- 2 Chart performance and sales
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Kim Wilde and Mel Smith version
- 5 Bob Rivers parody
- 6 Cover versions
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Despite her mature-sounding voice, Lee recorded this song when she was only thirteen years old. Despite the song's title, its instrumentation also fits the country music genre, which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. The recording features Hank Garland's ringing guitar and Boots Randolph's swinging solo sax break.
An instrumental version of the song appears as background music in the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which exclusively featured music written by Marks. It can be heard in the scene where Rudolph first arrives at the Reindeer Games and meets another reindeer named Fireball. The song was also used in the 1990 film Home Alone during a scene when Kevin McCallister pretends that there is a holiday party taking place in his house, and discourages the burglars from robbing it.
Although Decca released the single in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960. That Christmas holiday season, Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. It continued to sell well during subsequent holiday seasons, peaking as high as No. 3 on Billboard's Christmas Singles chart in December 1965.
It peaked at No6 in the UK Charts, when it was released their in 1963, in 2013 due to downloads it became one of a number songs to re-enter the UK Singles Chart near Christmas time along with Slade and The Pogues Fairytale of New York, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, it peaked at No63 on Sunday 15 December 2013.
For decades, Brenda Lee's recording was the only notable version of the song. Radio stations ranging from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary to Country Music toOldies to even Adult Standards played this version. Lee's recording still receives a great deal of airplay, and has since turned into a perennial holiday favorite.
As of December 25, 2011, Nielsen SoundScan estimated total sales of the digital track at 679,000 downloads, placing it fourth on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history.
- Side A
- "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (Johnny Marks) – 2:02
- Side B
- "Papa Noël" (Roy Botkin) – 2:25
|"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"|
|Single by Mel & Kim|
|B-side||"Deck the Blooming Halls"|
|Released||November 23, 1987|
|Kim Wilde singles chronology|
A version of the song by Kim Wilde and Mel Smith (credited as "Mel & Kim" as a parody of then-popular sister act Mel and Kim), featuring Pete Thomas, reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart during the Christmas season 1987. The track was recorded to raise funds for Comic Relief. Its accompanying video featured the two hosting a Christmas party with guests including The Mekon and an appearance from Smith's comedy partner Griff Rhys Jones.
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The following artists have each recorded a cover version of the song:
- 1968: Bill Haley & His Comets, for the U.S. label United Artists Records (not released commercially at the time)
- 1970: Lynn Anderson, for her album The Christmas Album
- 1971: The Partridge Family, for their album A Partridge Family Christmas Card
- 1983: Lou Ann Barton, for the compilation album An Austin Rhythm and Blues Christmas
- 1986: Mickey Gilley, for the compilation album The Nashville Christmas Album
- 1992: Amy Grant, for her album Home for Christmas
- 1992: Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love, for the charity compilation album A Very Special Christmas 2
- 1993: Dion DiMucci, for his album Rock n' Roll Christmas
- 1994: Alvin and the Chipmunks and Patty Loveless, for the album A Very Merry Chipmunk
- 1995: Gary Hoey, for his album Ho! Ho! Hoey II
- 1997: Hanson, for their album Snowed In
- 1998: Cyndi Lauper, for her album Merry Christmas... Have a Nice Life
- 1999: Alabama, for their album Christmas Vol. II (this cover version peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart)
- 1999: Element, for the compilation album "Happy Christmas Vol. 2."
- 2000: Green Day, posted for their fans on their website greenday.com
- 2000: Jessica Simpson with Rosie O'Donnell, for O'Donnell's album Another Rosie Christmas
- 2000: Mek Pek, for his rockabilly-project Mek and the X-Mas Peks
- 2004: LeAnn Rimes, for her album What a Wonderful World (this cover version peaked at No. 3 on Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, No. 48 on Billboard Country Singles chart, and No. 30 on Billboard's Holiday Songs chart)
- 2006: Rhonda Vincent, for her album Beautiful Star: A Christmas Collection
- 2007: Hannah Montana for the Disney Channel Holiday soundtrack
- 2007: Toby Keith, for his album A Classic Christmas
- 2007: 1910 Fruitgum Company, for their album Bubblegum Christmas
- 2008: Davie Allan & the Arrows, for their album Fuzz for the Holidays
- 2008: Joe Lynn Turner and others, for the album We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
- 2009: Lotta Engberg (titled "Julen Är Här"), for the album Jul hos mig
- 2011: Chicago, for their album Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three
- 2011: She & Him, for their album A Very She & Him Christmas
- 2011: 3 Voices & Beatur, for their album It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
- 2012: Victoria Justice, for the compilation album Merry Nickmas
- 2012: Bella Thorne, for the compilation album Disney Channel Holiday Playlist
- 2012: Mike Cannistraro, for the compilation album Boston's Best Holiday Hits
- 2012: JOE-BOY, for debut download single release.
- 2013: The fictional New Directions glee club, for the Glee episode "Previously Unaired Christmas" and album Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 4