At one point, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Bing Crossby’s recordings in the “White Christmas” as the best-selling Christmas unit of all time and the best-selling single.
The hit song was introduced in the movie HOLIDAY INN (1942) starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, and Virginia Dale. Crossby sang “White Christmas” in the film with Marjorie Reynolds, dubbed by singer Martha Meyers.
Written by Irving Berlin, the lyrics describe the longing for Christmas at another time. Berlin won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “White Christmas”. He said in a 1954 interview that the song was originally written for a stage review he was producing, but he decided to remove it for a later date. “White Christmas” later became the title song of another Bing Crossby movie, White Christmas (1954).
“When the song first became popular, I blamed it for the war and Christmas means peace,” Berlin said in a 1954 interview.
According to a December 1953 interview with Earl Wilson, Berlin was also surprised that “White Christmas” was a Holiday Inn hit. He thought, “Be careful, it’s my heart,” and the Valentine’s Day song was going to be a hit.