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Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley

Album: Elvis' Christmas AlbumReleased: 1957Charted:
11
  • Originally recorded in 1950 by Ernest Tubb, Elvis Presley recorded this song in 1957 for his Elvis' Christmas Album. It wasn't released as a single until 1964, when in the US it was backed with "Wooden Heart" from Elvis' soundtrack to his film G.I. Blues, but from 1965 and on, it was backed with "Santa Claus Is Back In Town." (thanks, Jeff - Boston, MA)
  • In the UK, the single was also released in 1964, but with Elvis' version of "White Christmas" on the flip, making for a very colorful and seasonal single. (thanks, Phil - Crickhowell, Wales)
  • Elvis' performed this song for the first time on his 1968 television special, which was called (Singer Presents) 'Elvis' (it was sponsored by Singer sewing machines). Recorded in June, the special aired on December 3 and helped revitalize his career. His performance of "Blue Christmas" is the only video footage that exists of Elvis singing a Christmas song. Before he begins the song, Elvis states: "I'd like to do my favorite Christmas song of the ones I've recorded..."
  • This has been covered by Ringo Starr, Celine Dion, The Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow, Smash Mouth, Brooks and Dunn, Vince Gill, Face to Face, Bette Midler, Harry Conick Jr., Shakin' Stevens, Bill Haley and the Comets, Eilert Pilarm, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Misfits, Freddy Fender, Collective Soul, and... Porky Pig.

    The only version to chart in America is by a family act called The Browns (the siblings Jim Edward, Maxine and Bonnie Brown), who nicked the Hot 100 at #97 with their 1960 recording. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
  • In late 2008, Martina McBride was digitally composited into footage from Elvis performing this song at his 1968 Christmas special to create a duet version of the song. McBride recorded the song as part of the Christmas Duets album, which featured several female singers, including Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, and Olivia Newton-John, performing Christmas songs along with recordings of Elvis.

    Inserting a voice onto an existing recording isn't all that difficult, but getting McBride on video with Elvis was painstaking, taking about four weeks to piece together. The most difficult shots were the ones from overhead where McBride appears with the full band. There was a small space between Elvis and his guitarist Scotty Moore where she was inserted.

    When the duet hit #22 on the Adult Contemporary tally, it became Presley's first entry on that chart since "The Elvis Medley" peaked at #31 in 1982.
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Comments: 11

When looking at the deluxe DVD edition of the Elvis '68 Christmas special you will find that while Elvis does say "This is my favorite Christmas song of all the ones I recorded" he is not speaking of "Blue Christmas". He then goes on to perform "Santa Claus is Back in Town" a bit. It was edited later to match his remark to "Blue Christmas".Jeffrey - Clearwater, Fl
The song was indeed used in the Rankin - Bass animated Christmas special ; but the series was called "A Year Without A Santa Clause" , not "The Christmas Without a Santa Clause" . In the animated series , Santa is standing outside his house , when a little blue bird flies to him and delivers the letter . We see Santa ( voiced by Micky Rooney ) read the letter ; and then we hear the little girl sings the words to the song . After the song is sung , the letter touched Santa's heart with tears for the child ; so right then , he decided that it was wrong to have cancelled Christmas . So he found the strength and courage to tell the Elves to load up his sled . Mrs. Claus was worried about his cold ; but Santa told her he "never felt better ; never felt stronger!" . So eventually , he boarded his sled , and delivered his Christmas gifts around the world .Mike - Franklin County, Pa
Elvis started literally having a blue Christmas after he was driving around Bel Air with friends looking at Christmas decorations. He was living out there while filming one of his movies and homesick for Graceland. Anyway, they drove past a mansion which had been decorated entirely with blue Christmas lights. Elvis was so impressed that he told his companions, "That's how I'm decorationg Graceland next year." And he did. Not only the house but Elvis put lights all the way up the driveway from the front gate. Each year he kept adding more and more lights to trees and bushes. A blue Christmas.Terry - Willmar, Mn
For reasons promotional and because we love music and Christmas we did a full web trawl of EVERYONE we could find who had had a hit with Blue Christmas and the year. This song has really endured even if Elvis did originally think it "dumb".

