Elvis is clearly the template most are aware of, originally appearing on his 1957 LP, Elvis' Christmas Album, later as a 1964 single, each doing well in their own formats, either side of the Atlantic. But it had been well-covered ahead of that, as early as 1948, by Ernest Tubb, a lot less ornately, and hence, to my ears, a lot more attractively. Since then the list has been extensive and extraordinary, largely within the canon of country (+/- western), encasing such disparates as Willie Nelson and Billy Idol, Wynton Marsalis and the Partridge Family and many, many more, sadly more distinguished by their bland similarities than any novel differences. Particularly galling examples I cannot even begin myself to link are by latter day "Great American Songbook" destroyer Rod Stewart and the appalling Mickey Bubbles. And even a live Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, separately (unless you know better) have managed to savage it to an ignoble death. There is also the horror of Lou Reed, together with the unlikely collaboration of, God help us, the McGarrigles, so truly bad I have to offer it, pleading then your forgiveness. But there are a few that can proudly stand above the parapet, if only by the quality of the production or the quirkiness quotient. So let me present odd UK Led Zep reggae tribute band Dread Zeppelin, Scotland's finest, the Proclaimers, credible mainly for their heavily accented diction, and recently deceased reggae legend John Holt.
There are many more. If you seek yet more malaise still, the versions by Jerry Lee Lewis, Leon Redbone, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Atkins, Low, Jimmy Martin (quite good actually), Tammy Wynette, Jewel, the Ventures (likewise), Brian Wilson with the Beach Boys, Fats Domino, Bright Eyes, Johnny Mathis, Robert Gordon, Dean Martin, the Platters and Leann Rimes, they are all but a click away, in all their varieties of awfulness.
I need to leave you with some imagery though, to break up this wall of prose, so here are 2 final personal favourites: Porky Pig.....
........and Kermit the Frog:
Happier New Year!!