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The search for the perfect Christmas classic

A family spends time together near a Christmas tree in Austin, Texas.
A family spends time together near a Christmas tree in Austin, Texas.

Christmas comes but once a year. But Christmas music?  

Well, that seems to come earlier and earlier each year.  

Brenda Lee made headlines this month when her 1958 tune, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” made theBillboard’s Hot 100chartfor the first time. That’s65 yearsafter the original was recorded, proving some classics never go out of style. 

But the world of Christmas songs isn’t always good times and cheer. For decades,Christmas music in Americareflected the country’s mood – happy but not too happy. 

Some can be right down sobering like Nat King Cole’s version of “The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot,” while othersstay forgottenunder the tree. 

It seems like every yearartists take a stabat creating the next Christmas classic. 

Cher debuted her takeon a Christmas album this year.  

Meanwhile, Mariah Carey hit the road with herMerry Christmas One and Alltour.  

So, what makes a great Christmas song? And why do so many artists feel compelled to write and record Christmas songs? 

We dive into the world of Christmas music and revisit the documentary “Jingle Bell Rocks!”as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. 

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Barb Anguiano