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Our Pop Christmas Playlist

When Cher announced she was releasing a Christmas album, it raised a few eyebrows; and certainly no one expected the original single, title track, “DJ Play a Christmas Song” to hit #1 two weeks ago.

Related post: “Christmas Music: Cher Hits #1 With ‘DJ Play A Christmas Song”

Suffice it to say, WE. LOVE. IT. and have had it playing constantly since it dropped!

And if that wasn’t enough, sixty-five years after it was first released, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” finally bumped off that “The Queen of Christmas” and hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100! (Can you imagine the FIT Mariah threw?  Think the Queen of Heart and Alice. LOL)

Related Post: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” Finally Reaches #1 On Billboard Hot 100” 


Both of these got us thinking about all the various pop artists who have recorded original Christmas songs over the years.  They’re usually one offs and fade away, but a few are hits.  Some are silly, or kitschy, some are tender and nostalgic, and even if they weren’t commercial successes take us to a special place in our heart and bring back treasured Christmas memories.  We thought it would be fun to put together a Pop Christmas Playlist of holiday tunes you may have forgotten or didn’t even know your favorite artists recorded.  We hope you enjoy them!


Seems only fitting to start with The King of Rock and Roll, Mr. Chuck Berry and his “Run Rudolph Run” from 1958.


The Beatles got in on Season’s Greetings with “Christmas Time is Here Again”


In 1970, the Jackson 5 Christmas Album gave us, “Give Love on Christmas Day”


Released as a stand alone single in 1973, this is “Elton John and Step into Christmas.”


From his 1977 debut solo album of the same name, Kenny Loggin’s “Celebrate Me Home” has been called like going to church for its emotional and spiritual sound.


Dan Fogelberg’s autobiographical, “Same Old Lang Syne” was released as a single in 1980 and then included on his 1981 album, The Innocent Age.


We’re bending the rules here just bit, but when it’s Dolly Parton we don’t mind.  Her 1982 recording of “Hard Candy Christmas” wasn’t exactly original since it came from her performance in the film adaption of the Broadway musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  What’s more, the song isn’t even really about Christmas, but she’s Miss Dolly and now it is and that’s good enough for us.

Related Post: “Dolly Parton – Music Legend & LGBTQ Ally: ‘I Just Want Everybody To Be Treated Good’” 

As you’ll see, 1984 was a spectacular year for pop Christmas singles.  First off is the group that made big hair and bubble gum pop a hallmark of the mid-80’s.  This is Wham! and “Last Christmas.”


Six weeks before Christmas in 1984, Queen released this stand alone single, “Thank God It’s Christmas.”


Occasionally the world comes together to take care of the those of us who cannot.  Band Aid in 1984 brought together some of the world’s greatest recording artists for “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to help feed the famine ravaged people living in Africa.


A compilation album by various big-name recording artists to support Special Olympics is where it began; but while other stars were covering Christmas classics, Run DMC was busy creating “Christmas in Hollis” that was destined to become a classic.


She has been called an angel and though she now sings with the angelic choir, Olivia Newton-John is still close to our hearts and always will be.  From her 2007 album, Christmas Wish, here she is with Jon Secada recording “Every Time It Snows.”

Previous Post: “Podcast: Remembering Olivia Newton-John”

There are many more songs we could have included on our play list but we hope we’ve included at least a few of your favorites.  The final song is a personal favorite.  It’s a beautiful song about reflecting on the things that truly matter and the circularity of the story is touching.  This is Natalie Cole with “My Grown Up Christmas List.”


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