, "White Christmas" topped the "Your Hit Parade" chart and remained in that position until well into the new year. (It has often been noted that the mix of melancholy — "just like the ones I used to know" — with comforting images of home — "where the treetops glisten" — resonated especially strongly with listeners during World War II and the Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests for it.) In 1942 alone, the song spent eleven weeks on top of the charts. It returned to the #1 spot again during the holiday seasons of 1945 and 1946 (on the chart dated January 4, 1947), thus becoming the only single in history with three separate runs at the top of the U.S. charts. Eventually, Crosby's "White Christmas" single sold more than 50 million copies. The "Guinness Book of World Records" currently lists the song as a 100-million seller (this encompassing all versions of the song, including on albums).


The most familiar version of "White Christmas" is not, however, the one Crosby originally recorded in 1942. He was called back to the Decca studios on March 18, 1947, to re-record "White Christmas" as a result of damage to the 1942 master due to its frequent use.Fact|date=May 2007 Every effort was made to reproduce the original Decca recording session, once again backed by the Trotter Orchestra and the Darby Singers. The resulting rerecording is the one that has become most familiar to the public. Crosby himself was dismissive of the achievement, saying later that "a jackdaw with a cleft palate could have sung it successfully."

The song was also the title theme for the 1954 musical "White Christmas", starring Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, which was the highest-grossing film of 1954.

Crosby's single of "White Christmas" is recognized as the best-selling single in any music category and Crosby's recording has sold millions of additional copies as part of numerous albums, including his best-selling holiday collection "Merry Christmas", which was first released as an LP in 1949 and has never been out-of-print since.

"ItsRanked" has Crosby's version of "White Christmas" as the number one Christmas song on its Top 40 Christmas Songs of all time ranking. [ [http://itsranked.com/rankings/2007/11/christmas-songs-top-40.html Top 40 Christmas Songs (Lyrical) - ItsRanked! ] ]

The Crosby recording is the biggest selling single of all time, as confirmed by the 2008 "Guinness Book of Records".

In 1999, National Public Radio included it in the "NPR 100", in which NPR's music editors sought to compile the one hundred most important American musical works of the 20th century.

The recording was broadcast on the radio as a pre-arranged signal during the U.S. evacuation of Saigon on April 30, 1975 (see Fall of Saigon).

In 2002, the original 1942 version was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Clyde McPhatter's group, The Drifters, covered "White Christmas" late in 1954. For decades, this version was primarily heard on R & B radio stations, and got little exposure elsewhere. Beginning in the 1970s oldies stations also began playing this version in search for product within their core artists. In the early 1990s, after being heard on "Home Alone" (in the scene where Kevin is putting on his dad's aftershave and while doing that lip-sychs to the song), radio stations with formats as diverse as Adult Contemporary, Top 40, and Country, began playing this version. It was also heard on "The Santa Clause". The popularity of this version over the years has grown as a result. Today this version gets almost as much airplay as Bing Crosby's versions

