During the Holiday Season, which now stretches from Autumnal Equinox to New Year's Day, it's nearly impossible to turn on the radio or walk through a shopping mall without hearing the rich, mellifluous voice of Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives. Few people can place his name but in the coming weeks millions will sing along or tap their toes to the improbable holiday hit he recorded in November 1964.
Ives, who died in 1995, compiled a remarkably diverse showbiz resume. Yet, while memories of his noteworthy accomplishments have faded, his sappy little tune remains as popular as ever. Last Christmas, more than half a century following its release, the song ranked among Billboard's top 10. Coming 109 years after his birth, the achievement made Ives the oldest artist, living or deceased, to have a top-40 hit.