~Blue Christmas~
Elvis Presley and Martina McBride

YouTube Courtesy ElvisPresleyVEVO
Album: Elvis Presley Christmas Duets
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Listen to Blue Christmas (Just Elvis) (Stop Video First)

Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa-Marie
February 1968

"Blue Christmas" is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson. Its tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music, especially in the country genre.

The song was first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948, and was popularized the following year in three separate recordings: one by country artist Ernest Tubb; one by bandleader Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra; and one by bandleader Russ Morgan and his orchestra (the latter featuring lead vocals by Morgan and backing vocals by singers credited as the Morganaires). Tubb's version spent the first week of January 1950 at # 1 on Billboard magazine's Most-Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records chart

Elvis Presley cemented the status of "Blue Christmas" as a rock-and-roll holiday classic by deleting one verse from Tubb's version and recording the remainder on his 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album. Presley's version is notable musicologically as well as culturally in that its backing vocalists (especially in the soprano line) replace many major and just minor thirds with neutral and septimal minor thirds, respectively. In addition to contributing to the overall tone of the song, the resulting "blue notes" constitute a musical play on words that provides an "inside joke" or "Easter egg" to trained ears. Presley's original 1957 version was released as a commercially-available single for the first time in 1964.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Originally recorded in 1950 by Ernest Tubb, Elvis Presley recorded ~Blue Christmas~ in 1957 for his Elvis' Christmas Album. It wasn't released as a single until 1964, when 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." Elvis' first public performance of this was during his 1968 television special, (Singer Presents) 'Elvis'.
Courtesy of Song Facts


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