Every morning at 7:10 we have fun going back and finding out trivial nuggets about songs we all love. Since we are Portland's Christmas Station we are doing Christmas songs. And today's song was written by Johnny Marks, who also wrote Rudolph and Holly Jolly Christmas. This song was originally recorded in 1958; it has since been recorded by numerous other music artists including Leanne Rimes, Alabama and Kim Wilde. By the song's 50th anniversary in 2008, this original version had sold over 25 million copies with the 4th most digital downloads sold of any Christmas single.
If you’re like me every time I hear this song you think of it playing in the Home Alone scene where Kevin tries to fool the robbers into thinking the house is full of people with props and a life-sized cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan.
In spite of her mature-sounding voice, she recorded the song when she was only 13 years old. In a 2019 interview with The Tennessean, she recalled that she didn't know why Marks wanted her to sing it: "I was only 12,, and I had not had a lot of success in records, but for some reason he heard me and wanted me to do it. And I did." The song's ode of a rock and roll sound notwithstanding, its arrangement also fits the country music genre, which this more fully embraced as her career evolved.
An instrumental version of the song appears as background music in the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which exclusively featured music written by Marks. It can be heard in the scene where Rudolph first arrives at the Reindeer Games and meets another reindeer named Fireball.