Here they all are. Enjoy & lots of year-round festive cheer from everyone at www.wearedeviate.co.uk
:
Ernest Tubb 1948
Doye O'Dell 1948
Russ Morgan 1949
Hugo Winterhalter 1949
Russ Morgan and his Orchestra 1949
Billy Echstine 1950
Dinning Sisters with Bob Atcher 1950
David Frizzell 1950
Elvis Presley 1957
Johnny Mathis 1958
Chet Atkins 1961
Jim Reeves 1963
The Platters 1963
Johnny Cash November 1963
The Beach Boys 1964
Brenda Lee 1964
Beach Boys 1964
Elvis Presley 1964
The Ventures 1965
Stonewall Jackson 1966
Loretta Lynn 1966
Dean Martin 1966
Glen Campbell 1968
Tammy Wynette 1970
The Partridge Family 1971
Merle Haggard 1977
Robert Gordon 1979
The Misfits 1978
Ral Donner 1979
Marie Osmond 1979
Willie Nelson 1979
Shakin' Stevens 1982
Earl Thomas Conley 1984
Seymour Swine and the Squeelers 1985
Sawyer Brown 1985
Lawrence Welk 1986
Highway 101 1988
John Denver 1990
Laima 1991
Anne and Nancy Wilson 1992
Fats Domino 1993
Wynonna 1993
Frank Yankovic 1994
Jingle Cats 1994
Soul Collective 1995
The Oakridge Boys 1995
Low 1997
Englebert Humperdinck 1996
Joe Perry 1997
Henning Stærk 1997
Sheryl Crow 1997
Joe Perry 1997
Vince Gill 1998
Celine Dion 1998
Brian Seltzer Orchestra 1998
Ricky Van Shelton 2000
Jon Bon Jovi 2001
Face To Face 2001
Deana Carter 2001
Bright Eyes 2002
Dave Couse 2002
Clay Walker 2002
Harry Connick Jr. 2003
The Perishers 2003
Leon Redbone 2003
Chris Isaak 2004
Kate & Anna McGarrigle 2005
Chaim Tannenbaum 2005
George Canyon 2005
Mike Denver 2005
Flee the Seen 2006
Billy Idol 2006
Tom Keifer 2007
Raul Malo 2007
Carnie Wilson 2007
Nicole Atkins 2008
Melissa Etheridge 2008
Dustin Kensrue 2008
Deviarte - Leeds, United Kingdom
This has also been covered by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.Robert - Houston, Tx
When that recording session ended, Elvis said he thought it was a dumb song and should never be released. The comment was overheard by the female back-up singer, Millie Kirkham, who was there, and also very noticable in the background on the song.Ray - Laughlin, Nv
FYI: For those who are looking for the "piggy" version of this song, you'll find its performer listed as "Sylvester Swine," not Porky Pig. (I imagine no one wanted to get in trouble with Warner Brothers--who had nothing to do with the song--by calling the "singer" Porky Pig.)Robin - Birmingham, Al
Sorry, but the Porky Pig version is in a class by itself. If you haven't heard it, seek it out. I defy you not to laugh along with whoever that is in the background!Susan - Washington, Dc
This song was sung by a little girl to Santa in the Rankin/Bass Christmas Special "The Christmas Without a Santa Claus". That's the one featuring the stop-motion characters Mr. Snow and Mr. Sun. Very bizarre stuff. The 70s...heh!James - Vidalia, Ga
For several years, starting December 1st (i.e a LONG time ago), our local radio station would start playing "Blue Christmas" by Elvis. We heard it every morning on our way to school and it must be a pretty good song 'cause now it's not Christmas without it. Also, no one else's version sounds quite right, not even Porky Pig's..Jude - Thomasville, Ga
I heard that song in a Radio Shack ad last year and it featured people crying over electronics. I don't know why, but it seemed funny!Tiffany - Dover, Fl