Friday, February 7, 2014


Christmas is over a month behind us and less than eleven months into the future, but outside the window it still looks like a Christmas card. The snow we'd hoped for for Christmas Eve is with us today. Just as a Christmas snow can form a picture memory, the music we listened to during all the holidays of our growing up years can create a mood for reminiscing as we grow older.
As kids in Grade School we might have listened 
to some of these Christmas songs. 
Is your kid song missing?
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
(from the late forties)
All I Want For Christmas was written in 1944 by music teacher Donald Yetter Gardner. When he asked his class of second graders what they wanted for Christmas, he noticed as they answered that almost all of them had at least one front tooth missing. It took him thirty minutes to compose the song. After an employee at a music company heard him sing his song at a music teacher's conference, the song was published .   
Why a teacher wrote ‘All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)’

Nat 'King' Cole & His Trio - All I Want For Christmas


 Here Comes Santa Claus
Gene Autry got the idea for this Christmas song as he rode his horse in a Los Angeles Christmas Parade (Santa Claus Lane Parade in 1946) and listened to the crowd shouting "Here comes Santa Claus".


Gene Autry - Here Comes Santa Claus (Columbia Records 1947)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
At first the management at Montgomery Ward rejected Robert May's story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer because, at that time, a bright red nose was associated with alcoholism. An illustrator at Wards drew a cute, bouncy reindeer, and management decided to support the story. The story was made into a song by Johnny Marks, Robert May's brother-in-law, and recorded by Gene Autry. It became the second best selling record of all time until the 1980s.

Gene Autry Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Up On The House Top 
Up on the Housetop was written by Benjamin Hanby, in 1864. It's considered the first Christmas song to focus on Santa Claus and to offer the idea that he lands on the roof of houses. 

Gene Autry - Up on the House Top 


 Frosty the Snowman
 Frosty the Snowman was first recorded by Gene Autry in 1950. The writers of the song shipped it to him in the hopes of making it another seasonal hit after his success with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. 

Gene Autry - Frosty the Snowman


Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Frosty the Snowman (2:54)

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
After she recorded the song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Gayla Peevey was given a live hippo. She donated it to a city zoo, and it lived there for almost fifty years. Gayla recorded the song when she was ten years old. 

 "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"
(written by John Rox)
Original recording by Gayla Peevey

Gayla's Story 

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Jimmy Boyd recorded I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus when he was thirteen years old. The song became a #1 hit in December of 1952. Saks Fifth Avenue had commissioned the song to promote their Christmas card, that year. 
Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 1952

 (to be continued)

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