Friday, December 31, 1999

Century of Pop Music – Songs of the Year, 1900-1999

Originally posted 4/6/2019.

A Century of Pop Music is a book published by Joel Whitburn’s Record Research. It ranks the top 40 songs of every year from 1900 through 1999 based on weekly Billboard pop charts.


Dave’s Faves: #1 Songs in the 1990s

First posted 4/26/2020; updated 4/28/2020.

Dave’s Faves:

#1’s: 1990-1999

September 18, 1982. I can peg my fascination with music charts to that date. After listening to a local radio station’s countdown of the hits of the summer, I decided to make my own list of favorites (see original list here). I ended up revising it every few days, eventually developing my own charts which I maintained into the ‘90s.

I’ve also projected before and after those lists to create speculative lists of #1 songs for eras not covered by those original charts. You can check out those links here, but this page is focused on the #1 songs that might have been for me in the 1980s.


1990:

  • Jan. 6: Aerosmith “Janie’s Got a Gun” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 20: Marillion “After Me” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 10: Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 10: Fish “Cliché” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 31: Faith No More “Epic” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 21: Animal Logic “I’m Sorry Baby I Want You in My Life” (2 wks)
  • May 5: Bonnie Raitt “Nick of Time” (2 wks)
  • May 19: Fish “A Gentleman’s Excuse Me” (1 wk)
  • May 26: Shawn Colvin “Diamond in the Rough” (2 wks)
  • June 9: Sinéad O’Connor “Black Boys on Mopeds” (3 wks)
  • June 30: Tom Petty “Alright for Now” (2 wks)
  • July 14: Adrian Belew “Shoe Salesman” (1 wk)
  • July 21: Del Amitri “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” (4 wks)
  • Aug. 18: Guns N’ Roses “Civil War” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 15: Styx “Love Is the Ritual” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 6: Roger Waters with Sinéad O’Connor “Mother (live)” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 13 Styx “All in a Day’s Work” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 3: Toy Matinee “There Was a Little Boy” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 24: Don Henley “New York Minute” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 8: U2 “Night and Day” (2 wks)
  • Dec 22: Seal “Crazy” (3 wks)

1991:

  • Jan. 12: Enigma “Sadeness Part 1” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 2: Chris Isaak “Wicked Game” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 16: Queensrÿche “Silent Lucidity” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 16: Extreme “More Than Words” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 30: Simple Minds “See the Lights” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 13: Crash Test Dummies “Superman’s Song” (4 wks)
  • May 11: Lyle Lovett “Friend of the Devil” (3 wks)
  • June 1: The Williams Brothers “It’s a Wonderful Life” (2 wks)
  • June 15: The Williams Brothers “Miss This World” (2 wks)
  • June 29: Aha “The Way We Talk” (1 wk)
  • July 6: Tony Banks with Fish “Another Murder of a Day” (2 wks)
  • July 20: Marillion “The Party” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 3: Marillion “A Collection” (1 wk)
  • Aug. 10: Animal Logic “What Looks Good on the Outside” (1 wk)
  • Aug. 17: The Commitments “I Never Loved a Man” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 31: The Commitments “Try a Little Tenderness” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 14: Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 2: Nirvana “Something in the Way” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 19: The Williams Brothers “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 2: Sinéad O’Connor “Sacrifice” (2 wks)
  • Nov 16: Tori Amos “Silent All These Years” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 30: Tori Amos “Me and a Gun” (5 wks)

1992:

  • Jan. 4: U2 “One” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 25: T-Bone Burnett “Humans from Earth” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 15: Metallica “Nothing Else Matters” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 21: Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven” (6 wks)
  • May 2: Lyle Lovett “Church” (2 wks)
  • May 16: Tori Amos “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (3 wks)
  • June 6: Marillion “Sympathy” (1 wk)
  • June 13: Sting with Eric Clapton “It’s Probably Me” (3 wks)
  • July 4: Melissa Etheridge “The Letting Go” (1 wk)
  • July 11: Faith No More “RV” (2 wks)
  • July 25: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Hold Her Down” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 8: Eric Clapton “Circus Left Town” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 5: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Pray Your Gods” (1 wk)
  • Sept. 12: Pearl Jam “Jeremy” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 10: Roger Waters “What God Wants” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 24: Boyz II Men “The Birth of Christ” (5 wks)
  • Nov. 28: Shawn Colvin “Shawn Colvin “I Don’t Know Why” (5 wks)

