The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Hot Origins Of The Christmas Song

Swing and Beyond tells of how, on an "excessively hot" afternoon in the Summer of 1945, singer Mel Torme drove to Bob Wells' house in the San Fernando Valley.  He walked into the house, and found the following words written on a pad resting on the piano: 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

When Wells appeared, Torme asked him about the little poem.  It was so hot, Wells said "I thought I’d write something to cool myself off. All I could think of was Christmas and cold weather."  Torme said "This might make a song."  A year later, Nat King Cole recorded "The Christmas Song," and the rest is musical history. 

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