Friday Factoid: “White Christmas”

–By Brandon
Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas” in  Holiday Inn.
Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas” in Holiday Inn.

The 1942 Irving Berlin song “White Christmas” was originally recorded by Bing Crosby, and has since been recorded over 500 times. The song was originally written in La Quinta, CA or Phoenix, AZ, a fact that is hinted in the original verse (which is not contained in our performance version). The song was originally performed on an NBC radio show on Christmas 1941 prior to the film musical Holiday Inn, which pushed the song to the top of the Billboard charts and garnered the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Over time, Crosby’s “White Christmas” has become the best-selling single of all time, selling over 50 million copies, topping Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997.” “White Christmas” was a favorite of soldiers during World War II, and was later used as the signal to start the U.S. evacuation of Saigon during the Vietnam War.

Member reflection: Holiday songs tend to have as many different arrangements as there are days on an Advent calendar, but the 1971 arrangement of “White Christmas” by Roy Ringwald (based on a version he did for Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians) has stood the test of time. I learned it many years ago when I was a fledgling choral singer, and I’ve never gotten tired of it. It’s a favorite with audiences as well–Choir of the Sound’s 2012 performance is the all-time most popular video on our YouTube channel, with over 11,000 views and counting.David