By Ken Foote

(CBS 11) – We just passed the 60th anniversary of the date when singer Brenda Lee recorded one of the most popular holiday songs of all: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

Born Brenda Mae Tarpley on December 11, 1944, Lee started performing professionally at age 6. She signed a recording contract with Decca Records in 1956. She became known as “Little Miss Dynamite” after recording the song “Dynamite,” especially due to her height: 4 ft. 9 inches. She has had 47 songs chart on American music charts, with 29 of them on the Billboard Hot 100. She had two #1 hits on the Hot 100: “I’m Sorry” and “I Want To Be Wanted” She is a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and is the only woman inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls Of Fame.

“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” one of Lee’s best songs and still getting airplay on country, AC, and greatest hits radio stations nationwide, was recorded October 19, 1958. Decca released the song in both 1958 and 1959 but did not sell well until Lee became a pop star in 1960. The song peeked at #14 that year. The song can be heard in the 1990 movie “Home Alone” when Kevin McCallister pretends there is a party in the house to discourage burglars. Backup musicians were Hank Garland and Harold Bradley on guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano, Boots Randolph on sax, Bob Moore on bass and Buddy Harman on drums. Written by Johnny Marks, produced by Owen Bradley, and running 2:02, the lyrics go like this:

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
At the Christmas party hop
Mistletoe hung where you can see
Every couple tries to stop
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
Let the Christmas spirit ring
Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie
And we’ll do some caroling

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear
Voices singing, let’s be jolly
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone dancin’ merrily
In the new old-fashioned way

This song has sold over 25 million copies along with the 4th most digital downloads sold of any Christmas single.

You can hear this song on many Dallas/Fort Worth radio stations, including New Country 96.3 KSCS-FM and 99-5 The Wolf (KPLX-FM).