With the holiday season in full swing, old holiday standards have made their prodigal return to the charts including Nat ‘King’ Cole’s timeless classic ‘The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)’.
Along with six other returning classics including Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ taking the top spot and Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’, Cole’s holiday hit returns to the Top 50 spot, hitting No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.
This isn’t the first time Cole’s Christmas tune has found its way back to the chart. In 2015, more than 55 years after it first entered the Hot 100, the song entered the Top 40 at the No. 38 spot.
Similar to Lee’s ‘Rockin’, older songs are eligible for Hot 100 ranking if they enter the Top 50 and show serious gains.
Initially written by another crooner, Mel Tormé and one of his writing partners Bob Wells, the Nat King Cole trio were the first to record it in early 1946.That same year, Cole did a second recording of the track, and it was this version that launched the song into the charts. Cole would go on to record the song several times after that, in 1953 with the same arrangement and Nelson Riddle arranging and conducting the orchestra and once again in 1961, which is considered by many as the definitive version.
The other holiday tracks to return to the Hot 100 include: Andy Williams’ ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, Burl Ives’ ‘Have A Holly Jolly Christmas’ and Bobby Helms’ ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’.
Listen to ‘The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)’ off Cole’s recently expanded 1962 holiday album The Christmas Song that includes bonus tracks recorded during the same studio sessions and ‘The Christmas Song’ duet with his daughter Natalie Cole that was not included on the original LP.
The Christmas Song can be bought here.