1993:

  • Jan. 2: Dada “Dizz Knee Land” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 23: The Musical Cast of Toys “The Closing of the Year (Reprise)” (5 wks)
  • Feb. 27: U2 with R.E.M. as Automatic Baby “One” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 20: Fish “Solo” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 3: Alice in Chains “Rooster” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 24: Sting “Epilogue (Nothing ‘Bout Me)” (3 wks)
  • May 15: Terence Trent D’Arby “Tension Inside the Sweetness/Frankie and Johnny (T.I.T.S./F&J)” (4 wks)
  • June 12: Tears for Fears “Break It Down Again” (3 wks)
  • July 3: Robert Plant “If I Were a Carpenter” (2 wks)
  • July 17: Stone Temple Pilots “Plush (acoustic)” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 7: Pearl Jam with Victoria Williams “Crazy Mary” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 28: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder & Mike McCready “Masters of War (live)” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 18: Pearl Jam “Rockin’ in the Free World (live)” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 2: Prince “Nothing Compares 2 U” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 16: Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 30: U2 with Bruce Springsteen “Stand by Me (live)” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 13: Pearl Jam “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 27: Pearl Jam “Daughter” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 11: Crash Test Dummies “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (4 wks)

1994:

  • Jan. 8: Stone Temple Pilots “Creep” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 22: Nirvana “All Apologies” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 5: Bruce Springsteen “Streets of Philadelphia” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 26: Tori Amos “God” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 19: Tori Amos “Home on the Range” (1 wk)
  • Mar. 26: Billy Joel “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 9: Marillion “The Hollow Man” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 16: Pearl Jam “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 30: Pearl Jam “Saying No (live)” (2 wks)
  • May 14: Frente! “Bizarre Love Triangle” (5 wks)
  • June 18: Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories “Stay (I Missed You)” (4 wks)
  • July 16: Nine Inch Nails “Closer” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 6: Stone Temple Pilots “12 Gracious Melodies” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 20: Seal “Kiss from a Rose” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 3: Pearl Jam “Better Man” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 1: Sinéad O’Connor “The House of the Rising Sun” (2 wks)
  • Oct 15: Sinéad O’Connor “All Apologies” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 29: Eagles “Get Over It” (4 wks)
  • Nov. 26: Todd Snider “Alright Guy” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 17: Queensrÿche “Bridge” (4 wks)

1995:

  • Jan. 14: Indigo Girls with K’S choice “Rockin’ in the Free World (live)” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 28: Live “Lightning Crashes” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 23: Melissa Etheridge with Bruce Springsteen “Thunder Road (live)” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 25: Kevin Gilbert “Song for a Dead Friend” (4 wks)
  • Aprl. 22: Collective Soul “December” (3 wks)
  • May 13: Tori Amos with Robert Plant “Down by the Seaside” (1 wk)
  • May 20: Nine Inch Nails “Hurt” (3 wks)
  • June 10: Filter “Hey Man, Nice Shot” (3 wks)
  • July 1: The Rembrandts “I’ll Be There for You” (4 wks)
  • July 29: Marillion “Beautiful” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 12: Kevin Gilbert “Kashmir” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 2: Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 30: Coolio with L.V. “Gangsta’s Paradise” (5 wks)
  • Nov. 14: David Bowie “Outside” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 25: Squeeze with Cathy Dennis “Temptation for Love” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 16: Tracy Chapman “At This Point in My Life” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 30: Candlebox “Understanding” (1 wk)

1996:

