Jingle Bell Rock

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"Jingle Bell Rock"
Single Bobby Helms-Jingle Bell Rock cover.jpg
Single by Bobby Helms
from the album Jingle Bell Rock
B-side
  • "Captain Santa Claus
  • (and His Reindeer Space Patrol)"
Released1957 (1957)
Format7-inch
RecordedOctober 1957
Genre
Length2:12
LabelDecca 9-30513
Songwriter(s)
  • Joe Beal
  • Jim Boothe
Bobby Helms singles chronology
"My Special Angel"
(1957)
"Jingle Bell Rock"
(1957)
"Just a Little Lonesome"
(1958)

"Jingle Bell Rock" is an American popular Christmas song first released by Bobby Helms in 1957 (after it was recorded in October of that year). It has received frequent airplay in the United States during every Christmas season since then. "Jingle Bell Rock" was composed by Joseph Carleton Beal (1900–1967) and James Ross Boothe (1917–1976), although both Helms and session guitarist on the song Hank Garland disputed this.[note 1] Beal was a Massachusetts-born public relations professional and longtime resident of South Ocean Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Boothe was an American writer in the advertising business.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

Helms recordings[edit]

"Jingle Bell Rock" has been performed by many, but Helms' first version from 1957 is the best known.[10] The song's title and some of its lyrics are an extension of the old Christmas standard, "Jingle Bells". It makes brief references to other popular songs of the 1950s, such as "Rock Around the Clock", and mentions going to a "Jingle hop". An electric guitar played by Hank Garland can be heard playing the first notes of the chorus of "Jingle Bells". Backup singers were the Anita Kerr Quartet.[11]

Helms' original version, on Decca 9-30513 from October 1957, was re-recorded by him on Kapp K-719 in 1965, and yet again in 1967 on Little Darlin' LD-0038. In 1970, Helms recorded an entire album titled Jingle Bell Rock on Certron C-7013, releasing the title track on Certron C-10021, with a picture sleeve. He again recorded the song for Gusto Records, it was subsequently released on their "Power Pak" label. In yet another re-recording, Helms released a version on Ashley AS-4200 (year unknown). In 1983, Helms released his last recording of "Jingle Bell Rock" on Black Rose 82713.

D-TV set this version to the Disney shorts, Once Upon a Wintertime from Melody Time and On Ice.

Authorship controversy[edit]

Helms, as well as session guitarist on the song Hank Garland, both claimed until their deaths, that it was they, not Beal and Boothe, who wrote the song. They claimed that the original song by Beal and Boothe was called Jingle Bell Hop, and that it was given to Helms by a Decca executive to record. This song, according to Helms and Garland, had little to no resemblance to the current song. Helms did not like it, and as a result, they both proceeded to work on it, changing the music, lyrics, and tempo, and also giving it a previously-missing bridge. This new song, they claimed, was the one that is known today. However, neither of them received writing credit or subsequent writing royalties.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

"'I really didn't want to cut it because it was such a bad song. So me and one of the musicians [, Hank Garland], worked on it for about an hour putting a melody to it and we put a bridge to it,' said Helms [in a 1992 interview]."[15]

"'I let it hop back to where it came from,' Garland recalled. 'It wasn't any good. [Bobby and I] came up with the "Jingle Bell Rock" America hears every holiday season,' he [Garland] said [in a 2001 interview]."[12]

Billy Garland, brother of Hank Garland, maintains his deceased brother's story, and has long been involved with and vocal about the issue.[12][17]

Chart and sales performance[edit]

Helms' original version charted at No. 13 on Billboard's Most Played C&W by Jockeys chart, a predecessor to the Hot Country Songs chart. It also crossed to the pop charts, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart, and at No. 11 on Cashbox magazine's Top 60 on the week ending January 11, 1958.

After the song was featured on the soundtrack album to the 1996 film Jingle All the Way, the original Bobby Helms version returned to the Billboard country singles charts in late 1996 and early 1997, reaching a peak of No. 60.

