Christmas ‘Oldies’ Dominate Holiday Platter Selections
NEW YORK — As Thanksgiving faded into memory last week, many of the country’s top deejays turned to their yuletide singles and albums and began to do their Christmas hoppin’ early.
One result of this fast-off-the mark action with holiday songs was a flurry of sales action across the country for both new and old Christmas platters. Record
industry sources felt that the action was developing “faster than last year,” largely as a result of the early promotion.
Among oldies moving in the singles field were Bing Crosby’s durable Decca waxing of “White Christmas“; as much a Christmas feature as sidewalk Santas, currently just a single notch under the “Hot 100” list.
Also oldie-but-active were David Seville and the Chipmunks‘ Liberty waxing of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “The Chipmunk Song” and “Alvin’s Harmonica.” Back on radio station turntables was the Harry Simeone Chorale’s “Little Drummer Boy,” on 20th Fox; Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” on Decca, and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”
No New Stuff Yet
There weren’t a whole lot of new Christmas singles yet anyway, and only a few were developing action. Among the strongest were Ray Stevens‘ “Santa Claus Is Watching You,” and the Simeone Chorale’s “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Both on Mercury. In the album field, there was even stronger emphasis on established artists and material. An album developing action – thanks to a growing amount of radio exposure for various tracks – was the Philadelphia Orchestra’s “The Glorious Sounds Of Christmas.”
Mitch On Hand
Other Christmas albums on the move included Columbia’s “Holiday Sing Along With Mitch,” Johnny Mathis’ “Merry Christmas” and Ray Conniff’s “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” RCA Victor’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album” was moving up also, as was Bing Crosby’s new waxing for Warner Bros. Bobby Vee, whose “Merry Christmas” album on Liberty was developing action, was a virtual newcomer to the circle of established album artists scoring Christmas sales.
The Christmas sweepstakes isn’t over yet, by any means. More Christmas records are due to be released, and stations are not yet really in the swing of full blast of Christmas programming.
However, it didn’t appear likely last week that the Christmas oldies were going to be displaced radically by new yuletide releases. END
(Information and news source: Billboard; December 8, 1962)