OK, so this one’s kind of inevitable.
I like to think of it as Mel’s pension (or now, I guess, James’ trust fund). Mel Tormé and Bob Wells composed the most performed Christmas song (I always believe everything BMI tells me) in 1945. Then along came Nat King Cole a year later and the rest is history.
Nat and Mel both had several goes at it over the years – as did just about everybody else. It’s getting another airing this Christmas care of Dame Shirley and three bellowing toffs. Do seek out Mel’s single version (available on the CD reissue of That’s All) where he sings the rather lovely verse.
Here’s the matchless Rebecca Parris with her take on it. I don’t have the CD to hand so I can’t tell you if the lovely bass solo comes courtesy of John Lockwood or Peter Kontrimas – perhaps someone can enlighten us?