Elvis Presley

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis’ Blue Christmas

 Elvis Blue Christmas, The holiday season brings with it a sense of warmth, joy, and nostalgia. And what better way to celebrate than with music? One song, in particular, has stood the test of time and has become synonymous with Christmas – “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley. With its smooth vocals, catchy beat, and melancholic lyrics, this iconic song has captured the hearts of millions around the globe.

In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the history of Elvis’ Blue Christmas and explore its significance, impact, and evolution over the years. From its humble beginnings to becoming a holiday classic, let’s unravel the story of this beloved tune.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

The History of Elvis Blue Christmas

To understand the origins of “Blue Christmas,” we must first look at the man behind the song – Elvis Presley. Born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was an American singer, musician, and actor known as the “King of Rock and Roll.” He rose to fame in the mid-1950s, becoming one of the most influential figures in popular culture.

Elvis’ love for music began at an early age. He grew up listening to gospel, country, and rhythm and blues, which heavily influenced his musical style. In 1954, he recorded his first single, “That’s All Right,” which became an instant hit and marked the beginning of his legendary career.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

But it wasn’t until 1957 that Elvis released “Blue Christmas,” cementing his place in history. Written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, the song was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948 and later covered by numerous artists. However, it was Elvis’ version that gained immense popularity and became a household name.

The Significance of Elvis Blue Christmas

“Blue Christmas” holds a special place in the hearts of many, and for good reason. It perfectly captures the feeling of loneliness and longing during the holiday season – a time when people are expected to be surrounded by loved ones. The melancholic lyrics paired with Elvis’ soulful voice create a sense of empathy and relatability, making it a Christmas anthem for those who feel blue during this time of year.

Moreover, “Blue Christmas” marked a significant shift in Elvis’ music career. It was one of his first forays into the genre of country music, solidifying his versatility as an artist. The song also showcased his vocal range, from the smooth crooning in the verses to the powerful belting in the chorus.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

Elvis Blue Christmas: A Holiday Classic

Over the years, “Blue Christmas” has become a holiday classic, with countless covers and renditions by artists such as Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, and Josh Groban. But what makes this song stand out among the sea of Christmas songs?

For one, it’s the perfect blend of various genres – rock and roll, country, and blues – creating a unique and timeless sound. The use of a bluesy guitar riff and a saxophone solo adds depth and character to the song, making it instantly recognizable. Additionally, the simple yet effective lyrics strike an emotional chord with listeners, making it a song that can be enjoyed by all ages.

How Elvis’ Blue Christmas Became a Hit Song

When Elvis recorded “Blue Christmas” in 1957, he was at the height of his career. The song was featured on his first Christmas album, “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” which was released in October of the same year. The album went on to become the best-selling Christmas album of all time, with “Blue Christmas” being the standout track.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

The success of the song can also be attributed to its release during the peak of the holiday season. Its popularity was further boosted by Elvis’ live performances of the song on various television shows, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The iconic image of Elvis in his shiny gold suit and pompadour hairstyle, singing “Blue Christmas” with his signature charisma, added to the charm of the song.

The Impact of Elvis’ Blue Christmas on the Music Industry

“Blue Christmas” not only became a hit for Elvis but also had a significant impact on the music industry. It paved the way for other artists to experiment with different genres and styles, rather than sticking to just one sound. The success of the song also solidified Elvis’ status as a pop culture icon and opened doors for him to explore different avenues in the entertainment industry.

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Moreover, “Blue Christmas” helped establish Elvis as a crossover artist, appealing to both mainstream and country audiences. This helped bridge the gap between these two genres and set a precedent for future collaborations and fusions.

Elvis’ Blue Christmas: A Reflection of His Life

While “Blue Christmas” is a holiday classic, it also holds personal significance for Elvis. During the time of its release, he was going through a tough period in his personal life – his mother’s passing, his military service, and a strained relationship with his then-girlfriend. These emotions are reflected in the lyrics of the song, making it all the more poignant.

Furthermore, “Blue Christmas” marked a turning point in Elvis’ career. It propelled him to new heights of stardom and cemented his place in the music industry. However, it also marked the beginning of his descent into stardom and the increasing pressure that came along with it. The song serves as a reminder of the highs and lows of Elvis’ life and how he eventually became a cultural phenomenon.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

The Legacy of Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Over six decades after its release, “Blue Christmas” remains a beloved holiday classic. Its legacy has been passed down from generation to generation, with fans of all ages continuing to listen and sing along to the iconic tune.

Moreover, the song has become an integral part of Christmas celebrations, whether it’s playing on the radio, in department stores, or at family gatherings. It has also been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials, solidifying its place in pop culture.

Behind the Scenes of Elvis’ Blue Christmas Recording

The recording session for “Blue Christmas” took place on September 5, 1957, at RCA’s New York City studio. Elvis was joined by his band, including guitarist Scotty Moore and pianist Dudley Brooks. The session produced four takes, with Elvis initially struggling to find the right sound for the song.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

However, on the fourth take, he found his groove, and the recording was deemed satisfactory. To add some extra flair to the song, backup singers Millie Kirkham and the Jordanaires were brought in to provide the background vocals. The result was a soulful and infectious rendition of “Blue Christmas.”

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The Evolution of Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Throughout the years, “Blue Christmas” has undergone various changes and adaptations, each with its own unique spin on the original. In 1964, Elvis recorded a version of the song for his movie, “Elvis’ Golden Records,” which featured a faster tempo and a rock and roll twist.

In 1971, Elvis performed “Blue Christmas” as part of his “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii” special. This performance showcased a more stripped-down, acoustic version of the song, highlighting Elvis’ vocal prowess and stage presence.

In recent years, “Blue Christmas” has been covered by artists from different genres, such as country artist Martina McBride and pop singer Ariana Grande. Each rendition pays homage to the original while putting a fresh spin on it, keeping the song relevant and beloved by new generations.

The Cultural Influence of Elvis’ Blue Christmas

From fashion to food to music, Elvis’ influence can be seen in various aspects of popular culture. And “Blue Christmas” is no exception. The song has inspired countless parodies, covers, and even a holiday album titled “Blue Christmas: A Fine Selection of Yuletide Blues, RB, and Gospel Music,” which features various artists paying tribute to the King’s iconic tune.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree The History of Elvis' Blue Christmas

Moreover, “Blue Christmas” has been translated into different languages and has become a staple in Christmas celebrations around the world. It has also influenced other holiday songs, such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” which features a saxophone solo reminiscent of Elvis’ version of “Blue Christmas.”


In conclusion, “Blue Christmas” is more than just a holiday song; it’s a cultural phenomenon that has stood the test of time. Its significance, impact, and evolution over the years have solidified its place as a holiday classic and a reflection of Elvis Presley’s life and legacy.

So this holiday season, as you rock around the Christmas tree, don’t forget to add Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” to your playlist and keep the tradition of celebrating the King of Rock and Roll alive.

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