Merry Christmas – Bing Crosby

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Merry Christmas, by Bing Crosby

  • Compilation album of Christmas music first released by Bing Crosby in 1945 on the Decca label. My version is a 1980 re-issue on MCA Records (MCA purchased Decca in 1962).
  • This is the album that contains the best selling single of all time, White Christmas. If you make a list of iconic Christmas music, Crosby’s White Christmas tops that list. As a single, sales of White Christmas exceeded 50 million copies. Nothing else comes close – #2 is Candle In the Wind 1997, Elton John’s tribute to Lady Diana Spencer, which sold 33 million copies.
  • The original Merry Christmas album contained five discs played at 78 rpm, with two songs per disc. A second edition in 1945 was still in a 78 rpm format, and it featured a re-recording of White Christmas because the original master recording had worn out. The first edition on an LP vinyl record was in 1955, with eight of the tracks from the original version plus four additional Christmas songs. This version continues to be reprinted today – it has been in print longer than any other album, except for one (the Original Cast Recording of the Broadway musical Oklahoma beats it by 12 years).
  • The various releases of the album topped the Billboard pop albums chart for a total of 39 weeks over the years.
  • The album has many of the classics, both religious (Silent Night, Adeste Fideles, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Faith of Our Fathers) and secular (White Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and others). Three of the tracks include The Andrews Sisters, who frequently sang with Crosby in recordings during the 40s.
  • Everything about this album is perfect. I’ll call out three of my favorites – Christmas In Killarney (the Irish-American Christmas carol written in 1950), Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian for “Merry Christmas” written in 1949), and of course, White Christmas (Irving Berlin’s most famous song of the thousands that he wrote in his life).
  • Here’s a version of White Christmas as sung by Crosby and Frank Sinatra, back in the day. Enjoy…and Merry Christmas!

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