13. "A Holly Jolly Christmas," Burl IvesDecca 31695 b/w "Snow For Johnny"
Highest chart position: #13 US (1964)
Recorded July 1964, New York, NY
Songwriter Johnny Marks had already created a modern-day Christmas classic with "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," a song that proved so popular the stop-motion animators over at Rankin-Bass decided to create a half-hour TV special around it in order to expand on the new myth. Grandfatherly folk icon Burl Ives was brought in for star power, to play the narrator, Sam the Snowman, and take over several songs originally slated for the character of Yukon Cornelius. One was "Silver And Gold"; the other was this seasonal perennial, one of the happiest and most infectious Christmas songs to ever crack the Top 40.