Thanksgiving is in the books, so you can start playing Christmas music now. Oh, who am I kidding - you’ve already been enjoying your holiday favorites, haven’t you?
Some of you were inclined, like some retail stores, to start playing it the day after Halloween.
Every year there seems to be a discussion about how soon to play Christmas music. It’s the same thing, too: Either you like it or you don’t. Some feel it should wait until the day after Thanksgiving. I’m more inclined to be in that group. But it makes many people happy. I’m OK with that, too.
I have seasonal favorites I must play each year. “The Christmas Album” (Elvis Presley), “Merry Christmas” (Mariah Carey), “Breath Of Heaven” (Vince Gill), “Let It Be Christmas” (Alan Jackson), “Joy: A Holiday Collection” (Jewel), “Christmas Portrait” (Carpenters), “These Are Special Times” (Celine Dion), “Wrapped In Red” (Kelly Clarkson), and any of the Amy Grant Christmas collections and Trans-Siberian Orchestra masterpieces are just a few of the over 300 Christmas albums in my music collection.
It seems like every year a different song sort of emerges to become my new favorite. As a kid, it was the fun songs about Santa that I loved most.
“A Very Special Christmas” albums changed things for me. Various singers contributed their favorites to make a collection to sell for charity purposes. U2′s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Bob Seger’s “Little Drummer Boy” and Eurythmics’ “Winter Wonderland” were awesome. It put a whole new feeling into the music and changed the landscape of what Christmas music could be.
I once read that artists want to make the best Christmas album when they record one. It sounds silly, but it’s more than an ego thing. Christmas albums, if done right, will be played and celebrated for many years to come. That also can translate into big bucks in royalties and sales.
Perhaps one of the best examples is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” from her 1994 holiday collection, “Merry Christmas”
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” was an instant hit that year. It’s fun, upbeat, infectious, and maybe even contagious. You couldn’t help but get engrossed in the song and get it stuck in your head. She was brilliant for penning such a timeless treasure. Until then, it was difficult for an artist of the times to bring forth a new classic and have it be accepted on such a grand level.
Carey’s song got even bigger as the years went on. In fact, the song’s success is still prevalent, as it sits comfortably atop the Billboard top holiday songs chart, again.
That’s a remarkable feat, considering how many Christmas songs have been released through the years. The song topped the charts in several countries and has earned global sales in excess of 16 million copies. It’s also Mariah’s biggest international hit and is the 11th best-selling single of all time.
Several other artists have put their spin on the Carey original, a nice compliment to her, but it also adds to the song’s already $65 million in royalties earned.
David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.