Jeff Westover

Chief Elf Officer
MMC Founder
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Oct 7, 2004
15,917
15,373
1,222,381
Cache Valley, Utah
jeffwestover.com
Who are the influencers of Christmas? Influencers are people who create a lasting impact. In 21st century terms, influencers are people with a long reach via media that everyone follows what they do.
As we go back in history we can see influencers in just about every kind of topic. George Washington was an influencer in liberty. Elvis was an influencer in Rock ‘n Roll. Babe Ruth remains the ultimate influencer in baseball.
Who then are the influencers on Christmas? With all the recent focus on the Christmas Hall of Fame we felt this was something to explore through the timelines of Christmas history.
The 20th century, for example, saw Christmas change tremendously. Several people – or influencers – created that change. Here is who we think they were:
Bing Crosby

Bing’s biggest claim to Christmas fame is the song White Christmas. Yes, he produced a lot of Christmas music during his career and...
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SoundsofChristmas

Chestnut Roaster
MMC Member
MMC Premiere
Jul 7, 2020
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San Diego, CA
I have one more I would add to your great list...

Mel Tormé.

While he's not remembered for his own Christmas recordings, I consider him an influencer for his wonderful "The Christmas Song". Nat King Cole's version quickly became the standard, but so many others have recorded it, including (just from last year) Alicia Keys, David Archuleta, Dionne Warwick, Edwin McCain, Ne-Yo and Robbie Williams (just to name a few). Les Paul, Aretha Franklin, Frankie Avalon, Glen Campbell, Herb Alpert, James Brown, Paul Anka, Rick Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Carpenters, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, the Osmonds, the Temptations, Amy Grant, Ben E King, Clarence Clemons, New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, Aaron Neville, Al Jarreau, Celine Dion, Chicago, Eva Cassidy, Diana Ross, Don McLean, Gloria Estefan, Hootie and the Blowfish, John Tesh, Kenny Loggins, the Ames Brothers, Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Julie Andrews, Kate Smith, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennett and Vera Lynn also recorded it during the 20th century (among countless others).

It's not just that a lot of people recorded his song. It's that his song has become so interwoven with the holiday itself. It's not just any Christmas song. It's THE Christmas Song. Even Paul McCartney, who hasn't released any Christmas music beyond his one-off "Wonderful Christmastime" in the 70's, recorded a version for his collection of songs that made up his take on the great American songbook.
 

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