Legend has it today’s song from 1951 was written while the songwriter Meredith Wilson was staying at the Yarmouth Grand Hotel in Nova Scotia. A line in the song confirms that: "there’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well..."; the park being Frost Park, directly across the road from the Grand Hotel, which still operates in a newer building on the same site as the old hotel. It also makes mention of the five and ten which was a store operating in Yarmouth at the time.
Today’s version of this song recorded the song for his 1986 Christmas album; this version gained popularity after its inclusion in the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Gradually, this version began to receive wide radio airplay, and for the past several years this version has been a Top 10 Christmas hit, often surpassing previously more famous versions
The dated references in the song can confuse younger listeners: Hopalong Boots are a reference to “Hop a Long Cassidy” a popular Radio and TV cowboy and the Five and Dime refers to a store with very inexpensive merchandise where nickels and dimes could buy a lot. Mike had to explain it to his daughter and said it was basically the Dollar Store of its day.
Today’s artist started his career recording the standards and became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status and 73 making the Billboard charts.
At San Francisco State, this guy had become noteworthy as a high jumper, and in 1956 he was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team. He had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. On his father's advice, he opted to embark on a professional singing career.
He may be the only artist from the “standards” era currently rocking a twitter account. Great place to share links to things like the fact that TONIGHT we can watch and see if he wins Entertainer of The Year at the 2020 Casino Entertainment Awards!