Jingle Bell Rock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Jingle Bell Rock"
Single Bobby Helms-Jingle Bell Rock cover.jpg
Single by Bobby Helms
B-side "Captain Santa Claus
(and His Reindeer Space Patrol)"
Released 1957 (1957)
Format 7-inch
Recorded October 1956
Genre Christmas, rockabilly, dance-rock
Length 2:12
Label Decca 9-30513
Writer(s) Joe Beal
Jim Boothe
Bobby Helms singles chronology
"My Special Angel"
"Jingle Bell Rock"
"Just a Little Lonesome"

"Jingle Bell Rock" is an American popular Christmas song first released by Bobby Helms in 1957. 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). 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.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Session guitarist Hank Garland claimed up until his death in 2004 that the song recorded by Bobby Helms and himself bore little resemblance to what Beal and Boothe brought to them at first, and that neither he nor Helms received proper writing credit for the finished version.

Helms recordings[edit]

"Jingle Bell Rock" has been performed by many, but Helms' version is the best known. 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.[7]

Helms' original version, on Decca 9-30513 from 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. 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.

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.

As of November 25, 2016, total sales of the digital track of the original 1957 Helms recording stand at 780,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing it ninth on the list of all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday digital singles in SoundScan history.[8]

Bobby Helms[edit]

Chart (1957) Peak
U.S. Billboard Most Played C&W By Jockeys 13
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard Hot 100) 6
Chart (1996–1997) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 60
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 18

George Strait[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 69

Aaron Tippin[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 52

Rascal Flatts[edit]

Chart (2008–09) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[11] 29

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[12] 37
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[13] 34

Other recordings[edit]

A notable cover version of the song was recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1968 for United Artists records. Intended for a seasonal single release, it was not released and it was considered lost for nearly 30 years until it was finally issued in the mid-1990s.

Brenda Lee released a version of "Jingle Bell Rock" which made the Billboard Christmas singles chart in both 1964 and 1967.

In 1997 the song was recorded in Navajo by American singer Tatiana renamed Navidad Rock (Christmas Rock) for album Navidad Mágica; the issue became an immediate success and today considered a classic Christmas song in Mexico.

In 2013, American comedian KopShtick did a parody version entitled "Chanuka Rock".[14]

Other artists to have covered the song include:


  1. ^ Joseph Carleton Beal, in: Ancestry.com. Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009.
  4. ^ Dale V. Nobbman, Christmas Music Companion Fact Book, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000, p. 101. ISBN 978-1-57424-067-2.
  5. ^ U.S. Census, 1910, State of Massachusetts, County of Norfolk, enumeration district 1083, p. 23-A, family 578.
  6. ^ "Historical Sacrilege Issue", The Evening Standard (Uniontown, Pennsylvania), 3 October 1963, p. 14.
  7. ^ https://sonichits.com/artist/Bobby_Helms_%26_The_Anita_Kerr_Singers
  8. ^ Staff, Billboard (November 25, 2016). "What Are the Top-Selling Holiday Songs?". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ "George Strait – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for George Strait.
  10. ^ "Aaron Tippin – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Aaron Tippin.
  11. ^ "Rascal Flatts – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Rascal Flatts.
  12. ^ "Blake Shelton – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Blake Shelton.
  13. ^ "Blake Shelton – Chart history" Billboard Country Airplay for Blake Shelton.
  14. ^ Singer, Tibbi (November 27, 2013). "Music Video: KopShtick Chanuka Rock". The Jewish Press. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Happy Holidays: A Very Special Christmas Album - Billy Idol | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  16. ^ "Song: Jingle Bell Rock | Jeremy Camp | New Album - RECKLESS Available Now!". Jeremy Camp. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  17. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]