Music Throwback Saturday: White Christmas

“The version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.”

whitechristmas-decca18429aThere are, as far as I can ascertain, only two versions of perennial favorite White Christmas that charted on both the pop and the rhythm & blues charts.

One was the version by the Drifters, which got to #2 on the R&B chats in 1954, and returned to the top 12 the next two years. It also got up to #80 on the pop charts in 1955, and showed up on the lower parts of the pop charts the next couple years. There were also special Christmas charts where the song showed up in the 1960s.

The other version was by an obscure crooner named Bing Crosby. In 1942, his version topped the pop charts a staggering 11 weeks, and led the R&B charts for three weeks. The song hit the Top 10 in both charts in 1943. It reentered the pop charts every year from then until 1951, and again from 1953 to 1962, before the Christmas carts were instituted in 1963 and dominated for many years.

There was a version recorded in 1947 by Crosby, which supplanted the iteration from Holiday Inn, the 1942 movie, because “the original masters had been worn out from all the pressings.”

From the Wikipedia: Irving Berlin “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!’

Here are movie facts from the 1954 movie White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.

“The version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.”

Listen to
Bing Crosby 1942 here
BING Crosby in the movie Holiday Inn (1942) here
Bing Crosby 1947 here
Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye, from the 1954 movie here

The Drifters here or here

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Music Throwback Saturday: White Christmas”

  1. Any other waxing of “White Christmas” is at best a poor third behind these two.

    I think my Drifters single was pressed about 1968.

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