10. "White Christmas," Bing CrosbyDecca 23778 (78) b/w "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
Highest chart position: #1 US (1942, 1945, 1946)
Recorded March 19, 1947, Hollywood, CA
Songwriter Irving Berlin knew he had something special the morning after he completed work on this song, declaring it "the best song anybody's ever written." It's certainly the most popular song anyone's ever written or recorded, though the original lyrics had an extraneous verse that revealed the subject as a Los Angeleno pining for the snow back home. Wisely, Berlin lopped it off, leaving just the chorus -- though written just before the US entered WWII, it eventually took off into the stratosphere after lonely, homesick GIs found it evoked the exact mood they were experiencing. How popular is this song? Well, the version you're used to hearing isn't even the original... the pressing plant had so many orders for the first 1942 recording that, just five years later, the master was virtually destroyed from overuse! So Bing, his vocalists, and orchestra headed back into the studio to replicate it perfectly.