  • Jan. 6: Alanis Morissette “Ironic” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 27: Foo Fighters “Big Me” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 10: Stabbing Westward “What Do I Have to Do?” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 2: Jars of Clay “Flood” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 23: Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know (live at the Grammys)” (4 wks)
  • Apr. 20: Sting “I Hung My Head” (3 wks)
  • May 11: Primitive Radio Gods “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” (3 wks)
  • June 1: Ben Folds Five “Underground” (4 wks)
  • June 29: Lyle Lovett & Randy Newman “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (4 wks)
  • July 27: No Doubt “Don’t Speak” (4 wks)
  • Aug. 24: Bruce Springsteen “Spare Parts (live, slow version)” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 7: Eric Clapton “Change the World” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 21: Fiona Apple “Never Is a Promise” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 5: Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A. (live, slow version)” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 19: Eels “Novocaine for the Soul” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 9: Tori Amos “Over the Rainbow” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 30: Sting “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 14: Seal “Fly Like an Eagle” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 28: Paula Cole “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” (2 wks)

1997:

  • Jan. 11: Fish “Kayleigh (acoustic)” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 25: Fish “Sugar Mice (acoustic)” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 8: The Verve Pipe “The Freshmen” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 8: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 29: K’s Choice “Not an Addict’ (5 wks)
  • May 3: Marillion “Estonia” (4 wks)
  • May 31: Live “Freaks” (2 wks)
  • June 14: Indigo Girls “Leeds” (2 wks)
  • June 28: Styx “Dear John” (6 wks)
  • Aug. 9: Babyface with Stevie Wonder “How Come, How Long” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 6: Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112 “I’ll Be Missing You” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 4: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 25: Foo Fighters “Everlong” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 8: Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 6: Loreena McKennitt “The Mummer’s Dance” (4 wks)

1998:

  • Jan. 3: Third Eye Blind “How’s It Gona Be” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 17: Ben Folds Five “Brick” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 14: Green Day “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 7: David Bowie “I Can’t Read” (2 wks)
  • Mar 21: Foo Fighters “Baker Street” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 4: Pearl Jam “Wishlist” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 25: Bruce Springsteen “We Shall Overcome” (4 wks)
  • May 23: Alanis Morissette “Uninvited” (4 wks)
  • June 20: Peter Gabriel “I Grieve” (3 wks)
  • July 11: Harvey Danger “Flagpole Sitta” (2 wks)
  • July 25: Eve 6 “Inside Out” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 15: Barenaked Ladies “One Week” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 5: Keb’ Mo’ “What a Wonderful World” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 26: Third Eye Blind “Jumper” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 10: The Flys “Got You Where I Want You” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 31: Shery Crow “Mississippi” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 21: Lyle Lovett “Step Inside This House” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 19: Alanis Morissette “Thank U” (3 wks)

1999:

  • Jan. 9: New Radicals “You Get What You Give” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 6: Peter Gabriel “That’ll Do” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 27: Squeeze “To Be a Dad” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 13: Pearl Jam “Last Kiss” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 3: Alanis Morissette “Unsent” (4 wks)
  • May 1: Fatboy Slim “Praise You” (3 wks)
  • May 22: Eminem “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” (4 wks)
  • June 19: Everlast “Ends” (3 wks)
  • July 10: Train “Meet Virginia” (3 wks)
  • July 31: Sheryl Crow “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 21: Styx “Everything Is Cool” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 4: Chris Isaak “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 25: Lyle Lovett & Keb’ Mo’ “Till It Shines” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 23: Sting “Fill Her Up” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 13: Sting “Tomorrow We’ll See” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 27 Melissa Etheridge “Scarecrow” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 18: Alanis Morissette “King of Pain (MTV Unplugged)” (2 wks)

Vibe’s 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century

First posted 12/31/1999; updated 8/15/2020.

Vibe:

100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century

In December of 1999, the urban-oriented American magazine Vibe published its list of the 100 essential albums of the 20th century, as determined by the Vibe staff. Surprisingly, a link to this list has proved elusive. However, you can find the original magazine issue from the link at the bottom of the page.

