Today we’re at number 17 on the Ultimate Southern Christmas Song Play List.
And, coming in at that place is,
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”
The song was written by the lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent. Songwriter and later producer and manager for The Platters, Buck Ram, who said he previously wrote a poem and song with the same title, was credited as a co-writer of the song following a lawsuit brought by Ram’s publisher, Mills Music. Bing Crosby’s original 1943 release of the song on Decca Records listed only Walter Kent and Kim Gannon as the songwriters on the record label. Later pressings added the name of Buck Ram to the songwriting credit.
On October 4, 1943, Crosby recorded the song under the title “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)”, with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra for Decca Records.
The song touched the hearts of Americans, soldiers and civilians alike, in the midst of World War II, and it earned Crosby his fifth gold record.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” became the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows. The GI magazine, “Yank,” said Crosby “accomplished more for military morale than anyone else of that era”.
Although we’re all familiar with Bing’s recording, for our purposes, we’re going to be listening to the rendition by, Houston, Texas native, Tift Metritt, who is now a resident of North Carolina.