Recording History

*A1 (1999)
*Air Supply
*Judy Akin (2006)
*Alvin and the Chipmunks
*Louis Armstrong (1952)
*Chet Atkins
*The Beach Boys (1964)
*Tony Bennett (1967), (duet with Vanessa Williams, 2001)
*Michael Bolton
*Boney M. (on the Christmas Album, 1981)
*Pat Boone
*The Boston Pops Orchestra (1959)
*Bright Eyes
*Garth Brooks (1992)
*Michael Bublé (2003)
*Max Bygraves (1989)
*The California Raisins
*Canadian Brass
*Jose Carreras
*Larry Carlton
*The Carpenters (as part of a medley with Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells)
*Celtic Woman (2006)
*Chage and Aska (1993)
*Chicago (1998)
*Rosemary Clooney (1954), (re-recorded with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with opening verse intact, 1990)
*Nat King Cole
*Perry Como (1959)
*Earl Thomas Conley
*Ray Conniff Singers
*Sarah Connor (2005)
*Crash Test Dummies (2002)
*Bing Crosby (1942, First Recording)
*Doris Day
*John Denver
*Destiny's Child (1999)
*Neil Diamond
*Placido Domingo (duet with Diana Ross, 1992)
*The Drifters (1954)
*Nelson Eddy (1951)
*Gloria Estefan (1993)
*Lara Fabian
*Percy Faith (1966)
*Alejandro Fernandez (1998)
*Ella Fitzgerald (1960)
*The Flaming Lips (2000)
*David Foster
*The Four Tops
*Connie Francis
*Kenny G
*Vince Gill
*Billy Gilman
*Girls Aloud (2005)
*Eydie Gormé (1964)
*Robert Goulet (1963)
*Al Green
*Larry Groce on the album "Disney's Christmas Favourites".
*John Guilmartin
*Merle Haggard
*Ayumi Hamasaki (2004)
*Jerry Lee Lewis (BBC-radio, 1962)
*Hampton String Quartet (1986, 2004)
*Helloween (1985)
*Lena Horne (1966)
*Engelbert Humperdinck
*Billy Idol (2006)
*Chris Isaak
*Burl Ives
*Alan Jackson (2002)
*Jack Jones
*Elton John
*Wynonna Judd (2006)
*Kiri Te Kanawa
*Jordan Rudess
*Toby Keith (2007)
*Diana Krall (2005)
*Audrey Landers
*Lawnmower Deth (1993)
*Peggy Lee (1960)
*Kenny Loggins (1998))
*Darlene Love (1963)
*Henry Mancini (1966)
*Barry Manilow
*Aimee Mann (2006)
*Mannheim Steamroller (2001)
*Mantovani (1952)
*Bob Marley & The Wailers (1965)
*Dean Martin (1959)
*Mireille Mathieu (1968)
*Johnny Mathis (1958)
*Martina McBride
*Reba McEntire
*Maureen McGovern (1990)
*MercyMe (2005)
*Metal X-Mas Project (2006)
*Bette Midler (2003)
*Glenn Miller Orchestra (1965)
*Mormon Tabernacle Choir
*The Moody Blues (2003)
*Joan Morris (original version, with opening verse intact)
*Anne Murray
*New Kids on the Block
*Nina & Fredrik
*Stacie Orrico (2001)
*Charlie Parker (1948)
*The Partridge Family
*Wolfgang Petry (2004)
*The Platters
*The Postcard Society (2006)
*Elvis Presley (1957)
*Eddy Raven
*Leon Redbone
*Otis Redding (1968)
*Jim Reeves
*Charlie Rich
*LeAnn Rimes (2004)
*Taylor Swift (2007)
*Lee Ritenour
*Kenny Rogers
*Linda Ronstadt and Rosemary Clooney (2000)
*Die Toten Hosen as "Die Roten Rosen" (1998)
*John Schneider (1983)
*Simone (1995)
*Frank Sinatra (1944, 1954)
*S.K.Y. (2006)
*Kate Smith
*Charlie Spivak (1942)
*Jo Stafford (1946, 1964)
*Ringo Starr (1999)
*Stiff Little FingersLive B-side (1980)
*George Strait (1986)
*Barbra Streisand (1967)
*Sugababes with Charlotte Church (2006)
*The Supremes (1965)
*The Swingle Singers (1994)
*The Temptations (1968)
*The Three Tenors (1999)
*Mel Torme(1992)
*Trance Airwave (2006)
*Twisted Sister (2006)
*Caterina Valente (1960)
*Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
*Jaci Velasquez (2001)
*The Ventures
*Westlife (2006)
*Andy Williams (1963)
*Tammy Wynette(1970)
*Tatsuro Yamashita
*Shania Twain

Notes and references

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • White Christmas (disambiguation) — White Christmas is the occurrence of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.White Christmas may also refer to: * White Christmas (Martina McBride album), an album by Country artist Martina McBride * White Christmas (song), a song written by Irving… …   Wikipedia

  • White Christmas — ist ein von Irving Berlin komponiertes Weihnachtslied. Die 1947 veröffentlichte Version, gesungen von Bing Crosby, gilt mit geschätzten 50 Millionen verkauften Singles als die meistverkaufte Single aller Zeiten.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • White christmas (chanson) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Noël blanc (homonymie). White Christmas est une chanson de Noël écrite au début des années 1940 par le compositeur américain Irving Berlin. Elle est vite devenue un classique du genre, comptant des centaines de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • White Christmas (film) — Infobox Film name = White Christmas imdb id = 0047673 writer = Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank starring = Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes director = Michael Curtiz producer = Robert… …   Wikipedia

  • White Christmas (album) — Infobox Album | Name = White Christmas Type = Album Artist = Bing Crosby White Christmas is a 1945 Christmas album by Bing Crosby. Originally released as Merry Christmas , it has since been revised, but it has remained in print for over sixty… …   Wikipedia

  • White Christmas (Lied) — Dieser Artikel bezieht sich auf das von Irving Berlin komponierte Lied; für den gleichnamigen Musikfilm siehe Weiße Weihnachten. White Christmas ist ein Lied von Irving Berlin (1888 1989), das ursprünglich zum Soundtrack des Musikfilms Musik,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • White Christmas (Martina McBride album) — Infobox Album Name = White Christmas Type = studio Artist = Martina McBride Released = 1998 Release September 29 1999 Release September 14 2007 Release October 2 Genre = Christmas Length = 41:06 Label = RCA Nashville Producer = Rob Christie… …   Wikipedia

  • White Christmas (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Weiße Weihnachten Originaltitel: White Christmas Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1954 Länge: 115 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • White Christmas and Little Drummer Boy Live — Infobox Album Name = White Christmas and Little Drummer Boy Live Type = Live album Artist = Mark Kozelek Released = October 2, 2007 Recorded = 2000 2006 Genre = Folk rock Length = Side A: 19:42 Side B: 21:33 Side C: 20:54 Side D: 21:10 Side E: 25 …   Wikipedia

  • White Christmas (chanson) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Noël blanc (homonymie). White Christmas est une chanson de Noël écrite au début des années 1940 par le compositeur américain Irving Berlin. Elle est vite devenue un classique du genre, comptant des centaines de… …   Wikipédia en Français