The Myth of Charles Brown and ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’
There are so many myths when it comes to the Christmas 'classic' "Please Come Home for Christmas" by Charles Brown. I've heard stories and legends about the song for decades and I have yet to hear anything that is even almost true. Most of the legends deal with the myth that Charles Brown had connections to Lake Charles.
Charles Brown was from Texas City, Texas which is just outside of Galveston on the way to Houston. Brown was also not your typical musicians nor a typical blues artist. Brown attended Prairie View A&M University and, for several years, was a chemistry teacher. You don't meet a lot of musicians who know chemistry! Brown moved to Los Angeles in 1943,
There's also the rumor that "Please Come Home for Christmas" was recorded at the legendary Goldband Studios here in Lake Charles. In all probability, Brown recorded the Gulf Coast favorite in Cincinnati, since that was the home of his label, "King" records. the song was recorded and released in 1960 and, even among his fans, 'Please Come Home for Christmas' is just a minor footnote in the man's career.
Brown was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. He was a recipient of a 1997 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the United States.
Despite the fact that "Please Come Home for Christmas" was never a national hit does not matter in the least. The fact that there is no connection between Charles Brown and Lake Charles, for many, many people, it's not Christmas until they hear those familiar bells at the beginning!
Here is Brown doing one of his real blues song. Give it a listen. He was a great blues artist.