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Christmas TreeIn which I attempt to boil several thousand Christmas songs in my library down to their purest essence - for no apparent reason other than dorks like me like making lists and dorks like you like reading them. And, as long as we're being honest, lists like these are subjective in the extreme; this is little more than what I like, and there's no scientific proof that these are "the best." Why are any of these songs better than, say, Joe Turner's cool "Christmas Date Boogie"? Hard to say, but I think they are (barely).

All the same, my selections aren't random, and I bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the table. I cast my net broadly, choosing as many different artists and song titles as possible. But, as should be evident throughout Hip Christmas, I am biased in favor of loud, fast, and catchy music. So, despite my interest in jazz, lounge, and reggae music, for instance, there's little of it below. For instance, I excluded (with great reluctance) standards by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and my beloved Carpenters. Nevertheless, I ended up with 100 songs I can recommend without reservation to folks who want to rock, roll, boogie, swing, jump, and/or jive their way through Christmas. Got yer own list? Drop me a line...

Randy Anthony

A Word Of Explanation. Click on any entry to read the story behind the song, or use the links at the top and bottom of each "Top 100" page to navigate through the entire annotated list. My Top 100 Christmas Songs are listed in order of preference starting with my favorite, and each entry includes song title, artist, label, and release date.

  1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Darlene Love (Philles, 1963)
  2. White Christmas, The Drifters (Atlantic, 1954)
  3. Back Door Santa, Clarence Carter, (Atlantic, 1968)
  4. Run Rudolph Run, Chuck Berry (Chess, 1958)
  5. Santa Claus Is Back In Town, Elvis Presley (RCA, 1957)
  6. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Temptations (Motown, 1968)
  7. Happy Xmas (War Is Over), John Lennon & Yoko Ono (Apple, 1971)
  8. Merry Christmas Baby, Charles Brown (Aladdin, 1956)
  9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jackson 5 (Motown, 1970)
  10. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee (Decca, 1958)
  11. Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms (Decca, 1957)
  12. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Ventures (Dolton, 1965)
  13. (It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas, The Orioles (Jubilee, 1948)
  14. Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt (RCA Victor, 1953)
  15. Christmas Time's A-Coming, Mac Wiseman (King, circa 1979)
  16. Christmas Celebration, B. B. King (Kent, 1962)
  17. Father Christmas, The Kinks (Arista, 1977)
  18. If We Make It Through December, Merle Haggard (Capitol, 1973)
  19. Christmas Celebration, Weezer (Geffen, 2000)
  20. Step Into Christmas, Elton John (MCA, 1973)
  21. Santa's Rap, Treacherous Three (Atlantic, 1984)
  22. Feliz Navi-Nada, El Vez (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 1994)
  23. Someday At Christmas, Stevie Wonder (Motown, 1967)
  24. Merry Christmas Baby, Otis Redding (Atco, 1968)
  25. Nothing For Christmas, The Reducers (Rave On, 1988)
  26. That Punchbowl Full Of Joy, Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos (Boston Rock, 1983)
  27. Please Come Home For Christmas, Charles Brown (King, 1960)
  28. Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday, William Bell (Stax, 1967)
  29. Don't Believe In Christmas, The Sonics (Etiquette, 1965)
  30. Who Said There Ain't No Santa Claus, Ron Holden (Donna, 1960)
  31. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, Mabel Scott (Exclusive, 1948)
  32. Here Comes Santa Claus, Gene Autry (Columbia, 1947)
  33. How I Hate To See Christmas Come Around, Jimmy Witherspoon (Supreme, 1947)
  34. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag, Kay Starr (Capitol, 1950)
  35. 'Zat You Santa Claus? Louis Armstrong & The Commanders (Decca, 1953)
  36. Merry Christmas Baby, Beach Boys (Capitol, 1964)
  37. Christmas Boogie, Davis Sisters (RCA Victor, 1953)
  38. This Christmas, Donny Hathaway (Atco, 1970)
  39. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, The Crystals (Philles, 1963)
