It took Burbank, CA-based songwriter Justin Wilde five years and more than 375 submissions before Barbara Mandrell agreed to record his Christmas song, "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe," co-written with Doug Konecky in 1984. In the nearly two decades since, the song has become a holiday staple recorded by a lengthy list of artists, including Barbra Streisand, Vikki Carr, and Kathie Lee Gifford, whose recording of the tune sold more than four million units. The song has been featured on two network television specials and included in more than 25 Christmas sheet music books. After the success of "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe" and inspired by the song's popularity, Wilde set up a publishing company, Christmas and Holiday Music, Inc. As of October 2001, the company represented more than 200 seasonal tunes that have been recorded by Ray Charles, Loretta Lynn, Anne Murray, Glen Campbell, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Jack Jones, Johnny Mathis, Tanya Tucker, Rosanne Cash, Louise Mandrell, the Osmond Brothers, Marilyn McCoo, Freda Payne, Grady Tate, and Pete Fountain. Together with Konecky, Wilde recorded an album of Jewish holiday songs, Happy Hanukkah, My Friend, released in September 2000. Reviewing the album, www.jewishmusic.com wrote, "the collaboration of a Jewish and non-Jewish songwriter and the result is American and very pop -- emotional, loving songs not unlike the hits at the top of the country charts."
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