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This is considered the first mainstream Rock 'n' Roll Christmas song. Helms was a new, relatively successful Country artist with two #1 country hits in 1957, "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel," both of which were crossover hits that made it into the Pop Top 40.
Although this was released only 2 days before Christmas in 1957, the single still hit #6 on the pop chart. The song was re-released around Christmas in 1958 and again in 1960, making it back to the charts each time.
The B-side of the single is "Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol."
Many artists have covered this song, including Hall and Oates, The Platters, 38 Special, and The Beach Boys. The only other version to chart was by Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell. Their version hit #21 in 1962.
This song is credited to Joe Beal and Jim Boothe. Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland played guitar on this track as well as Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
." Before his death, Garland filed suit against the record label, claiming that he and Helms, not Beal and Boothe, wrote the song. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal.
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.