Blue Christmas–Elvis Presley

This one was suggested by my old friend Joe. Blue Christmas was originally recorded by Ernest Tubb in 1948 and covered by Elvis in 1957 and later by practically every recording artist on the planet, including Porky Pig. Now, it obviously takes some chutzpah to label this recording a guilty pleasure. Elvis is and was the king and Blue Christmas would appear at the top of many people’s best Christmas recordings lists. Undeniably, it is a classic. But listen to it. The rendition has no sense of self restraint as Elvis slides up and down between notes. The lyric, which starts out with promise (I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just dreaming about you), breaks down (When that blue heartache starts hurting). Perhaps the most damning bit of evidence is that there is an Internet radio station that plays nothing but versions of “Blue Christmas” and (even though it’s a better song) “White Christmas.”

One good thing about “Blue Christmas”: a much better recording (“Santa Claus is Back in Town”) was the B side. You can see a video here.

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