Every year, once the snow is on the ground to stay, I start longing for the day after Thanksgiving. Not because I enjoy bargain shopping or washing Thanksgiving dishes, but because in my house, that is opening day for the Christmas music season. My iPod playlist remains on repeat until the twenty-fifth of December, cranking out Christmas standards and new favorites. Read on for a list of my top ten Christmas singers of all time.
1) Bing Crosby
The popularity of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas album secures his position as one of the top Christmas crooners of all time. Classic holiday songs on his 1949 album include “White Christmas,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” No holiday music collection is complete without Bing Crosby’s hits.
2) Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters, a trio of singing sisters, recorded several Christmas classics during the 1940’s, such as the song “I’d Like to Hitch a Ride with Santa Claus.” Though they harmonized beautifully on their own, the trio also recorded holiday duets with Bing Crosby, including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Upbeat and fun, the Andrews Sisters versions of these holiday standards are well worth downloading.
3) Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra would almost certainly make the list of best singers of all time, and he definitely has a spot on the Christmas version of the list. Listen to Sinatra’s timeless tenor voice singing Christmas classics such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Adeste Fideles” and you will understand why critics called him “The Voice.”
4) Burl Ives
If you grew up watching poorly animated Christmas television specials from the 1960’s, you are no doubt familiar with the jolly voice of Burl Ives. His versions of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Holly Jolly Christmas” are nostalgia-inducing favorites.
5) Perry Como
Perry Como singing Christmas standards is the soundtrack to the holidays of my childhood. I have many fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree and wrapping presents at my grandparents’ house while Perry Como Sings Christmas played on the record player in the background. Listen to him sing “Silver Bells” and “12 Days of Christmas,” and you’ll see why he is a personal favorite of mine.
6) Andy Williams
Andy Williams’ musical career has spanned several decades and produced multiple hit songs. He has recorded several Christmas songs, the most famous of which is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Williams also recorded a version of the holiday standard “The First Noel” in his familiar, easy-listening voice.
7) Lena Horne
Lena Horne’s sultry voice lands her a spot as one of the top ten Christmas singers. Horne’s album Merry from Lena was released in 1966. Two stand outs from this album are her peppy versions of “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” and “Winter Wonderland.”
8) Nat “King” Cole
Roasting chestnuts over an open fire is not one of my family’s Christmas traditions, but enjoying Nat “King” Cole’s amazing rendition of “The Christmas Song” is.
9) Diana Krall
Singer and pianist Diana Krall is the newest artist in this list of top Christmas singers, but her spot is well deserved. In 2005 she delved into the holiday standards with her album Christmas Songs. If you love jazz and jingle bells, download her versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride” today.
10) Thurl Ravenscroft
Who? You might not know him by name, but you’d recognize the voice anywhere. Thurl Ravenscroft is the deep voice behind the famous “You’re a Mean One (Mr. Grinch)” song from the original cartoon version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He smoothes over the scathing lyrics, delivering them with feeling, and giving you a bold standard to live up to next time you sing his famous song to your less than festive uncle.
Personal Holiday Music Collection