Gene Autry

The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings

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Gene Autry recorded an awful lot of Christmas songs, and at least three of them have become beloved and enduring holiday standards. Autry never shied away from novelty pieces, and with his charming, unaffected vocal style and a strong sense of what might be termed "cowboy pop swing," he had both the image and the marketing savvy (he was the first to use record sleeves with pictures on them) to make these marginal and seasonal songs appear essential. And essential they remain, at least at Christmas time. Autry's self-penned "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)" was released in 1947 and became a giant hit, and the joyful lilt in its vocal makes it still play well on radio today. Autry's next holiday hit was even bigger. Inspired by a character in a poem written by ad copywriter Robert L. May, Johnny Marks' "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" became Autry's biggest single ever when it was released in 1949, and following Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," is the best selling Christmas song in history. Autry completed this remarkable holiday trilogy with "Frosty the Snow Man," written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson, in 1950. This collection is the best available of Autry's unique Christmas song catalog, with 27 tracks (his complete Columbia output) presented in wonderful sound. Autry's singing career lasted from the 1930s through the mid-'50s, but the trio of Christmas classics listed above means that his voice is still heard regularly on the commercial airways in the 21st century. That alone is an achievement.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:32 Amazon
2 2:42 Amazon
3 3:09
4 2:45
5 2:54
6 2:39
7 2:56
8 2:50
9 3:00
10 2:58
11 2:29
12 2:50
13 2:50
14 2:26
15 2:39
16 2:43
17 2:31
18 2:40
19 2:32 Amazon
20 2:42
22 2:40
23 2:22
24 2:10
25 2:33
26 2:18
27 2:06
blue highlight denotes track pick