Bobby Helms’ enduring ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ is the latest in the series of classic holiday tunes to receive new animated music video treatments for the festive season.
The new video has a Winter Olympics theme, with Santa Claus entering a downhill car race featuring lots of special electronic gadgets. The overall effect is like a cross between ‘Wacky Races’ with a little of Ian Fleming’s James Bond thrown in for good measure. But will Santa and his glamorous co-driver win the race? You can find out by watching the video below.
‘Jingle Bell Rock’ is an evergreen American Christmas song first released in 1957 (after it was recorded in October of that year). It has received frequent airplay in the United States during every Christmas season since then.
‘Jingle Bell Rock” was composed by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe. It has been performed by many artists, but Bobby Helms’ version is the best known. The song’s title and some of its lyrics are an extension of the old Christmas standard, ‘Jingle Bells’. It makes brief references to other popular songs of the 1950s, such as ‘Rock Around the Clock’, and mentions going to a “Jingle hop”. An electric guitar played by Hank Garland can be heard playing the first notes of the chorus of ‘Jingle Bells’.
Helms’ original version charted at No. 13 on Billboard‘s Most Played C&W by Jockeys chart, a predecessor to the Hot Country Songs chart. It also crossed to the pop charts, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart, and at No. 11 on Cashbox magazine’s Top 60 on the week ending 11 January, 1958.
After the song was featured on the soundtrack album to the 1996 film Jingle All the Way, the original Bobby Helms version returned to the Billboard country singles charts in late 1996 and early 1997, reaching a peak of No. 60.
The Helms version entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week ending 24 December 2016, and hit No. 29 two weeks later. In January 2019, the song entered the Hot 100’s top 10 for the first time reaching number 8. With this feat, Helms broke the record for the longest wait to the Hot 100’s top 10 as he achieved this in 60 years, four months and two weeks after his first entry back in 1958.
‘Jingle Bell Rock’ is part of a new initiative to bring reimagine holiday classics for the modern era. Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) – the catalogue division of Universal Music Group (UMG) – is releasing a series of brand-new animated videos to go with Xmas classics also including Frank Sinatra’s ‘Jingle Bells’, Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ and the Jackson 5’s ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ with more videos slated for the coming holiday season.