On the seventeenth day of highlighting lesser known Christmas songs (or versions of classics I gravitate to each year), my choice of song is “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)”, a cut from what I consider one of the THE most classic Christmas albums of all time, “The Original Gene Autry: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1957). I feel that way mostly because recollection of my childhood Christmases literally revolve around this album. The interweaving of secular and Christian themes with short anecdotes about each song had me replaying it throughout the entire holiday season.
Nicknamed “The Singing Cowboy”, Autry was a singer, songwriter (of today’s selection as well), actor, and rodeo performer who owned the Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels for more than 30 years. He appeared in 93 films, becoming one of the first actors to bring country music to the masses via film and television (his signature song was “Back in the Saddle Again”).
Gene Autry is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in all categories (film, television, music, radio, and live performance).
Gene Autry died from cancer at the age of 90 in October of 1998. His music and legacy will live on, most recently in my mind near the end of 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” when the police ambush the Griswold household to rescue Clark’s boss (Mr. Shirley) after he was kidnapped by well-meaning Cousin Eddie.
If you’d like to listen to the playlist as it’s created this month, preview the tracks and then log into Spotify to listen!
Other Moteventurous Christmas Songs from this artist:
- RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
- FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
- SLEIGH BELLS
- O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
- UP ON THE HOUSETOP
As always, if there is a holiday song you want me to hear and/or highlight here, add it in the comments below. Enjoy your day!