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Bing Crosby Christmas CD

Bing Crosby Christmas Songs & Music

Bing Crosby's faith was sealed when he recorded Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas' in 1942. It has since sold more copies than any other song in the history of recorded music, 100 million at last count. Think of Bing Crosby and 'White Christmas' will probably pop into your head and what a lovely tune to have in there. It may have rich orchestral parts but 'White Christmas' is still a very simple song. Mostly it is just Bing and the lyrical imagery he conjures with those deep vocal tones. Bing recorded 7 Christmas albums of enormous variety from 1945 to 1971. The quality hardly dipped throughout the decades with the final album 'A Time To Be Jolly' being amongst the most cherisable Christmas albums ever recorded.

Of course Crosby's repertoire extends far beyond just one song and his stock of Christmas ditties alone is impressively expansive.

Bing Crosby's Christmas Singles

1928: Silent Night, Holy Night

1942: White Christmas

1943: I'll Be Home For Christmas, Jingle Bells

1945: The Bells of St. Mary's

1947: Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

1950: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Crosby Christmas, A Marshmallow World

1952: Silver Bells

1957: How Lovely Is Christmas

1960: Adestes Fideles

1982: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (with David Bowie)

Bing Crosby Christmas Albums

Merry Christmas

1945: Merry Christmas

Bing's first Christmas album 'Merry Christmas' contained his big song 'White Christmas', which probably explains why it was renamed 'White Christmas' by his record label. It is still available on CD under the latter title and to date it is second only to 'Elvis' Christmas Album' in terms of sales with 15 million to date. 'Merry Christmas' had 12 tracks that were mostly recognisable standards but Bing wasn't above throwing a few curveballs in the shape of the Irish traditional festive number 'Christmas in Killarney' and the Hawaiian Christmas song 'Mele Kalikimaka' (hear both videos below) with the Andrew Singers provided the necessary chirpy backing vocals.

How Lovely Is Christmas

1957: How Lovely Is Christmas

'How Lovely Is Christmas' is an entirely different type of Christmas album to the ones we're used to. It contained gorgeous songs like the title track but mostly it was just Bing, in that timeless voice of his, telling stories set at Christmas about Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and Daniel Boone. Although deleted for many years 'How Lovely Is Christmas' was reissued on CD in 2007. But for many nothing will replace the crackle and pops of the original vinyl recording. 'How Lovely Is Christmas' is also known as 'The Christmas Story'.

A Christmas Sing with Bing Around the World

1958: A Christmas Sing with Bing Around the World

'A Christmas Sing with Bing Around the World' is a recording of a radio show Bing Crosby put together on Christmas Eve 1955. It consisted of Bing singing 19 traditional favourites along as well as choosing his favourite letter sent in from children all over the world describing what Christmas meant to them. Bing's Christmas Eve shows ran from 1955 to 1962, each arriving at the appointed time of 9pm EST.

That Christmas Feeling

1958: That Christmas Feeling

Although it doesn't mention it in the title (which is a little surprising given the effect it might have had on sales) this was a Christmas album Bing recorded with the great Frank Sinatra. There was no straying from traditional standards on this one, although there is a rendition of Johnny Cash's 'I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day', but it is hard to resist anything festive by these 2 heavyweights. Given the caliber of the singers it is surprising how poor the production quality was on 'That Christmas Feeling' and it may explain why the album has been deleted for many years.

I Wish You A Merry Christmas

1962: I Wish You A Merry Christmas

This line was taken directly from the sleeve notes on 'I Wish You A Merry Christmas'; "These songs are from Bing, wishing you the merriest kind of holiday season, a time filled with fellowship, warmth, and rejoicing". So even in 1962 people were hankering for the Christmases of yore and 'I Wish You A Merry Christmas' filled that gap with 12 traditional songs. It included the little known bouncy 'Christmas Dinner Country Style', a real get them on the floor stomper (listen to it below).

12 Songs of Christmas

1964: 12 Songs of Christmas

Christmas collections don't get much more traditional than the '12 Songs of Christmas' by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Fred Waring. And with its colourful artwork and snowy scenes this was the complete package featuring 3 of the most popular artists of the time in 1962. Waring is perhaps the least known nowadays but back in his day few were more famous that this TV personality, band leader and musician. All 3 artists were joined on this lushly produced album by Waring's own backing band the Pennsylvanians. Amongst the better known standards on '12 Songs of Christmas' there were alos little heard gems like 'The Secret of Christmas' and 'We Wish You The Merriest'.

A Time to Be Jolly

1971: A Time to Be Jolly

Bing Crosby may have been 68 when 'A Time To Be Jolly' was released on Daybreak Records but he had lost none of his festive sparkle. As well as his distinctive vocals there was much to savour in the glorious production by Sonny Burke. 'A Time To Be Jolly' is awash with orchestral parts, brass ensembles, heavenly choirs and the odd well placed bell toll. It also included the wonderful 'And The Bells Rang', a song that appears to have been lost in the mists of time but surely deserves a place at contemporary Christmas tables. Crosby announced his new album on TV on the NBC network on December 14th 1971.

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