Today’s song is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. Berlin also wrote “God Bless America” and was Jewish so he didn’t celebrate Christmas, but he sure nailed it with this one. It was written for the film Holiday Inn, released in 1942, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 15th Academy Awards.
Since its release, this song has been covered by multiple artists, including today’s group, but the version sung by Bing Crosby is the world's best-selling single with 50 million copies sold worldwide. When the figures for other versions of the song are added to Crosby's, sales of the song exceed 100 million.
Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song. One story is that he wrote it in 1940, in warm La Quinta, California, while staying at the La Quinta Hotel, although the Arizona Biltmore also claims the song was written there.
He often stayed up all night writing. One day he told his secretary, "I want you to take down a song I wrote over the weekend. Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it's the best song anybody ever wrote."
Although today’s version is by a group which Rolling Stone ranked at number 81 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall in 1988, it is hard to hear any version without thinking of Bing Crosby who said his most difficult moment ever as a performer was while singing this song.
Bing was in a USO show with Bob Hope and the Andrews Sisters. They did an outdoor show in northern France and had to stand there and sing to 100,000 G.I.s with tears in their eyes, and all without breaking down himself, because he knew a lot of those boys were not going to come back from fighting the Battle of the Bulge a few days later.
Here is the Drifter’s version of Irving Berlin’s “Best song ever”...White Christmas...on K103’s I Know That Song!
If you're like Stacey Lynn, you can't hear this song without picturing this scene in Home Alone. Merry Christmas ya filthy animal.