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PopArchivist
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Posted: 09 December 2023 at 12:31pm | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

Nobody posted or mentioned this new #1:

A few fun facts:

--Recorded October 19, 1958
--Released by Decca in 1958 and 1959 and did not sell well
--Peaked at #14 in the 1960 christmas season.
--Peaked as high as #3 on the Billboard Xmas Singles in December 1965
--Featured in the movie Home Alone in 1990
--Stuck behind Mariah Carey's famous xmas hit, it peaked as high as #2 in other years since the 2014 Billboard rule change.
--Attained the #1 on Hot 100 65 years after its original release.
--Only 3rd time an Xmas song has been #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mariah and the Chipmunks with David Saville the others)
--The senior most when leading the chart at age 78, replacing Louis Armonstrong's record 62 years old for Hello, Dolly!
--Passed Cher who was 52 years old when Believe hit #1 in 1999.
--Longest break between #1 hits on the Hot 100, 63 years, one month, two weeks between I Want To Be Wanted in October 24, 1960 and the current #1.
--Available in mono and stereo
--The top five pop acts of the 1960s, based on Hot 100 performance, were the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee, and the Supremes.

Probably won't be matched anytime soon. What an accomplishment.


Edited by PopArchivist on 09 December 2023 at 12:37pm


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NightAire
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Posted: 09 December 2023 at 11:10pm | IP Logged Quote NightAire

I love the story of this song and couldn't be happier for Brenda Lee; I'm so glad she's still here to see it happen.

However you said only Mariah, and The Chipmunks, have also hit #1 with Christmas songs..?

Wikipedia claims White Christmas, "Bing Crosby's record topped the Billboard chart for 11 weeks in 1942 and returned to the number one position again in December of 1943 and 1944."

That was always my understanding: it did so well they wore out the original master and he had to come re-record it so they could press more.

That's not to take away anything from "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." I just want to know if perhaps I misunderstood your statement.

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aaronk
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Posted: 10 December 2023 at 12:01am | IP Logged Quote aaronk

Gene: #1 on "The Billboard Hot 100," which debuted in August 1958.

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PopArchivist
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Posted: 10 December 2023 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

aaronk wrote:
Gene: #1 on "The Billboard Hot 100," which debuted in August 1958.


Sorry to not clarify. Pre-1958 is a whole other "ball of wax".....

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NightAire
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Posted: 10 December 2023 at 9:30pm | IP Logged Quote NightAire

That does make more sense. :-)

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FrankG
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Posted: 11 December 2023 at 5:47am | IP Logged Quote FrankG

I saw a very touching video on Instagram showing a friend
of Brenda's telling her that "Rockin' Around the Christmas
Tree" had hit #1 on the Hot 100. At first, Brenda didn't
seem to understand what her friend was saying, but then
she began to wipe tears from her eyes.

I'm so glad she was still with us to see this special
moment too.
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TomDiehl1
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Posted: 11 December 2023 at 7:57pm | IP Logged Quote TomDiehl1

FrankG wrote:
I saw a very touching video
on Instagram showing a friend
of Brenda's telling her that "Rockin' Around
the Christmas
Tree" had hit #1 on the Hot 100. At first,
Brenda didn't
seem to understand what her friend was
saying, but then
she began to wipe tears from her eyes.

I'm so glad she was still with us to see
this special
moment too.


The video can be seen at:

https://youtu.be/sCekWGmLecI


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thecdguy
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Posted: 18 December 2023 at 11:46am | IP Logged Quote thecdguy

Looks like Mariah is back at #1 this week. First time
that a Christmas song has replaced another Christmas song
at #1 on the Hot 100.

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CountryPD
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Posted: 02 January 2024 at 11:28am | IP Logged Quote CountryPD

Brenda has returned to the top of this week's Hot 100:

Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” rebounds to
No. 1, from No. 2, on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. The
holiday classic adds a third week at the apex, four weeks after it
led the list for the first time – 65 years after its release. It became
Lee’s third Hot 100 No. 1, and her first since 1960
.
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Posted: 02 January 2024 at 11:56am | IP Logged Quote CountryPD

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee has to
be one of the most reissued Christmas hits of all time. Decca
singles (and later MCA 45 reissues) were generally available
from the time of the original 1958 release through most of the
vinyl era. The stereo mix first surfaced on the stereo release of
the 1964 Merry Christmas From Brenda Lee album [Decca DL
74583] That song was also included on numerous various artist
Christmas compilation vinyl LP’s.

