Saturday 12 December 2015

Bob Wells' & Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song"

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you.

On a blistering hot summer day in 1945, singer Mel Torme showed up at the Toluca Lake House. Inside, Bob Wells, trying to think of ways to keep cool, sat down at his piano, grabbed his spiral pad and scribbled the phrases:  "Chestnuts roasting...Jack Frost nipping...Yuletide carols...Folks dressed up like Eskimos."  The chestnuts came from Bob Wells' childhood in Boston where street vendors would serve them in paper cones at Christmas time.  

The words caught the eye Mel Torme who started composing music for them.  "I think you might have something here," he said.  Forty minutes later, a hit was born.  

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded The Christmas Song, subtitled Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, in 1946.  Nat King Cole was the first black American to record a Christmas standard.  A second recording came later that year, this time accompanied by strings.  A 1953 Nat King Cole recording included a full orchestra.  The 1961 recording, however, is considered to be the most well known.

Mel Torme recorded the song as part of At the Crescendo in 1954.  A 1970 recording by Mel Torme included an introduction.  

All through the year we waited
Waited through spring and fall
To hear silver bells ringing, see wintertime bringing
The happiest season of all.

No comments:

Post a Comment