Today, people around the world are celebrating Christmas, enjoying the Yuletide cheer and singing those beautiful Christmas songs — such as the popular ‘White Christmas.’ Learn more about one of the most enduring Christmas songs the world has come to know in this installment of Today in History!
On this day, 71 years ago, American singer and actor Bing Crosby first introduced and sang “White Christmas” on the Christmas Day broadcast of his radio show, The Kraft Music Hall. A year later, the singer-actor’s recording of the song became a certified hit, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The popular holiday melody, composed by Irving Berlin, tells about the longing for an old fashioned snow-covered Christmas Day. To this day, there are a number of theories on Berlin's inspiration for the classic Christmas tune, but nevertheless, his composition and Crosby’s rendition became successful enough for songwriters to follow his lead in writing wistful and nostalgic Christmas songs.
Interestingly, Guiness Book of World Records lists Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” version as the best-selling single of all time, with copies sold worldwide estimated to be over 50 million.
While there is currently no known copy of Bing Crosby’s first performance of the song, the world has come to remember the classic Christmas song from the 1942 film Holiday Inn, which starred Crosby. Let’s watch and sing along with the “White Christmas” duet by Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds below, in a beautiful colorized version!
In Bing Crosby and Irving Berlin’s words: May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white! Merry Christmas, everyone!