3. "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," Brenda LeeDecca 9-30776 b/w "Papa Noel"
Highest chart position: #14 US (1960)
Recorded October 19, 1958, Nashville, TN
This cool little pop-rockabilly Christmas card should have been the single that introduced Little Miss Dynamite to the Top 40 masses, but it didn't -- recorded in October 1958 and released that same year, it did nothing at the time. Or, for that matter, the year after that. But when Brenda Lee finally cracked the pop market in 1960 with "Sweet Nothin's" and "I'm Sorry," the time was ripe, and this seasonal number shot up the charts. Even so, it missed the top ten by a few notches, but it charted for two years afterward, and has since become one of the most popular Christmas songs ever -- 8 million copies sold in its first thirty years. One last note: the songwriter behind this novelty was Johnny Marks, who must be the king of Christmas songwriters -- he's got no less than four songs credited to him on our countdown ("Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "Run Run Rudolph," and this one)!