The best selling Christmas album in the USA is by Elvis Presley, released in October, 1957. It was his fourth studio album and his first Christmas one. Titled "Elvis' Christmas Album", it featured eight Christmas songs and four gospel songs.
This is the playlist:
Side 1: 1- "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" (written by Lieber and
and Stoller, the same songwriters that wrote "Hound
Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock.".
2- "White Christmas" (written by Irving Berlin, who was
not pleased by this rendition by Elvis,
and tried to have it banned on the
3- "Here Comes Santa Claus"
4- "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
5- "Blue Christmas"
6- "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me"
Side 2: 1- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
2- "Silent Night"
3- "(There Will Be) Peace In the Valley"
4- "I Believe"
5- "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"
6- "It Is No Secret"
I can understand that Irving Berlin might have been a bit upset by the treatment of "White Christmas", but Elvis was not the first one to sing it arranged in this way. The Drifters had a hit with the same song on the R&B charts in 1954 and 1955 and it sounds very similar. (You might remember it from the movie, "Home Alone".) Elvis must have liked the Drifters' version! (Besides, Irving Berlin should have realized, a Southern boy like Elvis would not have known a white Christmas and it makes sense that he might like to sing it in a tongue in cheek manner!)
As for the rest of the songs, the hymns and the gospel songs...I believe that you can hear the sincerity in Elvis' voice. It comes across loud and clear to me, even though this was recorded almost 60 years ago.
"Silent Night" and "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" were arranged by Elvis Presley.
Oh! I do have more to say about these songs! (You do know how much I like to tell you about songwriters.) That will have to wait until another post!
Of course, you know I found the entire album for you on YouTube.
Enjoy! And thank you, thank you very much!
Since Elvis has the best selling American Christmas album of all time, we need to be hearing more of his songs on the radio other than "Blue Christmas". By the way, the world wide sales of this album is 15 million!
Merry Christmas from me ...and Elvis!