Blue Christmas — 5 Things You May Not Know About It
… and five things you may not know about the Christmas ditty.
It was written by Billy Hayes (not of Midnight Express fame) and Jay W. Johnson.
Originally it was a country song. The first recording was by a singer named Doye O’Dell in 1948, then by Country Hall of Famer Ernest Tubb in 1949. Tubb’s version was the first #1 charted version hitting the top of the Billboard chart in 1950. I sound like Casey Casem!
Elvis Presley’s rendition, recorded in 1957, was not released commercially until seven years later in 1964.
THE BOSS’S VERSION
The tune has been recorded by many, many artists subsequent to Elvis’s success including as recently as Kelly Clarkson on her just released Christmas CD, Wrapped in Red. In 2010, Bruce Springsteen sang it live during a concert at The Carousel in Asbury Park, N.J. It was his famed saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ last performance. He died the following June … The show, very private with only 60 fans in attendance, was recorded and released on — in 2010.
It has been sung in commercials, TV shows and a very dynamic performance of the song was in the Elvis comeback special, December 3rd, 1968. And, in 2009, in a technological wonder sang it with Martina McBride.