After compact discs arrived in the 1980’s, Brenda’s classic could
be found on the track list of dozens of various artist Christmas
compilation CD’s. However, CD versions of that song have
varied widely in audio quality. Some were issued in mono while
others were in stereo. Some sounded quite good while others
contained significant distortion. I could not find a discussion
about the audio quality of the song elsewhere on this board so I
thought I’d post what I think is the best STEREO version on CD.

The MCA various artists compilation Rockin’ Little Christmas
was first released on vinyl in 1986 [MCA 25084] At some point
later that album was issued on CD [MCAD-25084]

https://www.discogs.com/master/571473-Various-Rockin-Little-
Christmas

Liner notes indicate that album was compiled by Diana Haig &
Steve Hoffman using the original session tapes. To my ears this
release of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee is
the best I’ve heard on CD so far.

Interested to hear if anyone has found a superior sounding CD
release of the song.
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CountryPD
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Posted: 02 January 2024 at 2:02pm | IP Logged Quote CountryPD

Although the 1964 vinyl album Merry Christmas From Brenda
Lee was a best-selling album for many years it was never
reissued on CD in it’s original form.

https://www.discogs.com/release/15456020-Brenda-Lee-Merry-
Christmas-From-Brenda-Lee

Two ten-track budget CD’s were released in 1993 that
collectively contained all 12 tracks from the 1964 LP:

Jingle Bell Rock [MCAD-20728] MCA Special Products
release featured 9 tracks from the original 1964 LP in STEREO.
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree on this CD is a distorted
MONO version [Note: the two tracks missing from the 1964 LP
are Santa Claus Is Coming To Town & Frosty The Snowman]

https://www.discogs.com/release/5786598-Brenda-Lee-Jingle-
Bell-Rock

Merry Christmas From Brenda Lee [HAND-22098] Holly
Music/MCA Special Products release also featured 9 tracks from
the original 1964 LP in STEREO. Rockin’ Around The Christmas
Tree on this CD is also a distorted MONO version [Note: the two
tracks missing from the 1964 LP are Strawberry Snow & A
Marshmallow World] NOTE: Tracks on this CD seem to
have less tape hiss than the Jingle Bell Rock CD.

https://www.discogs.com/release/2592440-Brenda-Lee-Merry-
Christmas-From-Brenda-Lee

In 1999 MCA/Decca released an 18 track CD compiling all of
the holiday recordings that Brenda recorded for Decca:

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree: The Decca Christmas
Recordings [MCA/Decca MCAD-70090]
Comprehensive set
with both sides of Brenda’s 1956 first holiday single: I’m Gonna
Lasso Santa Claus & Christy Christmas. Papa Noel (the non-LP
B side to Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree) plus three holiday
songs Brenda recorded in 1965 that were only released in
Japan – White Christmas, Jingle Bells & Silent Night – were also
included. However only the first two tracks - Rockin’ Around The
Christmas Tree & Papa Noel are STEREO. Eleven tracks from
the 1964 Christmas album and the three 1965 recordings are all
in MONO on this CD. This set is also available as a download.

https://www.discogs.com/release/14544739-Brenda-Lee-Rockin-
Around-The-Christmas-Tree-The-Decca-Christmas-Recordings

The Best Of Brenda Lee – 20th Century Masters The
Christmas Collection [MCA B0000520-02]
- Released in
2003 this is a reissue of the 1999 CD with the same track line-
up & booklet but with new cover art.

Three download collections are now available:

MCA Nashville released the original 1964 album Merry
Christmas From Brenda Lee
in 2023 as a 12 track download
with the original cover art and song sequence. However, the
audio samples indicate that Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
is the only STEREO track. The other 11 mono tracks sound
distorted.

UME/UMG Global Clearing House released A Rockin’
Christmas With Brenda Lee
in 2023. The five track
download includes a stereo version of Rockin’ Around The
Christmas Tree plus three mono tracks from the 1964 Christmas
album. The fifth track is a dreadful techno remix of Rockin’
Around The Christmas Tree by Filous

UME/UMG Global Clearing House released Christmas With
Brenda Lee
in 2020. This is an abridged version of the 1999
CD with 14 mono tracks.

As of this writing to have a digital STEREO version of Brenda’s
1964 Christmas album it’s necessary to acquire the two 1993
CD’s and then obtain a stereo version of Rockin’ Around The
Christmas Tree from a third source.

Edited by CountryPD on 04 January 2024 at 5:17pm
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Brian W.
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Posted: 06 January 2024 at 1:06pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Great writeup, CountryPD. Thanks!
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