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|THE KING OF CHRISTMAS
December 18, 2016 - National / Elvis Express Radio-
The Christmas album has proved to be a tough roasted chestnut to crack over the years.
Few musicians emerge from the ordeal of releasing a festive single with their credibility intact, so surely only the most foolhardy (or cash-strapped) of artists would attempt a whole
LP of seasonal tunes.
Yet try they do. From the hipster-pleasing holiday grooves of James Brown to the contemporary cheer of this year’s contenders, R Kelly, Neil Diamond and Kacey Musgraves, the
list of performers eager to deliver some festive cheer is more bewildering than bedazzling.
The King of them all, in more ways than one, is Elvis Presley, whose 1957 release, Elvis’ Christmas Album, remains the best-selling "holiday album" of all time, with more than 15
million copies sold to date.
Split into a first side of secular standards (Santa Claus is Back in Town, White Christmas), and a second stretch of popular carols (Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem), Elvis’
vintage offering remains a Yuletide favourite.
Elvis would record his second and final Christmas album in 1971, 'Elvis sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas' was released in October 1971, followed by the single from
the album "Merry Christmas Baby" / "O Come All Ye Faithful" released in November 1971.
'Elvis sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas' was a top seller and topped the Billboard Holiday Albums Chart, it would have charted very high on the Billboard Hot 200, but
between 1963 and 1973 Christmas albums were not allowed to chart. It did not have the commercial appeal of Elvis’ first Christmas album.
Over the years, it has become a perennial favorite.
It was certified Gold on November 4, 1977, Platinum on December 1, 1977, 2x Platinum on May 20, 1988 and 3x Platinum on July 15, 1999 by the RIAA.
Several of the songs on the album were published by Elvis Presley's publishing company, such as "Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees", "I'll Be Home on Christmas Day", "If I Get
Home on Christmas Day", and "On a Snowy Christmas Night". Presley is accompanied on most of the songs by The Imperials Quartet.