1957 – Elvis Presley poses beside a Christmas tree in his home in Memphis, Tennesee. When Elvis recorded a cover of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas, it made him livid, and he launched a campaign to have it banned from radio airplay. Berlin despised Elvis, and felt that he was degrading the song, which held a very personal and painful meaning for him, long kept secret.
“Peace on Earth” has long been one of my all-time favorite Holiday tunes. Even more so when I learned about the odd and magical pairing of David Bowie & Bing Crosby many years ago. It was an epic moment in music history that almost didn’t happen– in more ways than one.
Bing Crosby & David Bowie taping the TV special “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” back in 1977.
When the producers of Bing Crosby’s “Merrie Olde Christmas” TV special asked Bowie to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” with Bing in 1977, he flatly refused.
Ian Fraser, Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman left the set and found a piano in the studios’ basement. In about 75 minutes, they wrote “Peace on Earth,” an original tune, and worked out an arrangement that weaved together the two songs. Bowie and Crosby nailed the performance with less than an hour of rehearsal. Bowie liked it.
Humphrey Bogart with his wife Lauren Bacall, and their son Stephen, at their home in Beverly Hills on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)
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Circa 1932, Lake Arrowhead, California, USA — A Famous Father-and-Son Team go Ski-Larking. Lake Arrowhead, CA: Douglas Fairbanks, who returned to Hollywood Christmas Eve after another globe trotting expedition joins his noted son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., for a skiing jaunt at Lake Arrowhead– a smart California winter sports resort. The pair are shown on their skiis during a hike through the pineclad slopes that border the lake. Doug, Senior will leave after a few months for Europe to participate in the winter sports at St. Moritz. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Circa 1967 — A group portrait of Dean Martin and his family with Frank Sinatra and his family on “The Dean Martin Show.” — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS