Written in 1948 by the song writing team of Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, this song of unrequited love during the holiday season has become a marker and iconic song throughout music history.
The song was originally recorded by Doye O’Dell and popularized by country singer Ernest Tubb and also by Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra. Russ Morgan and the Morganaires also did a version that got airplay.
Probably the most popular version of this song is of course the version by Elvis Presley who recorded his version in 1957 on the “Elvis’ Christmas Album”. Elvis deleted one of Mr. Tubb’s verses and made the song his own. It was released as a single for the first time in 1964.
Since then, his contemporaries have attempted to either pay homage to the King or try to cement in their own version of the classic Christmas Carol.
Many female artists have attempted to make the song their own including: Ann and Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, Celine Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Tammy Wynette, Marie Osmond, Wynonna, but probably my favorite female artist would be Sheryl Crow.
Some punk and alternative bands have also thrown in their versions like: Billy Idol, the Misfits, and my favorite Collective Soul.
Many Country artists have attempted to take the reigns of the songs popularity like: Clay Walker, Glen Campbell, Jim Reeves, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson but I’m going to have to go with Johnny Cash.
The crooners as well tried their hand at out howling the King like Dean Martin, Englebert Humperdinck, Harry Connick Jr., Joe Perry and Leon Redbone, but I’m gonna have to go with Chris Isaak.
Even the cheese have tried to make their spot in music history for their Christmas albums including The Partridge Family, but I’m still gonna have to go with Porky Pig.
But let’s face it, no one does it like Elvis Presley.