The Best Christmas Song of All Time — Here Are Your Voting Results!
If you missed out on Gary and Heather's countdown of the top Christmas songs of all time, then you might have missed on a few surprises! All week long, Fun Radio listeners have been casting their votes, and here are your results!
Initially released as a single in 1989, Vince Vance's version of this song has charted several times on the Billboard country singles charts. It is the most-played Christmas song on country radio, as well as Vince Vance & the Valiants' only chart entry.
For those who aren't familiar with the band, the vocalist on the song is actually Lisa Layne, not Vince Vance.
We knew this was a popular song, and we were even prepared to see it come in at No. 1 -- but we were blown away by how huge a margin it had! Well over half of you said it's the greatest Christmas song of all time. It's a tough one to argue!
There were a number of write-in votes for this poll, including stone-cold classics like Andy Williams' "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."
But of all the write-in votes, the song "The Little Drummer Boy" got the most votes, and that's the song we played on the countdown to represent the "OTHER" category.
"Please Come Home for Christmas," released in 1960,was initially recorded by the American blues singer and pianist Charles Brown. Hitting Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in December 1961, the tune Brown co-wrote with Gene Redd peaked at position #76. It appeared on the Christmas Singles chart for nine seasons, hitting #1 in 1972. It is sometimes referred to as "Bells Will Be Ringing."
Not a hit for Charles Brown, the song is more closely associated with the cover done by The Eagles.
"The Christmas Song" (commonly subtitled "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" or, as it was originally subtitled, "Merry Christmas to You") was written in 1944 by musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé -- with Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool", the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born.
"I saw a spiral pad on his piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, "Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob (Wells) didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later, that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."
The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole's behest – and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records – a second recording was made the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and RandB charts. Cole again recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in a stereophonic version with orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael. Nat King Cole's 1961 version is generally regarded as definitive, and in 2004 was the most loved seasonal song with women aged 30–49, while Cole's original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974. Mel Tormé recorded the song himself in 1954, and again in 1961, 1966 and 1992.
White Christmas is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song. One story is that he wrote it in 1940, in warm Banning, California. He often stayed up all night writing — he told his secretary, "Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I've ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!"
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958. Although Decca released it in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960; that Christmas season, it hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart and turned into a perennial holiday favorite. It continued to sell well during the holiday season, hitting #5 on the Christmas chart.
Brenda Lee's recording still receives a great deal of airplay. Despite the song's title, its instrumentation also fits the Country genre, which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. Despite her mature-sounding voice, she recorded this song when she was only 13 years old.
The song was first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948, and was popularized the following year in three separate recordings: one by country artist Ernest Tubb; Tubb's version spent the first week of January 1950 at # 1 on Billboard magazine's Most-Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records chart.
Elvis Presley cemented the status of "Blue Christmas" as a rock-and-roll holiday classic by deleting one verse from Tubb's version and recording the remainder on his 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album. Presley's original 1957 version was released as a commercially-available single for the first time in 1964.
"Jingle Bell Rock" was first released by Bobby Helms in 1957. It has received frequent airplay in the United States during every Christmas time since then.
A notable cover version of the song was recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1968 and Brenda Lee released a version which made the Billboard Christmas singles chart in both 1964 and 1967. Other artists to have covered the song include: Amy Grant, Billy Idol, The Beatles, Chubby Checker with Bobby Rydell, The Chipmunks, Hall & Oates, Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond, The Platters, Rascal Flatts, and Wayne Newton.
"Feliz Navidad" is a Christmas song written in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano. With its simple Spanish chorus (the traditional Christmas/New Year greeting, "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad" meaning "Merry Christmas, a prosperous year and happiness") and equally simple English verse "I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart", it has become a classic Christmas pop song in the United States, throughout the Spanish-speaking world and internationally.
Feliciano's version of "Feliz Navidad" (in which he plays both an acoustic guitar and a Puerto Rican cuatro) is one of the most downloaded and aired Christmas songs in the United States and Canada. It was also recognized by ASCAP as one of the top 25 most played and recorded Christmas songs around the world.
"Santa Baby" is a 1953 Christmas song written by Joan Javits (the niece of Senator Jacob K. Javits) and Philip Springer. Although Tony Springer is listed as co-writer, he was a legal fiction created for purposes of membership in the performing rights organization BMI.
The song is a tongue-in-cheek look at a Christmas list sung by a woman who wants extravagant gifts such as sables, yachts, and decorations from Tiffany's. It is one of only two hit Christmas songs written by a woman. (The other one is Carol of the Drum by Katherine K. Davis, more often called The Little Drummer Boy.)
"Santa Baby" was originally recorded by Eartha Kitt with Henri René and his orchestra in New York City on October 6, 1953.
"Santa Baby" has been covered in recorded and live performances by many artists throughout the years, including RuPaul, Shakira, Madonna, Britney Spears, Macy Gray, Natalie Merchant, Kylie Minogue, The Pussycat Dolls, LeAnn Rimes, Lynn Anderson, as well as in an Ally McBeal episode by the title character (Calista Flockhart); Miss Piggy sang the song in the film It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and recorded another version for the album A Green and Red Christmas. and Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) for (but ultimately cut from) the third season Christmas episode of Glee.
Mae West recorded the song in the 1960's for her album Wild Christmas. Vanessa L. Williams, Patti LaBelle, and Eartha Kitt performed the song in the 2001 animated Christmas TV special entitled Santa Baby!