The 1940’s delivered the unspeakable horrors of World War II but they also gave us the classic sound of Christmas.
Fred Waring And His Pennsylvanians – ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Glenn Miller – Jingle Bells
The Andrews Sisters – Christmas Island
Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
Vaughn Monroe – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Eddy Arnold – C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
Judy Garland – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Gene Autry – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Bing Crosby – Happy Holiday
Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee – Winter Weather
Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra – Santa Claus Is On His Way
Back in the forties there was no streaming, CD’s or for that matter cassette tapes so for those not enamoured with the wireless the only option was the phonograph and vinyl disc. The decade’s simplicity brought its own joy however. Surely there must have been no greater Christmas pleasure than having Bing’s ‘White Christmas’ spinning around at 45 RPM while his warm dulcet tones betrayed the wintry exposures outside the dining room windows.
Bing’s entry in this classic Christmas hit parade is undoubtedly the most famous, albeit in a version that you may not have heard previously, but there is so much here that you’ll either know or instantly fall in love with. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy a warm feeling from the Andrew Sisters ‘Christmas Island’, which takes the altogether zany approach of a bright summer outlook on a song designed for a much colder time of the year.
Given that it is the early sixties version of ‘The Christmas Song’ that has become ubiquitous you might be surprised to hear that Nat King Cole first recorded the song in 1946. And how cozy and homespun it must have sounded for a world in its early stages of recovery following the apocalypse of the Second World War. And if that doesn’t have you tearing up then Judy Garland’s devastating reading of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ will do the trick.