Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Winter Wonderland

First recorded by Richard Himber & His Ritz-Carlton Orchestra (1934).
Popular versions by Guy Lomabardo’s Royal Canadians (US #2 1934), Ted Weems & His Orchestra (US #13 1934), Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers (US #4 1946), Perry Como & the Satisfiers (US #10 1946), Johnny Mathis (UK #17 1958), Darlene Love (1963), Ramsey Lewis Trio (US #27 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Winter Wonderland’, a winter song, is popularly regarded as a Christmas song even though the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. It was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale’s Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis.

“The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This ‘studio’ orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw.

“The biggest chart hit rendition of ‘Winter Wonderland’ at the time of introduction in 1934 was performed by Guy Lombardo’s orchestra, a Top-10 hit. Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song back onto the charts, in 1946, to #4 on the Hit Parade. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail Top-10 with his recording. (Como would also record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album, Season’s Greetings.)

“Through the decades it has been recorded by over 200 different artists, among them Johnny Mathis (1958), Darlene Love (1963), and The Ramsey Lewis Trio (1966).”

Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, “Winter Wonderland” (1934):

Ted Weems & His Orchestra, “Winter Wonderland” (1934):

Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers, “Winter Wonderland” (1946):

Perry Como & the Satisfiers, “Winter Wonderland” (1946):

Johnny Mathis, “Winter Wonderland” (1958):

Perry Como, “Winter Wonderland” re-recording (1959):

Darlene Love, “Winter Wonderland” (1963):

Ramsey Lewis Trio, “Winter Wonderland” (1966):

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