6 “Must-Have” Holiday Songs

holiday songsHave you ever wondered why some holiday songs have been around for generations while others took longer to write than the time they spent on the charts?  Maybe it’s the catchy tune or the relatable lyrics, or it might be that folks just like the song.  Period.

Sure-fire hits are songs that stand the test of time, and are requested over and over again.  We asked our friends at WROZ 101 The Rose which holiday songs are requested the most, and how they determine which ones make the playlist over the Christmas season.

Ronnie Ramone, WROZ Promotions Director, shared that the station conducted Christmas music surveys in October, asking their listeners for input on holiday songs.  Based on listener feedback, the station was able to compile a playlist, noting that some songs get played more than others, depending on how popular a particular song might be.

Want to take a guess at the song that was played the most last week?

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry – 34 times!

Rounding out the top five songs played on WROZ last week were Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” by The Glee Cast, Josh Groban’s “The Christmas Song,” and “Jingle Bell Rock” sung by Bobby Helms.

6 “Must-Have” Holiday Songs

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by Johnny Marks. It was based on the ever-so-popular 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Gene Autry’s classic recording of it hit number 1 on the U.S. charts during Christmas of 1949. Several other recordings have been made over the years, but fans still love the classic. Here’s a wonderful old video from 1953 of Mr. Autry crooning about Santa’s most favorite four-legged friend.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey wrote and produced “All I Want For Christmas Is You” with Walter Afanasieff. It was released to great success in November of 1994 and was the lead single off her album, Merry Christmas. This was her fourth studio album and her first holiday album release. Every year since it’s release, this song has been a Christmas staple. Carey has re-recorded it over the years, collaborating with different artists. The New Yorker lauds “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as a Christmas standard.

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby

Another Christmas classic is “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. Though Irving Berlin recorded it first in 1942, Crosby’s version is the most well-known. With over 100 million copies sold, it is also the world’s best-selling single. Several other versions of the song have been recorded. When combined together, “White Christmas” has sold over 150 million copies.

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by the Glee Cast

The original version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was written in triple time by Edward Pola and George Wyla in 1963. In that same year, pop singer Andy Williams released it on his first Christmas album. Though it was not released as a promotional single at the time, it did go on to become a Christmas classic. Several versions have been released by different artists. In 2014, this version by the Glee Cast was a top-requested holiday song for WROZ 101 The Rose.

“The Christmas Song” by Josh Groban

“The Christmas Song”, also commonly referred to as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, was written by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé in 1945. It was first recorded early in 1946 by the Nat King Cole Trio. Cole re-recorded it several times. The 1961 stereophonic version with an orchestra is regarded as the definitive classic. Several other artists have covered it over the years, including Josh Groban. He recorded and included it on Noël, his fourth studio album.

“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms

Another popular Christmas classic is “Jingle Bell Rock”. Bobby Helms released it in 1957 and is commonly heard on the radio and throughout stores during Christmas ever since. Though it has been performed by several artists and many different versions have been released, Helms’ version is still the most-recognized and best-known. It has made its appearance throughout pop culture in several movies, like Lethal Weapon, Mean Girls, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

These are just a small sample of Christmas song requests that flood radio stations during the holidays. With so many classic Christmas songs to choose from, you can’t go wrong!