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1940s / Nat King Cole Sings The Christmas Song
This song was written in 1944 by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded it in 1946. At Cole's request, and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records, a second recording was made the same year using a small string section, this version became a huge hit on both the pop and R&B charts. Cole re-recorded the song in 1953 and again in 1961, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra. Mel Tormé himself eventually recorded his own version in 1965. However, the 1961 recording by Cole is generally regarded as definitive and continues to receive considerable radio airplay each holiday season. Cole's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.