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Christmas

Augustus Aiken is born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. He will pursue a career under the name Gus Aiken as a jazz trumpet player, working with Louis Armstrong, Luis Russell and Charlie Johnson, as well as playing sessions on records by Mary Jackson, Eliza Christmas Lee, Daisy Martin, Lavinia Turner, Louise Vant, Essie Whitman, Lena Wilson, Ethel Waters, Clara Smith and Cindy Smith.
While striking miners are enjoying a Christmas Party in The Italian Hall, Calumet, Michigan, USA, a mass panic is caused when someone shouts 'Fire!'. In the ensuing rush for the doors, seventy-three people are trampled to death, fifty-nine of them children. The horrific tragedy, known as The Italian Hall Disaster, will be recorded in Woody Guthrie's 1941 song, 1913 Massacre.
The Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers record Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn for Brunswick Records at the Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
The DeBroy Somers Band, records Savoy Christmas Medley Fox Trot, Savoy Christmas Medley One-Step, and Lonesome Little Doll for Columbia Records in London, UK.
Blues guitarist Black Ace records You Gonna Need My Help Someday, Whiskey And Women, Trifling Woman, Christmas Time Blues, Lowing Heifer and Black Ace, for Decca Records in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Lord Executor records Christmas Is A Joyful Day, with Gerald Clark And His Caribbean Serenaders, in New York City, USA.
Songwriter Irving Berlin signs a contract with Paramount to write songs for the film Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby. The completed soundtrack includes White Christmas, which will become the world’s best-selling song.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer reaches No1 in the Sheet Music Sales Chart in the UK. The position is achieved by amalgamating sales of versions of the song by crooner Bing Crosby and singing cowboy Gene Autry.
A new radio series Crazy People, begins on the BBC Home Srevice in the UK, featuring the comedy talents of Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe plus The Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and The Stargazers. The show will later be re-named The Goon Show, and many of the songs specially written for the show (The Ying Tong Song, I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas etc) will become comedy classics.
Mario Lanza, with the Jeff Alexander Choir, records We Three Kings Of Orient Are and The Lord's Prayer in Republic Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The 5 Keys record Darling, Yes Sir That's My Baby and It's Christmas Time for Aladdin Records at RCA Studios, New York City, USA.
Lindsay Crosby, with John Scott Trotter And His Orchestra, records That's What I Want For Christmas and Dear Mr. Santa Claus for Decca Records in Los Angeles, California, USA. Lindsay Crosby is the son of Bing Crosby.
Victor Young, with The Jud Conlon Singers and The Singing Strings, records Littlest Angel's Christmas for Decca Records in New York City, USA.
Elton Britt And The Beaver Valley Sweethearts record If You Should Change Your Mind, One For Wonderin' and (Before You Know It) Christmas Will Be There, at RCA Victor Studio 1, 155 East 24th St., Manhattan, New York City, USA.
Robert Fripp is given a guitar for Christmas by his parents. He will go on to found the band King Crimson and become known as one of the most innovative guitarists of the late 20th century.
Brenda Lee plays the fifteenth night of a pre-Christmas season in The Congo Room of The Sahara Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The highest new entry in the Cash Box magazine chart of the best-selling singles in the US is the re-issued perennial White Christmas by Bing Crosby, entering at No85.
Ray Conniff, His Orchestra And Chorus record medleys of Christmas songs including We Wish You A Merry Christmas and The Little Drummer Boy, in CBS Recording Studio, 6121 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Jimmy C. Newman records You Must Be True, After Dark Affair and Here Comes Santa Claus at Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
The Christmas-oriented compilation album Jingle Bell Jazz is released by Columbia Records in the USA, featuringtracks by Chico Hamilton, Paul Horn, The Manhattan Jazz All-stars and others.
The Beatles Christmas Show continues at The Astoria, Finsbury Park, London, England UK. Also on the bill are Billy J. Kramer And The Dakotas, Rolf Harris, Cilla Black, The Fourmost, The Barron Knights and Tommy Quickly.
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Burl Ives, with producer Owen Bradley, records Beautiful Annabel Lee, A Holly Jolly Christmas and Hobo Jungle in Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The band includes guitarists Grady Martin, Ray Edenton and Harold Bradley, with Buddy Harman on drums, Hargus Robbins on piano, Charlie McCoy on harmonica and the Anita Kerr Singers.
The Jimmy Smith Trio records Winter Wonderland, God Rest Ye Merry gentlemen, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Jingle Bells for Verve Recors in Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA.
Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Hollies, Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers, The Fourmost, Tommy Quickly, The Rustiks, The Remo Four and Danny Williams appear in the eighth night of Gerry's Christmas Cracker at the Odeon, Liverpool, UK.
Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Hollies, Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers, The Fourmost, Tommy Quickly, The Rustiks, The Remo Four and Danny Williams appear in the second of six nights of Gerry's Christmas Cracker at The Odeon, Leeds, England, UK.
Another Beatles Christmas Show, starring The Beatles, continues at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, UK. Also on the bill are Freddie And The Dreamers, The Yardbirds, Sounds Incorporated, Elkie Brooks and The Mike Cotton Sound. The show is emceed by Jimmy Savile.
Another Beatles Christmas Show, starring The Beatles, continues at Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, UK. Also on the bill are Freddie And The Dreamers, Sounds Incorporated, Elkie Brooks, The Yardbirds and The Mike Cotton Sound.
Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Hollies, Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers, The Fourmost, Tommy Quickly, The Rustiks, The Remo Four and Danny Williams appear in the second of six nights of Gerry's Christmas Cracker at the Odeon, Glasgow, Scotland.
Elvis Presley releases a new single, Santa Claus Is Back In Town/Blue Christmas, in the USA on RCA.
The Four Aces play for the Christmas Dance at The Pilgrim, Haywards Heath, England, UK, Europe.
Quicksilver Messenger Service play for a private Christmas party at The Committee's house, Muir Beach, Marin County, California, USA.
Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones is spending Christmas in the Virgin Islands with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg.
Big Brother And The Holding Company, including Janis Joplin, hold their Christmas Party at Sokol Hall, San Francisco, California, USA.
Georgie Fame continues with his three-week long Christmas engagement at the Mayfair Theatre, London, England, UK, Europe.
Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) by Johnny Farnham, rises from No7 to No3 in the Go Set National Top 40 singles Chart in Australia, Oceania. Snoopy's Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen remains in the No1 position.
Wishbone Ash, supported by Vinegar Joe, Renaissance and Al Stewart, play a Christmas concert at Alexandra Palace, London, England, UK, billed as Christmas At The Palace. During this gig, Wishbone Ash are presented with a gold disc for their album Argus.
In London, UK, rock journalist Caroline Coon makes Christmas dinner for The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned.
Bob Kerr's Christmas Show plays at The 100 Club, Oxford Street, London, England, UK, Europe.
It is announced that the best-selling single of the year in the UK has been Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid 20.
Rapper Jim Jones pleads not guilty in Manhattan's Criminal Court to assault charges stemming from his alleged brawl with members of R'n'B hitmaker Ne-Yo's entourage in New York City, USA, on Christmas Eve past.
It is announced that all of Bob Dylan's international royalties from his forthcoming album, Christmas In The Heart, will be donated to the World Food Programme and Crisis UK in perpetuity. Over the next Christmas period, Dylan's donations will provide 500,000 meals to school children in the developing world and 15,000 meals to homeless people in the United Kingdom through Crisis.
Christmas In The Heart by Bob Dylan reaches No1 in the Billboard Folk Albums Chart in the USA.
Pete Doherty, The Kook, Enter Shikari, UNKLE, Orbital, Billy Bragg, Imogen Heap, Dan Le Sac, Reverend Jon McClure, Crystal Fighters, Mr Hudson, Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots), The Big Pink, Coldcut, Does It Offend You Yeah?, Penguin Prison, Aeroplane, John Foxx, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool and Kilford The Music Painter gather at Dean Street Studios, Soho, London, England, UK, Europe, to re-record avant-garde musician John Cage's celebrated composition, 4'33", which comprises of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence. The aim is to make the silent single the UK's No1 song at Christmas.
Michael Buble releases a new album, Christmas, in the USA.
To dispel widespread rumours that he had been found unconscious in a room at the Empress Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Jon Bon Jovi posts a picture of himself on Twitter with a Christmas tree in the background and holding a note that reads, 'Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey. Dec 19th 2011 6.00'.
Bruno Mars is given a guitar strap for Christmas by his sisters, bearing the message, 'We Love You!!!...Schmuck' on the leather of the strap.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure reveal that an all-star group of contemporary rock and pop artists under the name of Band Aid 30 will shortly be recording a new version of Do They Know It's Christmas to raise money to fight the Ebola crisis in Western Africa.
Lady Gaga performs live for the annual Christmas tree lighting event at The Rockefeller Centre in New York City, USA. Mariah Carey is also scheduled to perform, but she is delayed for three and a half hours by having to attend a court hearing about custody of her children with estranged husband Nick Cannon.
Performance rights organisation ASCAP publishes figures showing that, over the past 100 years, the Top 3 most-performed Christmas songs have been Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) and White Christmas. (N.B. These results are based only on songs in the ASCAP catalogue.)
On their Reason For The Season Christmas Tour, The Beach Boys play at The Palace Theater, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
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