We Approve: Rosemary Clooney’s White Christmas Album


Bing Crosby’s rendition of “White Christmas” is widely acknowledged as the best-selling single of all time. He first recorded the Irving Berlin–penned track for a radio show in 1941, then for the film Holiday Inn, for which it won an Oscar in 1943. In 1954, it was the title song of the famed movie of the same name, starring Crosby and Maysville, Kentucky’s own Rosemary Clooney. We’ve all seen it—the legendary crooner and young starlet making eyes at each other, the choreographed dances, the startling lack of diversity—but because of record deals, we never got the soundtrack we deserved. He was on Decca Records, she was on Columbia, so they were forced to make two separate albums. Still, Clooney’s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (1954) is an eight-track masterpiece. I’ve found my tattered vinyl copy to be the ideal holiday album—enough wintry cheer from Rosemary’s silky smooth version of Mr. Berlin’s classic and another lost gem called, simply, “Snow” to put me in the spirit, but without all that reindeer and holly jolly crap. Clooney recruits her younger sibling Betty for a proper version of “Sisters,” belts out “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” all on her own, and gleefully preaches truth on “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing.” Best of all, it’s about 100 minutes shorter than the movie.

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