Saturday, December 8, 2018

Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell" Rock reaches top 10 sixty years after it first charted

Jingle Bell Rock

Bobby Helms

Writer(s): Joe Beal, Jim Boothe (see lyrics here)

Released: November 28, 1957

First Charted: December 9, 1957

Peak: 3 BB, 11 CB, 10 GR, 11 HR, 18 AC, 13 CW, 7 UK, 4 CN, 6 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.2 UK, 2.73 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 21.21 video, 887.13 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song: called “Jingle Bell Rock” “the first mainstream rock ‘n’ roll Christmas song.” SF It was composed by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe. Beal was a public relations professional born in Massachusetts and a longtime resident of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boothe was an American writer in the advertisting business. WK

This has been disputed by Bobby Helms, who sang the definitive version of the song. He and Hank Garland, the session guitarist on Helms’ recording, saying they wrote the song. WK They claimed that Beal and Boothe contributed a song called “Jingle Bell Hop” and a Decca executive gave it to Helms to record. Helms and Garland proceeded to change the lyrics and music and it evolved, according to them, into “Jingle Bell Rock.” WK

There have been numerous artists who have recorded “Jingle Bell Rock” but Bobby Helms’ 1957 recording has become the signature version. He first charted on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 23, 1957. It returned to the chart in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1962. In 2016, changes to chart methodology meant that old songs could return to the chart because of airplay and streaming. The song became a perennial favorite, charting every year from 2016 to 2023. In 2018, it reached #8, breaking the record for longest wait to reach the top ten. WK For the next five years, the song reentered the top ten, peaking at #3.

More than 400 versions of the song have been recorded SH although the only other version to reach the Billboard Hot 100 was by Bobby Rydell & Chubby Checker (#21, 1961). Others to record it include Herb Alpert, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, Michael Bolton, Teresa Brewer, Jimmy Buffett, Glen Campbell, Natalie Cole, Kelly Clarkson, Neil Diamond, Dion, Earth Wind & Fire, the Glee Cast, Amy Grant, Bill Haley & the Comets, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Engelbert Humperdinck, Billy Idol, Miranda Lambert, Brenda Lee, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Reba McEntire, Michael McDonald, Anne Murray, Wayne Newton, the Osmonds, the Platters, LeAnn Rimes, Marty Robbins, Blake Shelton, George Strait, .38 Special, Frankie Valli, Bobby Vee, and Dionne Warwick. SH


First posted 12/19/2023.

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