According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.Accounts vary as to when and where Berlin wrote the song. One story is that he wrote it in 1940, poolside at a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.
The first public performance of the song was by Bing Crosby, on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall, on Christmas Day, 1941. The recording is not believed to have survived.
He subsequently recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers for Decca Records on May 29, 1942, and it was released on July 30 as part of an album of six 78-rpm songs from the film Holiday Inn.
By the end of October 1942, "White Christmas" topped the "Your Hit Parade" chart. It remained in that position until well into the new year. (It has often been noted that the mix of melancholy — "just like the ones I used to know" — with comforting images of home — "where the treetops glisten" — resonated especially strongly with listeners during World War II. The Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests for the song.
Following its prominence in the musical Holiday Inn, the composition won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1942. In the film, Bing Crosby sings "White Christmas" as a duet with actress Marjorie Reynolds, though her voice was dubbed by Martha Mears.
Throught the years there's been many versions of this old holiday favorite.
Allmusic.com lists over 6100 covers for the song White Christmas.
The version I like is by Mitch Miller and the Gang, recorded in 1961.
Mitch Miller included the song on his album Holiday Sing Along with Mitch.
Instead of the lyrics, Miller printed a disclaimer on the album cover stating "The publisher assumes everyone knows the lyrics to this song!"
Click to listen: Mitch Miller & the Gang - White Christmas
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Do you have a favorite version of White Christmas ?