Happy Holidays and thanks for checking out K103 Mornings with Stacey & Mike weekdays from 5-10am. You can catch I Know That Song! at 7:10a.
61 years after “Little Miss Dynamite” recorded this now-classic song, at age 13, it continues to be a holiday favorite. The week of Dec. 12, it sat atop Billboard’s Holiday Airplay Chart, and to date, more than 700,000 downloads of the song have been sold.
The song was written by Johnny Marks, a Jewish songwriter who also wrote the musical version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” According to today’s singer, who struck up a lifelong friendship with Marks, after he wrote the song he told a friend, “I want HER to do this song.”
Looking back, she isn’t quite sure what led him to seek her out: “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.”
When the song was released as a single in 1958, it was pretty much a dud. It wasn’t until after today’s singer had a mega hit in 1960 called “I’m Sorry,” that today’s song,” which had naturally been re-released, started to catch on, cracking the Top 20 on the pop charts.
In 1990, “Home Alone” featured the song, in its entirety, exposing the song to a new generation of listeners, many of whom weren't even born! She says that movie breathed new life into it, “It has just been a blessing.”
Today’s singer is now 73, and a member of the Country, Rock and Roll, and Rockabilly Halls of Fame. She has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
But it wasn’t until a friend sent her a video of schoolchildren in China dancing to today’s song that she really understood how big a part of the world her song has become.
She says that even all these years later, singing this song never gets old. “That’s the magic of a good song,” she explains. “You don’t get tired of singing it.”
And who thinks of this scene in Home Alone every time??