Wrapping up this extremely festive edition of ‘What the Kids are Listening To’ is the Hot 100’s #11 track, Nat King Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You).’
Cole came within one slot of landing his third Top 10 hit and his first since 1963.
Cole recorded several versions of this song, with the 1961 one (heard here) considered definitive. But the original, stripped-down 1946 version is arguably even sweeter.
In contrast to yesterday’s track, sung by a 13-year-old Brenda Lee, today’s Christmas song was recorded by Burl Ives when he was pushing 60.
This week’s #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 is best remembered as a song from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special. Ives voiced the narrator, Sam the Snowman.
When Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ hit #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week, it was her 13th song to reach the Top 10 of that chart. She was a hit machine.
In fact, through the decade of the 60s, only The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Ray Charles landed more songs on Billboard’s U.S. charts.
Even more impressive is that she scored most of those hits before reaching adulthood. The pint-sized singer was a regular performer on TV and radio when she was only 9 years old and landed her first #1 (‘I’m Sorry’) at 16.
The rest of this week’s Hot 100 entries are Christmas songs. I thought maybe that was a common occurrence during the season, but looking at this time of year over the past half decade or so, I don’t see anything like this year’s influx of Christmas titles.
Are people just in a jollier mood? Trying to forget that Donald Trump is the U.S. president? Something else?
At #7 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 is a collaboration between the American DJ/producer Marshmello and the British band Bastille.
Bastille’s last hit was ‘Pompeii,‘ which reached the Top 10 of this chart in early 2014. This is Marshmello’s first time in the Top 10, though he did reach #11 in mid-2018 with the song ‘Friends.’
I did not expect to see a Panic! At the Disco song on the Top Ten of Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2019, but here we are. The song ‘High Hopes’ occupies the #6 spot.
This is the highest chart position ever for the emo pop band, having previously reached #7 with 2006’s ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies.’ Their albums have actually sold pretty well over the past decade-plus, buoyed by the Hot Topic crowd.
Post Malone scores his fourth top five hit and Swae Lee lands his second with ‘Sunflower,’ a featured track from the great new movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
In the film, the song is a favorite of lead character Miles Morales.
This is as good a time as any to recommend Into the Spider-Verse, which is certainly one of the best attempts to bring the webslinger to the screen (and there have been many).