A Treasury of Christmas Carols


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Bing's Gold Records

(Titles 1 to 21 – Decca; 22 - Capitol)

Of his 22 Gold Records for individual songs – that is, records with sales of at least one million – four were Christmas carols:

3. "White Christmas." First recorded in 1942 with the Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter Orchestra, and then re-recorded in 1947 with the same singers and orchestra, "White Christmas" was Bing’s number 1 Christmas carol. Bing's 1942 recording of "White Christmas" topped the pop charts in three different years (1942, '45, and '47). In 1942, it was in the number one spot for 11 weeks. It was also in the top ten in 1943 and 1944.

The 1947 re-recording of "White Christmas" made the charts at 3 (1948), 5 (1949), 13 (1950), 13 (1951), 21 (1953), 21 (1954), 7 (1955), 34 (1957), 26 (1960), 12 (1961), 38 (1962).

"White Christmas" went Platinum in 1960.

4. "Silent Night Holy Night" (1942). This recording from 1935, with the Guardsmen Quartet and Victor Young Orchestra, also reached the charts in 1938 (at number 7) and 1941 (at number 11). This recording went Platinum in 1970. Another version recorded with Al Rinker, Harry Barris, Austin Young, Jack Fulton, Charles Gaylord, and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra reached number 6 in 1928. Finally, there was a version recorded with the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra which reached number 22 in 1947.

7. "Jingle Bells" with the Andrews Sisters (1943). This song also hit number 19 in 1947. Also recorded in 1943 with the Andrews Sisters and the Vic Schoen Orchestra was "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" which reached number 22 in 1947

8. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (1943). This little gem, perfectly suited for Crosby's rolling baritone, is one of Bing's most successful Christmas song. He recorded it Oct. 4, 1943, backed by the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, and within two months the song was on the charts, where it stayed for 7 weeks, eclipsing "White Christmas." The recording hit the charts again in December 1944 getting to number 3 on the charts. [Other sources say that this was Bing’s fifth gold record.]

23. In 1970 an album went Gold: "Merry Christmas," an album anthology, which first topped the charts in 1957. Recorded with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra), the album reached number 1 in 1958, number 17 in 1959, number 9 in 1960 and number 22 in 1962. It can still be found – in CD form – during Christmas, 2000, 42 years after it was released.

There were lots of other Christmas hits in these years, including "Sleigh Ride in July" (1944, John Scott Trotter Orchestra) which reached number 14. He recorded "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in 1950 with Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra); it reached number 14. In 1950, he recorded "Silver Bells" with Carole Richards and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra; it reached number 20 on the charts in 1952. He also recorded "Marshmallow World" in 1950 with the Lee Gordon Singers and the Sonny Burke Orchestra; it reached number 24. In 1955, he recorded "A Christmas Sing with Bing" [CBS radio long-playing album] which was recorded with the Norman Luboff Choir and the Paul Weston Orchestra; it reached number 21 on the charts.

His first, in 1937, was "Sweet Leilani." Bing's voice was at its peak in the 30's and 40's and throughout this period he had no equal. During his career, he sang every imaginable kind of song including romantic ballads, country and western, patriotic, religious, Irish and Hawaiian favourites as well as light opera and jazz classics. No singer has ever matched Bing when it comes to Christmas; his Yuletide offerings remain pre-eminent throughout the world. Some 1500 of Bing's recordings (both commercial and radio) are currently available on compact disc and more are released all over the world on a regular basis. In the region of 250 Crosby CDs have been issued since the advent of the compact disc as proof that twenty-one years after his death Bing remains ever popular.

Next: Television and Those Christmas Specials

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Collections of Christmas Carols & Poetry
Compiled and Edited by
Douglas D. Anderson

Victorian Visions
A Christmas Poetry Collection

Divinely Inspired
A Christmas Poetry Collection

The Bridegroom Cometh
Poetry For The Advent

Other books by Doug Anderson

Once A Lovely Shining Star

A Christmas Poetry Collection

So Gracious Is The Time

A Christmas Poetry Collection

How Still The Night

The Christmas Poems of Father Andrew, S.D.C.

 Father and Daughter

Christmas Poems by Frances and William Havergal

Now, Now The Mirth Comes

Christmas Poetry by Robert Herrick

What Sudden Blaze Of Song

The Christmas Poems of Rev. John Keble

 A Holy Heavenly Chime

The Christmastide Poems of Christina Georgina Rossetti

All My Heart This Night Rejoices

The Christmas Poems of Catherine Winkworth

A Victorian Carol Book

Favorites from the 19th Century —
Still favorites today!

Other Books by Doug Anderson

A Psalter – A Book of the Psalms Arranged by Luther's Categories

Betbüchlein: A Personal Prayer Book, a recreation of Luther's 1529 prayer book

Daily Prayer

Luther's Passional

Luther's Writings on Prayer: A Selection

Devotions for the Advent – 2009
A new edition for 2010 is being prepared.

The Lenten Sermons of Martin Luther, Second Edition

Descriptions of all these volumes can be seen at
Books by Doug Anderson

Christmas is a wonderful, cheerful holiday.  Whether we spend it by a real tree or some Balsam Hill artificial Christmas trees, at the end of the day what matters is that we enjoy our time together with our loved ones. 

The Hymns and Carols of Christmas
Douglas D. Anderson

© Copyright 1996, All Rights Reserved.

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