News 9 December 2022

Christmas Through The Decades

Christmas favourites through the ages!

Christmas Through The Decades

American jazz singer and actor, Frank Sinatra released his first full-length christmas album A Jolly Christmas in 1957. Sinatra was a key figure in the history and evolution of music and this record is a seminal holiday soundtrack. The body of work features the swooning sounds of The Ralph Brewster Singers accompanied by Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra. 

In the summer of 1960, popular jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald released Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas via Verve Records. The Album precedes her 1967 release Christmas Album and features swinging orchestral arrangements, conducted by American actor, arranger and composer Frank DeVol. An iconic moment in history by Fitzgerald who was dubbed The First Lady of Song.

America’s favourite family band, The Jackson 5 dropped their fourth studio album Jackson 5 Christmas Album in 1970 via Motown. The festive soul and R&B release was so well embraced, it became America’s best-selling Christmas album of both 1970 and 1972. The album features hit versions of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa. 

In 1984, country singer-songwriters and actors Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers came together in the ultimate collaboration to release Once Upon A Christmas. The record was produced with Verve Records executive and musical all rounder David Foster and by Rogers himself, marking his second Christmas album and first for Parton.

Singer, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader, James Brown in 1995 released James Brown’s Funky Christmas, a best of Christmas album composed of hits from James Brown Sings Christmas Songs, A Soulful Christmas and Hey America It's Christmas. Brown was a pioneer of funk in the 20th century, landing him an array of flattering nicknames including Soul Brother Number One, The Godfather of Soul and The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.

A pioneer in indie music, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Sufjan Stevens redefined the Christmas album with his 2006 release Songs For Christmas a box set of five separate EPs that take Christmas songs and carols to a haunting and innovative space. The collection comprises tracks that Steven’s recorded over the years intended as gifts for friends and family. Most are home recordings and some feature contributions from friends, roommates and musical peers.