Who wrote Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town?
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town was the first of two collaborations between John Frederick “Fred” Coots and Haven Gillespie (the other song they wrote together was the jazz standard You Go To My Head). It was Coots, a well-regarded Broadway composer from Brooklyn, New York, who came up with the song’s infectious singalong melody, while Gillespie, a Kentucky-born lyricist who worked with many different collaborators, wrote the lyrics. Though its tone is playful and bursting with anticipation at the arrival of Christmas, the song is also vaguely threatening, warning children that Santa – depicted as an omniscient, all-knowing figure who can tell “if you’ve been bad or good” – will not reward crying, pouting or any form of unbecoming behaviour.
Who first sang Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town?
A banjo player called Harry Reser, who led his own dance orchestra, was the first musician to record Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, in late 1934, with a version featuring singer Tommy Stacks. After it was performed on the much-listened-to Eddie Cantor radio show in the US – then the barometer of the North American popular taste – the song became a huge hit, both with record buyers and in sheet-music sales. A year later, trombonist and bandleader Tommy Dorsey, the man who aided Frank Sinatra’s rise to the top, helped popularise the song further.
Who else has sung Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town?
The treacle-voiced crooner Bing Crosby, supported by the tight but fluffy harmonies of the vocal group The Andrews Sisters, took Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town into the US charts in 1943, and in 1948, Frank Sinatra recorded a version that was sampled and repurposed by the Australian pop queen Kylie Minogue, 67 years later, on her 2015 album, Kylie Christmas; the results featured the Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and All The Lovers hitmaker singing opposite Ol’ Blues Eyes in a duet brought about by technological wizardry.