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Crosby Croons Classic Christmas Carols,
This review is from: White Christmas (Audio CD)
Bing Crosby's single of "White Christmas" sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was the best-selling single in any music category for more than 50 years until 1998 when Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind," overtook it in a matter of months. However, this does not take into account all those millions of copies of the song that were sold as part of albums such as this 1949 classical collection of Christmas songs from der Bingle. The song was written by Irving Berlin for the Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire film "Holiday Inn," and was first performed by Crosby on his Christmas Day radio show in 1941. Crosby recorded the single in May 1941, "Holiday Inn" came out in August, and on Halloween the song hit #1 and stayed there for 11 weeks. However, the version on this Christmas album was, I believe, recorded in 1947 when Crosby had to return to the studio because the original master had been damaged because of so much use ("White Christmas" made it back into the Top 30 sixteen times, hitting #1 again in both 1945 and 1947).
Of course, there are eleven other songs on this album once you get past the title song, which is, surprisingly, the second track on the album. The other songs cover the entire musical spectrum in terms of Christmas songs. There is "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" for the kids and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" for the parents. There are religious songs like "Silent Night" and "Adeste Fideles," and secular classics including "Jingle Bells" and "Silver Bells." Crosby even goes ethnic with "Christmas in Killarney" and "Mele Kalikimaka." All of them reflect Crosby's crooning at his best, at a time when his vocal maturity matched his reputation as the premier vocalist of his day. This has been one of the premier Christmas collections for over half-a-century, with good reason.