Song:The Christmas Song
Normally I would save a Christmas song for the Christmas season. But The Christmas Song is Mel Torme's signature song and he wrote it so it's the song that keeps giving to his family long after his death. For the most part, Torme was a jazz singer who frequently crossed over to pop. He was born Sept. 13, 1925 in Chicago. He performed as a teen and by 1943, he moved to Hollywood. Torme appeared in films, most significantly the 1947 film Good News. And he also led his vocal group The Mel-Tones. He wrote The Christmas Song with Robert Wells in July 1945. Wells would go on to film and TV work, especially The Dinah Shore Chevy Show. It's the hottest day of the year and Torme is at Wells' house and he sees some Christmas lyrics on a note pad. They decide to write a Christmas song to keep cool. The song was written in forty minutes. Of course the most famous version of The Christmas Song was by Nat King Cole in 1946. Though Torme performed The Christmas Song in concert, the first time he recorded it in the studio was on the 1961 album My Kind Of Music with an orchestra arranged and conducted by Wally Stott. This was Torme's final album on Verve and this recording of The Christmas Song is on this budget comp. Torme moved to Atlantic Records and he also worked for Judy Garland at that time. Torme died on June 5, 1999 at age 73. But The Christmas Song will continue to pay royalties to Torme's family for generations to come. Here's Mel Torme with Judy Garland performing The Christmas Song on The Judy Garland Show 1963.