The Helms version entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week ending December 24, 2016,[18] and hit No. 29 two weeks later.[19] In January 2019, the song entered the Hot 100's top 10 for the first time reaching No. 8.[20] With this feat, Helms broke the record for the longest wait to the Hot 100's top 10 as he achieved this in 60 years, four months and two weeks after his first entry back in 1958. Helms' recording reached a new peak of No. 3 on the chart dated January 4, 2020.[21]

According to Nielsen SoundScan, the digital track of Helms' original Decca recording was ninth on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history in 2016 with 780,000 downloads .[22] As of December 2019, it has sold 891,000 copies in the United States.[23]

Bobby Helms[edit]

Chart (1957) Peak
position
US Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard)[citation needed] 6
US Most Played C&W by Jockeys (Billboard)[citation needed] 13
Chart (1996–1997) Peak
position
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[24] 18
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[25] 60
Chart (2001–2020) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[26] 41
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[27] 31
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[28] 9
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[29] 21
Denmark (Tracklisten)[30] 17
France (SNEP)[31] 84
Germany (Official German Charts)[32] 32
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[33] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[34] 27
Italy (FIMI)[35] 26
Latvia (LAIPA)[36] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[37] 21
Norway (VG-lista)[38] 17
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[39] 81
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[40] 8
Slovenia (SloTop50)[41] 16
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[42] 49
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[43] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[45] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[46]
[21]
3
US Rolling Stone Top 100[47] 3

George Strait[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[48] 69

Aaron Tippin[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[49] 52

Rascal Flatts[edit]

Chart (2008–09) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[50] 29

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[51] 37
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[52] 34

Various artists version[edit]

Chart (2019) Peak
position
US Rolling Stone Top 100[53] 48

Hall & Oates version[edit]

Hall & Oates released a version in 1983 as a non-album single which peaked at number 30 on the Hot 100 Recurrents chart in 2005; it also reached number 6 on the Billboard's Holiday Airplay chart on December 13, 2008 and number 24 on the Hot Holiday Songs chart on December 10, 2011.[54][55][55]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983–2019) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[26] 36
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[56] 37
Germany (Official German Charts)[57] 30
Greece International Digital Singles (IFPI)[58] 96
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[59] 27
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[60] 50
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[61] 20
Portugal (AFP)[62] 75
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[63] 68
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[64] 61
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[65] 24

Max Bygraves UK version[edit]

Max Bygraves released a version in 1959 with the Eric Rogers Orchestra which peaked at number 7 in the UK Top 30, released on Decca: F11176 [66]

Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell version[edit]

Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell recorded and released a version in 1961 which reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart. It was issued on Cameo Parkway C205.[67]

Certifications[edit]

