Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (sometimes spelled “Comin’”) (J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie) was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and over 400,000 copies sold by Christmas. The song is often used to tell children that Santa knows when they’ve been bad or good and that they should be good.
The earliest known recorded version of the song was performed by George Hall and the Hotel Taft Orchestra (featuring Sonny Schuyler on vocals) in 1934. It was mostly an instrumental except for a 35-second vocal by Schuyler. The version shown in the Variety charts of December 1934 was Harry Reser featuring Tom Stacks on vocal. The song was a sheet music hit, reaching #1. The song was also recorded on September 26, 1935, by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra .
Harry Reser and his Orchestra featuring Tom Stacks on vocal, recorded 24 October 1934
George Hall and the Hotel Taft Orchestra, 1934
Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra, vocals by Cliff Weston and Edythe Wright – 26 September 1935
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters – Decca No.Y5872 – 1943
Ella Fitzgerald with Frank DeVol and his Orchestra – 1960
Fred Astaire – soundtrack of the animated TV movie Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970). Astaire is the voice of the narrator/postal carrier, a character whose face is a caricature of Mr. Astaire’s.