The Old School Animal Christmas Concerts 2008-The Big Byrds Performing Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Gibsonton Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (sometimes with Coming changed to Comin') is a Christmas song. It was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, and was first sung on Eddie Cantor's radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and over 400,000 copies sold by Christmas.
The earliest known recorded version of the song was performed by George Hall and the Hotel Taft Orchestra (featuring Sonny Schuyler on vocals) in 1934. It was mostly an instrumental except for a 35-second vocal by Schuyler. The version shown in the Variety charts of December 1934 was Harry Reser featuring Tom Stacks on vocal. The song was an obvious sheet music hit, reaching #1. Surprisingly, no 1934 version achieved exceptional record sales. The song was also recorded on September 26, 1935, by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra . Many believe that Benny Goodman was the first to record the song, but in 1935 Goodman actually recorded the Johnny Mercer tune, "Santa Claus Came In The Spring." Goodman never recorded "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
The song is a traditional standard at Christmas time, and has been covered by numerous recording artists. In 1970 Rankin-Bass produced an hour-long animated television special based on the song, with narrator Fred Astaire telling the original story of Santa Claus.