wikiamp

Winter Wonderland

"Winter Wonderland" is a song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard Smith. Due to its seasonal theme, it is often regarded as a Christmas song in the Northern Hemisphere. Since its original recording by Richard Himber, it has been covered by over 200 different artists, including Air Supply, Jo Stafford, Doris Day, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis with Percy Faith and His Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mannheim Steamroller, Amy Grant, Michael Bublé, The Eurythmics, Selena Gomez, Alan Jackson, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg, Kylie Minogue, Huey Lewis and the News, and Elvis Presley.

The song's lyrics were about a couple's romance during the winter season. A later version of "Winter Wonderland," printed in 1947, included a "new children's lyric" that transformed it "from a romantic winter interlude to a seasonal song about playing in the snow." The snowman mentioned in the song's bridge was changed from a minister to a circus clown, and the promises the couple made in the final verse were replaced with lyrics about frolicking. Singers like Johnny Mathis connected both versions of the song, giving "Winter Wonderland" an additional verse and an additional chorus.

History

Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the lyrics after seeing Honesdale's Central Park covered in snow. Smith wrote the lyrics while being treated for tuberculosis in the West Mountain Sanitarium in Scranton.

Originally recorded in 1934 at RCA. At the end of a different recording session by Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra with extra time to spare, RCA suggested arranging and recording "Winter Wonderland" using some additional members of its own orchestra, which included Artie Shaw and other established New York City studio musicians.

Guy Lombardo’s version that same year would go on to be one of the biggest hits of 1934. [https://playback.fm/charts/top-100-songs/1934]

In the Swedish lyrics, "Vår vackra vita vintervärld", the word tomtar is mentioned. In Mathis' version, heard on his 1958 LP Merry Christmas, the introduction is sung between the first and the second refrain.

In 1960, Ella Fitzgerald recorded a jazz arrangement of the song for her Verve release, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas.

In 2016, Ronan Keating recorded a Southern Hemisphere version of the song titled "Summer Wonderland".

Awards and achievements

Guy Lombardo's version was the highest on the charts at the time of introduction. Johnny Mercer's version of the song placed #4 on the Billboard airplay chart in 1946. The same season, a version by Perry Como hit the retail top ten; Como would re-record the song for his 1959 Christmas album.

In November 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) listed "Winter Wonderland" as the most-played ASCAP-member-written holiday song of the previous five years, citing the Eurythmics' 1987 version of the song as the one most commonly played.

Charts

Tony Bennett version

Darlene Love version

Certifications