Elvis Presley, 'Elvis' Christmas Album' (1957)
Want to know how revolutionary Elvis was in Fifties America? Irving Berlin, the author of "White Christmas," was so scandalized by Elvis's 1957 version of the song that he tried to get it banned from radio. Sorry, Irv. Instead, Elvis' Christmas Album topped the Billboard charts for a month and went on to sell nearly 20 million copies in various editions. It's a wonderful mix of lighthearted rock & roll ("Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me"), reverent versions of traditional favorites ("O Little Town of Bethlehem") and nods to his country and gospel roots ("Take My Hand, Precious Lord"). The classic, of course, is "Blue Christmas." But on every song, Elvis ingeniously adds a suggestive thrust to a lilywhite genre while slightly purifying his own bad-boy image by showing he could warm your hearth as well as roast your chestnuts.
blog comments powered by Disqus