  40. Christmas Here (Could Never Be Like That), Wednesday Week (Midnight, 1984)
  41. Holiday Spirit, The dB's (East Side Digital, 1993)
  42. All I Want For Christmas, Huey "Piano" Smith & Clowns (Ace, 1962)
  43. Christmas Is My Time Of Year, Christmas Spirit (White Whale, 1968)
  44. Sleigh Bell Rock, Three Aces & A Joker (GRC, 1959)
  45. Christmas Everyday, Miracles (Motown, 1963)
  46. Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day, Brenda Lee (Decca, 1964)
  47. Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto, James Brown (King, 1968)
  48. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Lou Rawls (Capitol, 1967)
  49. Cool Yule, Rebel Pebbles (IRS, 1990)
  50. Frosty The Snowman, Ronettes (Philles, 1963)
  51. (Rockin') Winter Wonderland, Fabulous Thunderbirds (Austin, 1983)
  52. Little Drummer Boy, (Joan Jett, 1981)
  53. Presents For Christmas, Solomon Burke (Atlantic, 1966)
  54. Santa's Got A GTO, Ramonas (self-released, 1991)
  55. Hey Santa Claus, Moonglows (Chance, 1953)
  56. 2000 Miles, Pretenders (Sire, 1983)
  57. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, Snoop Dogg with Nate Dogg (Death Row, 1993)
  58. Trim Your Tree, Jimmy Butler (Gem, 1954)
  59. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, Yobs (Safari, 1980)
  60. Santa & The Satellite (Parts 1 & 2), Buchanan & Goodman (Luniverse, 1957)
  61. You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch, Thurl Ravenscroft (Mercury, 1965)
  62. Christmas Wrapping, Waitresses (Ze, 1981)
  63. Gee Whiz It's Christmas, Carla Thomas (Atlantic, 1963)
  64. I'll Be Your Santa Baby, Rufus Thomas (Stax, 1973)
  65. Christmas In Jail, Youngsters (Empire, 1956)
  66. Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Buck Owens (Capitol, 1965)
  67. If I Get Home On Christmas Day, Elvis Presley (RCA, 1971)
  68. Marshmallow World, Los Straitjackets (Upstart, 1996)
  69. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire), King Curtis (Atco, 1968)
  70. I'll Make Everyday Christmas (For My Woman), Joe Tex (Dial, 1967)
  71. Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas, Staple Singers (Stax, 1970)
  72. Lonesome Christmas, Lowell Fulson (Swing Time, 1951)
  73. All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth), Spike Jones (RCA Victor, 1948)
  74. Nuttin' For Christmas, Joe Ward (King, 1955)
  75. It's Christmas, Marvin & Johnny (Aladdin, 1958)
  76. Another Lonely Christmas, Prince (Warner Brothers, 1984)
  77. Christmas Spirit (aka Christmas Blues), Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends (Capitol, 1947)
  78. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Orioles (Jubilee, 1949)
  79. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, John Mellencamp (A&M, 1987)
  80. Jingle Jangle, Penguins (Mercury, 1955)
  81. Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You, Billy Squier (Capitol, 1981)
  82. Christmas in Hollis, Run-D.M.C. (A&M, 1987)
  83. Santa Claus Is Coming, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (King, 1963)
  84. Christmas Day, Detroit Junior (Foxy, 1960)
  85. Santa Claus Is Coming To My House, Karla DeVito, (Epic, 1982)
  86. Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas), Weather Girls (Columbia, 1983)
  87. Light of the Stable, Emmylou Harris (Reprise, 1979)
  88. Rock And Roll Christmas, George Thorogood (EMI America, 1983)
  89. Christmas Time, Chris Stamey & The Db's (Coyote, 1985)
  90. Christmas In The Congo, Marquees (Warner Brothers, 1959)
  91. Twistin' Bells, Santo & Johnny (Canadian American, 1960)
  92. Christmas Spirit?? Wailers (Etiquette, 1965)
  93. Christmas Tears, Freddy King (Federal, 1961)
  94. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin', Albert King (Stax, 1974)
  95. Christmas (Comes But Once a Year), Amos Milburn (King, 1960)
  96. Santa & The Sidewalk Surfer, Crossfires (unknown, 1963)
  97. Reindeer Boogie, Hank Snow, (RCA Victor, 1953)
  98. Away In A Manger, Plankeye (BEC, 1998)
  99. Silent Night, Dickies (A&M, 1978)
  100. Christmas Ain't Christmas New Year's Ain't New Year's Without The One You Love, The O'Jays (Neptune, 1969)

    Honorable Mention
  101. It's Christmas Time, Five Keys (Aladdin, 1951)
  102. Mr. Santa Claus, Nathaniel Mayer (Fortune, 1962)

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