1941: “White Christmas”, Bing Crosby & Irving Berlin
On this day in 1941, Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas” for the first time in his weekly NBC radio program, “The Kraft Music Hall”. A year later, he recorded the song and it became a standard and rather popular during the war years. It is still one of the most popular songs of the season.
I found the story of the song composed by Irving Berlin rather amazing. Let me share this with you about Berlin, the immigrant Russian Jewish songwriter:
Though he did not celebrate Christmas, it was a day that held special meaning to Berlin, who had spent each Christmas Day visiting the grave of his late son, Irving Berlin, Jr., who died at just 3 weeks old on December 25, 1928.
As Jody Rosen has suggested about a beloved song of great emotional complexity, “The kind of deep secret of [“White Christmas”] may be that it was Berlin responding in some way to his melancholy about the death of his son.”
And that’s the story of this song. Amazing. Merry Christmas.