Over the holidays, we're looking back at some classic Christmas albums taking some track by track and just digging on others.
When we think back now about the 1950's, we tend to idealize them as the birth of rock and roll, when kids were wearing leather jackets and rebelling against their parents. Truth is, kids have always rebelled against their parents, leather jacket or not, and while rock music was in its infancy in the '50s, it was mostly an underground phenomena.
The artists that dominated the charts at that time were still crooning singers and vocal groups that made girls swoon and parents nod in approval. One such crooner is the topic of this round of Christmas classics: Perry Como. He was a radio and television star as well as being a wildly successful recording artist. He may not be well known for his pop vocal music, but he is known for his Christmas album.
Como released The Perry Como Christmas Album in 1968 and it became a staple of family holiday record collections. Our first go-round with it was in the '70s as kids, but it has hung around for decades.
In 1999, the songs on this record were packaged along with a bunch of other Como Christmas tunes on the record Greatest Christmas Songs, which gets plenty of airplay this time of year.
The songs you probably hear the most from this album are his versions of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and the Catholic carol "Ave Maria," though Como is best known for "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays," which he recorded in 1954 and rode it to number eight on the charts. That song as well as his version of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" (generally considered the most well recognized version of that song) does appear on the 1999 compilation release, which we recommend as the best option for a Como holiday collection.
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The music is very tame, but pure holiday magic and absolutely worth having in the Christmas record rack.
Check out previous classic Christmas album recaps:
Bing Crosby - White Christmas Charles Brown - Merry Christmas Baby Johnny Mathis - Merry Christmas Andy Williams - The Andy Williams Christmas Album Phil Spector - A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records Frank Sinatra - A Jolly Christmas fro Frank Sinatra The Carpenters - Christmas Portrait Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas George Winston - December Various Artists - A Very Special Christmas Mel Torme - Christmas Songs