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Song Of The Day - "Here Comes Santa Claus"

Braun, Michael

Christmas decorations are in the stores, so why can’t we have a Christmas song as our Song of the Day. It’s only 80 days until Christmas.

The Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, wrote and sang the original version of Our Song of the Day, “Here Comes Santa Claus. It was released October 6, 1947.

Autry got the idea while he was being ignored during the Santa Claus Lane Parade, now the Hollywood Christmas Parade, in 1946. He was riding his horse Champion during the parade, a few spots in front of Santa Claus.

He noticed the kids not yelling to him or Champion. They kept saying, “here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus.”

He wrote the song after being asked to sing another Christmas song, “An Old-Fashioned Tree,” which became the B-side to his song. He passed the lyrics on to his publisher, Oakley Haldeman, who wrote the music.

Legend has it that Haldeman gave the song to singer Johnny Bond to record a demo. Columbia A&R’s chief, Art Satherley was listening near the microphone, with a cocktail in hand. The tinkling of ice cubes could be heard in the background of the recording, which gave them the idea to add sleigh bells to Autry’s recording.

The song reached number five on Billboard’s Country chart and number nine to today’s equivalent of Billboard’s Hot 100, in 1947. It returned again in 2022, when it reached 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After the success of “Here Comes Santa Claus, songwriters bombarded Autry with Christmas songs. He first turned down “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” in 1949, but his wife talked him into it. It reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Song of the Day is created by Sheldon Zoldan, and produced by Pam James for WGCU. Would you like to receive the Song of the Day in you inbox every day? Send an email to shzoldan@comcast.net with the subject line ADD ME TO SOTD