program notes by composition > C > The Christmas Song

The Christmas Song

Mel Tormé/arr. by John Cacavas

The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells and first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1946. Tormé (1925-1999) was a child prodigy who graduated from Chicago’s Hyde Park High School. He sang, arranged, and played drums. He earned fame as an author, actor, composer, arranger and drummer. He is best remembered as one of the great male jazz singers. Tormé said that he wrote the music to “The Christmas Song” in only 40 minutes. Although it was not one of his personal favorites its popularity has endured.

Last updated on March 7, 2020 by Palatine Concert Band