Here Comes Santa Claus

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Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) is a Christmas song written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman.

Autry got the idea for the song after riding his horse in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade (now the Hollywood Christmas Parade) in Los Angeles during which crowds of spectators chanted, “Here comes Santa Claus”. This inspired him to write a song that Haldeman set to music. A demo recording was made by singer/guitarist Johnny Bond, whose recording made use of ice cubes to mimic the sound of the jingling sleigh-bells. This inspired the use of real sleigh-bells in Autry’s own recording of the song.

Autry first recorded the song in 1947; released as a single by Columbia Records, it became a #5 country and #9 pop hit. Autry performed the song in his 1949 movie The Cowboy and the Indians. He re recorded it again for Columbia in 1953 and once more for his own Challenge Records label in 1957. Country music artist Hank Thompson recorded a hit version of it in 1954.

Elvis Presley recorded another popular version of the song for Elvis’ Christmas Album in 1957. Other artists to record the song include Doris Day (1949), Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (1950), the Ray Conniff Singers (1959), Alvin and the Chipmunks (1961), Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (1963), Willie Nelson (1979), The Wiggles (1997), Billy Idol (2006), Bob Dylan (2009), Mariah Carey (2010), Chicago (2011), and the cast of Glee (2013).

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