12 forgotten Christmas carols of the 1960s
Who says an Xmas song can't make you dance or cry?
Brace yourself for a whole bunch of jingle bells. As you begin shopping for presents this weekend (don't put it off to the last minute!) you will undoubtedly hear Christmas carols ring-ting-tingling from store speakers. You can always count on old favorites like "White Christmas" and Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
The 1960s gave us many holiday standards — Burl Ives singing "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and one of our personal favorites, Darlene Love pleading "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
Of course, there are also dozens of Xmas hits that did not become classics. These 12 hits of Christmas charted in some way back in the day. Try some out at your next party.
1. Connie Francis - "Baby's First Christmas"
Francis churned out several platters of cozy fireside Christmas tunes. This rather special single celebrated the holiday from the perspective of an infant. It reached No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Image: MGM / Discogs
2. Freddie King - "Christmas Tears"
Despite the abundant cheer, some people have the blues on Christmas. The electric guitar ace made this an R&B hit in 1961 — and also charted on the Christmas Singles chart in '64 and '66.
Image: Federal / Discogs
3. The Marcels - "Merry Twist-mas"
The Twist craze was hotter than Furby at the start of the decade. This trend-surfing single came from the Twist Around the Clock.
Image: Colpix / Discogs
4. Bobby Vee - "A Not So Merry Christmas"
The teen idol sadly passed away last month. He, too, took a darker route on this weeper. There were a lot of sad Yuletide tunes that decade, come to think of it.
Image: Liberty / Discogs
5. Ray Bolger - "L'il Elfy"
The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz charmed children on this whimsical track. It spent a mere week on the Christmas chart.
Image: Armour / Discogs
6. Toni Wine - "My Boyfriend's Coming Home for Christmas"
You might not know Wine by name, but her music has aged amazingly well. She wrote "A Groovy Kind of Love" and Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Candida." That's her singing the female parts on the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar," too. This early teen-pop recording reached No. 22 on Billboard's "Best Bets For Christmas."
Image: Colpix / Discogs
7. Bobby Vinton - "The Bell That Couldn't Jingle"
"It had nothing there inside," Vinton crooned in an extended metaphor that gets stretched like a Christmas caramel. Burt Bacharach co-wrote this tune, which climbed to No. 23 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart.
Image: Sony / Discogs
8. Brenda Lee - "Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day"
Best known for her spirited "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Lee cut several other jumping rockabilly noels. Despite the melancholy title, this upbeat number still lifts spirits with its sleigh bells. It charted for one week.
Image: Decca / Discogs
9. George Jones & The Jones Boys - "My Mom and Santa Claus"
Jimmy Boyd may have seen "Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," but George Jones saw much more. This country mom was dancing with Santa in her nightgown.
Image: United Artists / Discogs
10. Becky Lamb - "Little Becky's Christmas Wish"
In perhaps the most depressing Christmas recording you'll ever hear, a little girl laments that her big brother won't be coming home for the holidays. He has died in Vietnam. The spoken word record sparked controversy, and stations banned it, which didn't prevent its climb to No. 2 on the Christmas chart.
Image: Warner Bros. / Discogs
11. Clarence Carter - "Back Door Santa"
Most will recognize the sample used in Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," but the original ditty deserves some love, too. Who says Christmas can't be funky? Certainly not our next artist…
Image: Atlantic / Discogs
12. James Brown - "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto"
The Godfather reached No. 9 on the Christmas chart with his funky number. It charted again in '69… and in 1998. Danceable Xmas tracks are underrated.
Image: King / Discogs
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