Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

About The Song

This holiday classic about a yuletide dance party was written by Johnny Marks, a very prolific Christmas songwriter who was Jewish. His other songs include “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” has lyrics that are rather dated, but that hasn’t dulled the appeal of the song. It takes place at the “Christmas party hop,” a festive “sock hop” where teenagers would take off their shoes and dance. Sock hops were big in the ’50s, and in 1957 Danny & the Juniors had a huge hit with “At The Hop.” The song also evokes quaint traditions like caroling and mistletoe, but it all comes off in a good old-fashioned way.
Brenda Lee was just 13 years old when she recorded this song. Known as “Little Miss Dynamite,” she stood 4’9″.

First released in 1958, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” didn’t dent the charts that year or the next, but in 1960, after Brenda Lee scored a few hits, it caught on and went to #14 in the US. It charted again in 1961 and 1962 and went on to become a Christmas classic.

On December 5, 2023, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. That makes the hit song’s original performer, Brenda Lee, now 78, one of the oldest artists to ever top the chart. The song also set the record for the longest period of time between an original release and its topping the Hot 100 (65 years), as well as the longest time between number-one singles by an artist: 63 years, one month and two weeks.

See also  Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry


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