The Virtual Musical Advent Calendar, December 11: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Well. After a week of Holiday dysfunction, cynicism, plagiarism and early-morning drinking, I think we’re due to have a little good cheer, don’t you? And there aren’t many Holiday songs more bursting with happiness than Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Here’s the song’s signature recording, sung by the Chairman of the Board himself:
Sammy Cahn and Jule Styn wrote the song in 1945. It was penned in Los Angles on one of the hottest days ever recorded there for Vaughn Monroe. Monroe’s version was the top selling song the following December.
There’s not a tremendous amount of history surrounding Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!, so today I thought I’d simply present some great alternative renditions of the classic. (Most recordings sound like Sinatra karaokes.)
For those that like things a little slower and more intimate, Christina Perri’s version is just the thing:
For those that crave a New Orleans vibe, you can’t go wrong with the Wynton Marsalis Septet:
And of course, there’s the Jean Luc Picard version:
 Chances are you haven’t heard of Monroe; almost know one knows his name these days. His drifting into obscurity is something of a mystery, as Vaughn Monroe was once kind of the cat’s pajamas.
Tall and handsome, Monroe became a hugely successful bandleader in the 1940s. Songwriters everywhere were begging him to record their numbers, because Monroe had a reputation for effortlessly churning out hits. (Johnny Marks wrote the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer specifically for Monroe; he brought it to Gene Autry only after Monroe rejected it.) For a while he became a movie star. He hosted his own CBS variety show, and performed as a Special Guest Star on shows as disparate as American Bandstand, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Bonanza. He is credited with “discovering” Neils Sedaka and Diamond, and has not one but two stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. As if this were not enough, Monroe was such a model train buff that he took the damn things with him wherever he went, even on tour and recording studios.
That such a man isn’t remembered today is something of a puzzler.