White Christmas

6 12 2010

Picture in your mind Andy Rooney on 60 minutes….ready?  Here we go…did you ever wonder what the story behind White Christmas was?  Me Too!

arguably one of the most famous of all Christmas songs which morfed into a musical in the 40’s and has since been colorized for television viewing.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen the musical or how often I find myself singing along but it happens more often than not when something Christmasy is happening in our abode.  So I wanted to share some knowledge that you in turn can dazzle your Christmas guests with that will leave them dazed and confused(they will never get that moment back) and a few gleefully enlightened.

I for one enjoy a nice coat of snow.  It sure beats brown grass.  If its going to be cold it might as well be snowy.  The kids can play in it and its relatively clean and the dogs get goofy and entertain us with their antics.

Irving Berlin is the man that brought us the song.  The popularity of the song and following musical/movie were boosted by a popular singer/actor of the era named Bing Crosby, more on him in a  minute.  At one time, may still be, didn’t check, this song held the record for the highest grossing single (for you youngun’s a single was an individual song sold on a 45 rpm record…oh forget it, its like a itunes, sort of).  No one knows for sure where the song was written but it is claimed to have been written at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, AZ.  The song was originally performed in 1941 by Bingel(my nick name for Bing) on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall on Christmas day.  Later it was recorded and the session lasted on 18 minutes, Bingel was not enthusiastic about the song.  It was not an over night success, actually did poorly at first.  However the following fall it sky rocketed some say it created pleasing images among listeners during the  World War II era.  interesting side note, the song was frequently requested on the Armed Forces Network.

White Christmas the musical is a strange spin off from its success.  The song was actually recorded first for the film Holiday Inn.  This film starred Bingel and Fred Astaire.  In the film Bingel performs a duet of the song with actress Marjorie Reynolds, how ever her voice was replaced with Martha Mears.  Dazzling information.  The song as part of Holiday Inn went on to win an Academy Award for best original song.

Bing Crosby was the real deal.  Singer, dancer, actor and comedian.  His popularity was huge and at the time moving pictures were really taking off.    He actually sang, not spoken words, didn’t have a rap sheet and was well behaved.  Perhaps todays entertainers could be more like Bing.


I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.  Where the tree tops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.  I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write.  May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.

Thanks Irving, it’s a keeper.

here is the NOAA probability chart for you and your youngun’s, hope its merry and white




3 responses

6 12 2010

Nice history, but what’s the origin of Bingel?

6 12 2010
Cousin Moreen

I love the classics at Christmas time. My client gifts this year are a DVD of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life” , two popcorns and two hot apple ciders. Hopefully it will create a classic Christmas evening for those who have sent their business my way. Heck, I should have picked up a copy for myself and my hubby….hey maybe I will.


6 12 2010
Dale Lieffers

I can’t believe that I lived 62 years before finally seeing the WC movie. Always loved the song. They played it on the bus trip to Branson last December.

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