The season of Christmas is ideal for exhuming old standards. An exercise that Americans have turned into a true tradition in the music industry.
A few hours away from getting together as a family and eating turkey in the background Little SantaBFMTV.com took a look at the list of the most covered Christmas songs.
The chart, compiled by the SecondHandSongs.com database, stinks of mothballs, p Sweet night holy night (1.), Christmas carol Midnight, Christians (2nd), AND White Christmas (3rd) in the best trio, these songs from 1818, 1847 and 1941.
“Christmas is all about tradition, going back in time, nostalgia,” Steven Jezo-Vannier, author of “Jingle bells, the unlikely history of Christmas songs,” confirms BFMTV.com.
Not a single French title in the top 20 most played songs. Angels in our countrysideanother Christmas hymn from the 19th century, it comes in the 21st.
From Elvis Presley to John Legend
And if these Christmas songs have been covered by many French artists, from Tino Rossi and Line Renaud to Eddy Mitchell and Marie Myriam or M, Carla Bruni and Olivia Ruiz on Michel Legrand’s album, Christmas, Christmas, Christmasthe great specialists in Christmas revival remain the Americans.
In France, “society itself is less in the ‘holiday mood,'” notes Steven Jezo-Vannier, who points out that in the United States, the frenzy is such that “100% of Christmas programs are played on the radio.
In the United States, “even high-profile artists with nothing left to prove have made Christmas albums because it’s traditional in American entertainment to be part of that line”. This is how Elvis Presley, John Legend and Bob Dylan and of course Mariah Carey released Christmas albums.
And who says Christmas album, says cover of old standards. “The album from which it is taken, Everything I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey, is two-thirds made up of covers from the 30s, 40s and 50s,” points out Steven Jezo-Vannier. silent Night the most covered title in the world and Santa Claus is coming to townthe very first Christmas hit released during the explosion of the American music industry in the early 1930s.
Written and composed by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1934, this song was a huge hit. However, producers and record companies received it with skepticism, having difficulty seeing the potential of a title that would have a life of two weeks a year.
“Although this is the key to success, it is the return every year. The communication plan is provided by the company itself, which tunes into the holiday spirit,” emphasizes Steven Jezo-Vannier.
Santa Claus is coming to town is now the 19th most covered Christmas title in the world. In addition to Mariah Carey, many other artists from all generations, such as Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Michael Bublé and Justin Bieber, have rubbed shoulders.
Another Christmas hit that followed was White Christmas, by Irving Berlin, recalls Steven Jezo-Vannier. “We realize,” emphasizes the specialist, “that Christmas songs are successful because they resonate with the mood of the country.”
“When Bing Crosby did his ‘White Christmas,’ a very melancholic, sad song, it came out exactly 15 days before the United States entered the war in World War II.”
The recipe will flourish. “The entire pantheon of American music, from Frank Sinatra to Nat King Cole, including Ella Fitzgerald, will make Christmas albums after Bing Crosby,” says Steven Jezo-Vannier.
“Then all the big names in American show business follow in the footsteps of these guardian figures. And they are part of a tradition, specific to American musical culture, the tradition of the standard, the ‘great repertoire,’ the ‘great American songbook,'” for which we owe, among others, Irving Berlin, the author White Christmas AND Happy HolidaysSteed Face to face.
The restoration of the old standards also presents “numerous very pragmatic advantages”, points out Steven Jezo-Vannier. “The songs are already known, it doesn’t cost royalties, just a few arrangements to put it together, success is almost guaranteed.