You can’t seem to escape Christmas music. Whether you’re shopping, watching TV or visiting family, this is the time of year you’re likely to hear more than your fair share of holiday flavored tunes – like it or not. Of course, the music industry knows this, so most successful musicians will release a holiday album for their fans and Frank Sinatra was no exception. In fact, his third studio album was “Christmas Songs by Sinatra,” and when you have a voice like “The Voice,” why wouldn’t you treat your listeners at this magical time of year?
1948’s “Christmas Songs by Sinatra” sports an ingenious little selection of seasonal favorites leading off with “White Christmas” – of course Bing Crosby first comes to mind with this song, but he had the advantage of starring in the movie of the same name, if you want the definitive rendition of “White Christmas,” look up Frank’s. That’s followed up with the American classic, “Jingle Bells” (you know that originated as a Thanksgiving drinking song, right?) then the Christmas standard, “Silent Night.” It’s really a powerhouse holiday album.
While the standards have been the traditional “go to” songs for Christmas albums, there have been some newer original recordings that are heading toward immortality. “Santa Baby,” originally an Eartha Kitt tune, falls into this category. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” and “The Little Drummer Boy” certainly fall into this category.
Even more recent songs that are becoming infamous include: Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” which has already become a feature on albums from Taylor Swift (she also selected “Silent Night” and “White Christmas”), Ariana Grande, and Hilary Duff; Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You;” and let’s not forget 1984’s charity single, “Do They Know it’s Christmas” featuring a star-studded cast from that time.
Frank would do other Christmas albums, in fact his 1957 recording called “A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra” is consistently mentioned on many best Christmas album lists and came at a time when he was vocally at the top of his game, brimming with confidence, and you can hear this in his voice.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and I think it’s suiting to leave you with the duet of Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper singing, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”