White Christmas – Bing Crosby

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on December 24th of 1954 Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” enters the Billboard Pop chart for the first time, seven years after it was recorded. According to Guinness World Records, Bing’s rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. This 8-line song that paints a picture of holiday nostalgia was written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, where Bing Crosby sings it from the perspective of a New Yorker stranded in sunny California during Christmas.Crosby recorded a version of the song for release as a single with the Kim Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra on May 29, 1942 – a few months before the movie hit theaters. At the advice of Bing’s record producer Jack Kapp, this original first verse was excised as it made no sense outside of the context of the film. Now starting with the familiar, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” the song became a huge hit, going to #1 on the Billboard chart (measuring sales) in October, and staying in the top spot for 11 weeks, taking it through the first two weeks of 1943. The song enjoyed a sales resurgence every Christmas after it was first released in 1942. It went to #1 that year in America, and again reached the top spot in 1945 and 1947. The song appeared on various Billboard charts every year until 1963 when it finally dropped off the Hot 100. Bing re-recorded the song on March 19, 1947, again with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra because the original masters had been worn out from all the pressings. This is this version that is most often heard today. By 1954, this song was a holiday favorite, and that year Paramount Pictures released a movie called White Christmas to tie in with it. Crosby starred in the film along with Danny Kaye, and of course performed his famous song. This won the Academy Award for Best Song of 1942. Andy Williams released this song on his very first Christmas album (there were eight total), The Andy Williams Christmas Album in 1963, which also debuted his own enduring holiday classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” His version of “White Christmas” also became the #1 selling Christmas single that year. The Christmas classic peaked at #5 in the UK.