The Christmas holiday is just around the corner and one of the great things about the holiday is the music!
Today, I’ll be starting a series of posts about Christmas music written and/or recorded by those who hail from south of that old Mason Dixon!
Let’s kick it off with one of my personal favorites, “BLUE CHRISTMAS.”
While most people think ‘Blue Christmas’ was originally recorded by Elvis Presley, the first time it hit No.1 on the charts was 1949, eight years before the ‘King’ would make it one of his most popular recordings.
The song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson.
It was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948.
Although the song was performed by a couple of big bands and orchestras in 1948, the first major successful recording of ‘Blue Christmas’ came from Country superstar Ernest Tubb in 1949. The Grand Ole Opry Star was best known for ‘Walking The Floor Over You’ (1941) and ‘Waltz Across Texas’ (1965).
Tubb launched the Ernest Tubb Record Shop (Broadway, Nashville) and the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree (on WSM radio) in Nashville in 1947, both are still in operation today. In addition to helping discover Jack Greene, Cal Smith, and Loretta Lynn, Tubb is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tubb’s original version also contained an extra verse not included in the 1957 Elvis Presley recording- “I’ll have a blue Christmas I know dear/ I hope your white Christmas brings you cheer/And when you say your prayers on this Christmas Eve/ Will you feel the same dear as when you prayed with me.”
Listen to Ernest Tubb’s recording of this holiday favorite here :