This list is more unusual than the average best-of list. For being a list of essentials, it is notable that only 61 of these albums rank in the top 1000 of all-time according to the DMDB. 20 of these albums don’t even show up on any of the other 160+ best-of lists accumulated by the DMDB. Commendably, there is more focus on jazz, R&B, and world music than most best-of lists. However, there are also some odd choices at times for an artist’s “best” work. James Brown’s In the Jungle Groove is more essential than Live at the Apollo? Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line instead of his live At Folsom Prison? Rocket to Russia over the Ramones’ debut album? David Bowie’s Station to Station rather than Ziggy Stardust? Bob Marley’s African Herbsman as opposed to Exodus or the Legend compilation?

Speaking of compilations, there is more emphasis on those here (25 in all) than the average list. Again, that’s not all bad, but some of the choices are questionable. While the 24-disc Centennial Edition might be a treasure to Duke Ellington fans, it’s hard to consider it “essential” to the average listener. The 3-disc Blanton-Webster Band box set or the live At Newport (both DMDB top 1000 albums) would be more palatable.

Note: the original list was unranked, but the albums have been ranked here based on overall DMDB points.

Also, check out annual picks for album of the year.

1. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
2. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
3. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
4. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
5. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
6. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
7. The Clash London Calling (1979)
8. Prince Purple Rain (1984)
9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
10. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)

11. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
12. Bee Gees/Various Artists Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack, 1977)
13. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)
14. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
15. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
16. Patti Smith Horses (1975)
17. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
18. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971)
19. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)
20. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973)

21. Massive Attack Blue Lines (1991)
22. Talking Heads Remain in Light (1980)
23. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
24. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
25. John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965)
26. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1972)
27. Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986)
28. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989)
29. Santana Abraxas (1970)
30. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)

31. Curtis Mayfield Superfly (soundtrack, 1972)
32. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968)
33. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994)
34. Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956)
35. The Fugees The Score (1996)
36. B.B. King Live at the Regal (1964)
37. Kraftwerk Trans-Europa Express (Trans Europe Express) (1977)
38. Bessie Smith The Essential (compilation: 1923-33, released 1997)
39. The Replacements Let It Be (1984)
40. Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers (archives: 1936-37, released 1961)

41. The Specials The Specials (1979)
42. Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
43. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986)
44. Sam Cooke The Man and His Music (compilation: 1951-65, released 1986)
45. Elvis Costello & the Attractions Armed Forces (1979)
46. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)
47. Janet Jackson Control (1986)
48. Hüsker Dü Zen Arcade (1984)
49. Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full (1987)
50. David Bowie Station to Station (1976)

51. Stan Getz and João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (1963)
52. Muddy Waters At Newport (1960)
53. The Supremes Anthology (compilation: 1962-76, released 1986)
54. A Tribe Called Quest The Low-End Theory (1991)
55. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die (1994)
56. Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
57. Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove (1978)
58. Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus (1956)
59. Ramones Rocket to Russia (1977)
60. Björk Post (1995)

61. Tupac Shakur Greatest Hits (compilation: 1991-98, released 1998)
62. Elvis Presley The King of Rock and Roll: The Complete ‘50s Masters (box: 1953-59, released 1992)
63. Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1 (1947)
64. Dizzy Gillespie The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (compilation: 1937-49, released 1995)
65. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (1987)
66. Mary J. Blige My Life (1994)
67. Patsy Cline The Collection (box: 1955-63, released 1991)
68. Chic Dance, Dance, Dance – The Best of (compilation: 1977-82, released 1991)
69. Sun Ra Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)
70. The Police Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (box: 1977-86, released 1993)

