Tag Archives: Irving Berlin

Christmas Music: White Christmas from Holiday Inn(1942)

Bing Crosby first sang this song on the NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall on Christmas Day, 1941. The song was also part of the movie Holiday Inn(1942) starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds. The song, written by Irving Berlin in 1940, was not that well received at first. The movie version was actually overshadowed at first by Be Careful, It’s My Heart but by the end of October 1942 began climbing in the charts steadily until after the New Year. It became one of the most requested songs on the Armed Forces Radio Network. And of course not only became a holiday favorite but one of Crosby’s signature songs. Here is the version sung in Holiday Inn, a duet with Marjorie Reynolds. I highly recommend this movie for your holiday viewing. Aside from the great music and acting, Fred Astaire really displays his talent in this gem of movie history.

To watch this video, click here to view it on YouTube.

White Christmas-Elvis Presley Version

The song White Christmas (Irving Berlin) was made popular by Bing Crosby in part by the movie Holiday Inn(1942). Initially the song was not that popular but during World War 11 it gained popularity with troops away from home. The simple lyrics resonated so strongly it became one of the most requested songs from the troops. Bing Crosby initially thought the song was just a song and did not know its lasting importance.

Crosby’s rendition and the many others that follow use the same formula but add various bells and whistles to make it their own. Crosby’s rendition remains the most popular but in 1957 Elvis Presley recorded his own version for his own Christmas album. His version departs from the standard version in terms of tempo and how it is sung. So much that it bothered Irving Berlin (who wrote the lyrics) and pressure was put on radio stations to not play it. And it disappeared from the airwaves and was rarely heard since. Until recently when the Elvis Presley Christmas Album was re-released. I have that cd and it has a lot of great renditions of classic Christmas songs. But here is the official YouTube release of the song so you can judge for yourself whether it is thumbs up, thumbs down, or toss the cd of it into the fire! Warning-this YouTube video does have advertising.