Hall & Oates version[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[68] Gold 35,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See Authorship Controversy section below.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bobby Helms, who sang 'Jingle Bell Rock,' dies". Associated Press. June 20, 1997. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "The 100 best Christmas songs of all time". The Guardian. December 25, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Pacella, Megan (November 16, 2012). "No. 12: Bobby Helms, 'Jingle Bell Rock' – Top 50 Country Christmas Songs". Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Joseph Carleton Beal, in: Ancestry.com. Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.
  5. ^ Joseph Mills Carleton Beal, in: Ancestry.com. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
  6. ^ Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.
  7. ^ Dale V. Nobbman, Christmas Music Companion Fact Book, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000, p. 101. ISBN 978-1-57424-067-2.
  8. ^ U.S. Census, 1910, State of Massachusetts, County of Norfolk, enumeration district 1083, p. 23-A, family 578.
  9. ^ "Historical Sacrilege Issue", The Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania), 3 October 1963, p. 14.
  10. ^ Lindquist, David. "Jingle Bell Rock cemented legacy for Hoosier Bobby Helms". IndyStar.com. The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Bobby Helms & The Anita Kerr Singers Lyrics, Song Meanings, Videos, Full Albums & Bios". SonicHits.
  12. ^ a b c Stuart, Devan (27 August 2001). "No Jingle in His Pockets - Orange Park guitarist sings blues about lost royalties". Bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Archived from the original on 10 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. (Hank Garland:) 'I'm angry about it... I let it [the original version of the song] hop back to where it came from. It wasn't any good.' Hank and Helms came up with the "Jingle Bell Rock" America hears every holiday season, he (Garland) said. (David Davis, former manager for Bobby Helms:) 'Bobby and I discussed it many times. He (Bobby) said 'We [, Garland and I,] did it. We threw a bridge in, added a couple of verses, changed the words.' Basically, it was a whole new song. Bobby never tried to get royalties. He said [to me], `David, it'd be a joke. You know how the music business is.' And I do.". (Bill Whitacre, Entertainment attorney:) "What I believe happened is that they [Decca] treated this as a session where they owned it and controlled it.' (Billy Garland, Hank Garland's brother who has power of attorney over Hank Garland's estate:) 'The industry owes Garland $100 million in royalties from hits "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Sugarfoot Rag,"'
  13. ^ "Jingle Bell Rock". Songfacts.com. Songfacts®, LLC. Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. Before his death, Garland filed suit against the record label, claiming that he and Helms, not Beal and Boothe, wrote the song.
  14. ^ Davis, David Ward; Brown, Lisa E. (1997). "9". Jingle Bell Rock. Aalida Press USA. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-1-892642-06-6.
  15. ^ a b Lindquist, David (16 December 2014). "'Jingle Bell Rock' cemented legacy for Hoosier Bobby Helms". Indystar.com. IndyStar. Archived from the original (Newspaper) on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. I really didn't want to cut it because it was such a bad song. So me and one of the musicians [, Hank Garland,] worked on it for about an hour putting a melody to it and we put a bridge to it," said Helms [in a 1992 interview]
  16. ^ G O'Leary, John (18 December 2013). "Jingle bell robbery?". Businesslessonsfromrock.com. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2019. At the very least, Helms and Garland should have been granted co-writer credit, given the new melody, verses, bridge, and lyrics.
  17. ^ a b G O'Leary, John (7 December 2016). "Trouble in Jingle Bell Square". Businesslessonsfromrock.com. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. This week I spoke with Hank Garland’s younger brother Billy... Neither [Garland or Helms] received any of the multi-million dollars in songwriting royalties they believed they were due. Billy has been on an indefatigable crusade for nearly six decades to vindicate his brother’s claims
  18. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  19. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  20. ^ "Mariah Carey's 'Christmas' Climbs to No. 3 on Billboard Hot 100, Ariana Grande's 'Next' Leads for Seventh Week". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  21. ^ a b Trust, Gary (December 30, 2019). "Mariah Carey Becomes First Artist at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 in Four Decades, Thanks to 'All I Want for Christmas'". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  22. ^ Billboard Staff (November 25, 2016). "What Are the Top-Selling Holiday Songs?". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  23. ^ Bjorke, Matt (December 8, 2019). "Top 30 Digital Country Tracks - Pure Sales: December 9, 2019". Rough Stock. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  24. ^ "Bobby Helms Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  25. ^ "Bobby Helms Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. December 30, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  28. ^ "Bobby Helms Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  29. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201850 into search. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  30. ^ "Track Top-40 Uge 52, 2018". Hitlisten. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Top Singles (téléchargement + streaming)". Syndicat National de l'édition Phonographique. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  32. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  33. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  34. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  35. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 52" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "Mūzikas patēriņa tops gadu mijā" (in Latvian). LAIPA. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  38. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 20 Single uke 52, 2019". VG-lista. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  39. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  40. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201850 into search. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  41. ^ "SloTop50 – Slovenian official singles chart". slotop50.si. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  42. ^ "Top 100 Canciones: Semana 52". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  43. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  45. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  46. ^ "Bobby Helms Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  47. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  48. ^ "George Strait Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  49. ^ "Aaron Tippin Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  50. ^ "Rascal Flatts Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  51. ^ "Blake Shelton Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  52. ^ "Blake Shelton Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard.
  53. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. November 22, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  54. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates chart history for Hot 100 Recurrents". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  55. ^ a b "Daryl Hall & John Oates - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  56. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  57. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  58. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Digital Singles Chart (International) – Week: 52/2018". IFPI Greece. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  59. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  60. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  61. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. December 31, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  62. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  63. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  64. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle Bell Rock". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  65. ^ "Daryl Hall John Oates Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  66. ^ "Max Bygraves - Jingle Bell Rock" – via www.45cat.com.
  67. ^ "Chubby Checker And Bobby Rydell - Jingle Bell Rock" – via www.45cat.com.
  68. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #558". auspOp. January 4, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

External links[edit]