“GRAB your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written—heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”
These are apparently the words of Irving Berlin to his secretary after penning White Christmas.
He’s probably not far off – it’s the world’s biggest selling single having sold a whopping 100 million plus copies worldwide.
The song was first performed by Bing Crosby on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall on Christmas Day in 1941.
It was first studio recorded in 1942, however the version most often heard today is the 1947 version after the original master became damaged.
It was, of course, included in Berlin’s musical film Holiday Inn, which starred Crosby and Fred Astaire.
Initially it didn’t perform too well in the charts but in the coming years it exploded into life, ironic for a song famous for its melancholy tone.
By 1946, it was the only single with three separate runs at the top of the U.S. charts.
Numerous covers of the song have been performed, with the likes of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Dean Martin recording their own versions.
Taylor Swift, Bob Marley, Destiny’s Child, Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton have also had a go.
Crosby once famously remarked “a jackdaw with a cleft palate could have sung it successfully.”
For more Christmas news and competitions, visit www.besteverchristmas.co.uk
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