A picture of singer Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

It’s the first week of December and the holidays loom large on the horizon, their arrival heralded by the sound of the annual Christmas music deluge. In every store and on every station, the old standbys are on constant rotation. Yet even amongst all that familiarity, this year it would appear that at least one of those classics has proved itself to have a bit more than just staying power. A mere 65 years after it’s original release, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” has topped the charts for the first time, de-throning Yuletide-queen Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from its yearly spot atop Billboard’s Hot 100. This holiday surprise for Lee nets the now 78-year-old a number of noteworthy feathers in her cap, including the record for the longest period of time between a single’s release and it’s ascent to #1.

Written by Christmas tunesmith extraordinaire Johnny Marks, who penned such other holiday all-timers as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Lee – otherwise known as “Little Miss Dynamite” – originally performed “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was just 13 years old.

The song’s recent rise to the top was propelled by a newfound push from label UMG Nashville and a cozy new music video featuring a festive-looking Lee celebrating with friends and family – sure to conjure, in the song’s words, “a sentimental feeling” in all but the most Scrooge-like. For the rest of us, it’s genuinely heartwarming to see that a staple like”Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” can still get folks merry in, as it says, “the new old-fashioned way.”

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