71. Charles Mingus Pithecantrophus Erectus (1956)
72. Buddy Holly & the Crickets Collection: 50 Classic Recordings (compilation: 1956-69, released 1993)
73. Little Richard 18 Greatest Hits (compilation, released 1985)
74. Roxy Music Siren (1975)
75. Ray Charles Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection (box: 1949-1993, released 1997)
76. De La Soul De La Soul Is Dead (1991)
77. Bob Marley & the Wailers African Herbsman (1972)
78. Leadbelly Last Sessions (archives/box: 1948, released 1994)
79. Ice Cube Death Certificate (1991)
80. Otis Redding Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1993)

81. Charlie Parker Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve (box: 1945-54, released 1990)
82. Guy Guy (1988)
83. Duke Ellington The Centennial Edition (box: 1927-73, released 1999)
84. Sarah Vaughan The Complete Sarah Vaughan (box: 1954-67, released 1987)
85. Chuck Berry 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (compilation: 1955-72, released 1999)
86. Nina Simone Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of (compilation: 1966-72, released 1998)
87. Lee Perry & the Upsetters Blackboard Jungle Dub (1973)
88. James Brown In the Jungle Groove (1971)
89. War Anthology (compilation: 1970-94, released 1994)
90. Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988)

91. Al Green The Supreme Al Green (compilation, released 1992)
92. Billie Holiday Quintessential (archives: 1940-42, released 1991)
93. Woody Guthrie Library of Congress Recordings (archives: 1940, released 1964)
94. Fela Anikulapo Kuti Zombie (1977)
95. Louis Armstong An American Icon (box, released 1998)
96. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan Ask Rufus (1977)
97. Johnny Cash I Walk the Line (1964)
98. Mongo Santamaria Our Man in Havana (1959)
99. Shabba Ranks As Raw As Ever (1991)
100. The Last Poets This Is Madness (1971)


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, December 3, 1999

Gene Autry charted with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” 50 years ago (12/3/1949)

Last updated 4/21/2020.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Gene Autry with the Pinafores

Writer(s): Johnny Marks (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 3, 1949


Peak: 11 US, 6 GA, 12 HP, 43 HR, 24 AC, 11 CW, 16 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, -- UK, 18.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.69 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

The inescapable Christmas classic about Rudolph and his once-mocked red nose saving the day started life as a story Robert L. May conceived to help his daughter cope with her mother’s terminal cancer. The character took the form of a reindeer after May visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and saw how cute the animal was. He had been tasked by Sewill Avery, the owner of the Montgomery Wards in Chicago, to develop a marketing idea to attract customers. May wrote up the story and company artist Denver Gillen illustrated it. At Christmas, children received a booklet at the store when they visited Santa. More than 2.5 million were given away in 1939. In 1946, 3.5 million copies were printed. LW

In 1949, May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks (who’d previously written songs like the Ink Spots’ “Address Unknown”), turned the story into a song. It was repeatedly rejected until Gene Autry agreed to record it because his wife liked it. LW He’d launched his career in the 1920s as a cowboy in Hollywood westerns, but had also became well known as “The Singing Cowboy” for his country hits in the 1930s and ‘40s with songs like “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine.”

The song was launched with a “vigorous multi-media promotion” SS which included a Max Fleischer animated short. By the end of the holiday season, the song had sold 1.3 million copies in the U.S. plus another 400,000 of the plastic “kid-disc” version. SS

In the pre-rock era, the song is second only to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” in terms of sales. PM With no official sales tallies, the song has been reported to have sold as many as 60 million copies by 1970, AMP a figure which would actually eclipse “White Christmas.” It may be that the number reflects all versions of the song. Certainly it has been recorded multiple times – Bing Crosby and Spike Jones both had hits with it in 1950. PM The Chipmunks had a #21 hit with it in 1960 and the Melodeers, Paul Anka, and The Temptations have also charted with the song. HT


Resources and Related Links:

  • Gene Autry’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • Johnny Marks’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • AMP AmericanMusicPreservation.com (2009). Pine Tree Productions. “Top Christmas Hit Songs
  • LW Alan Lewens (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 92.
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 762.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 40 and 631.
  • HT Joel Whitburn (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 1232.