Clay Aiken – “You Can Count On Me”

On December 19, 2007, Clay Aiken was singing in Minneapolis for the first of a two night run of his Christmas in the Heartland Tour.

One of the showstoppers of the tour was Clay’s medley of beautiful Christmas songs from the 40’s.  The arrangement of the hits was beautifully crafted by Jesse Vargas and featured the beauty of Clay’s voice and the romantic feeling of the songs.  The first song in the medley was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

On October 4, 1943, Bing Crosby recorded “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra for Decca Records. It instantly topped the charts as one of America’s most popular holiday songs. Within about a month of it being copyrighted, the song hit the music charts and remained there for eleven weeks, peaking at number three.

Walter Kent composed the music and James Gannon wrote the beautiful lyrics.  Most of their fans thought the song was as beautiful as White Christmas, another Bing Crosby holiday song.

The following year, the song reached number nineteen on the charts. It touched a tender place in the hearts of Americans, both soldiers and civilians, who were then in the depths of World War II, and it earned Crosby his fifth gold record. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” became the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows in both Europe and the Pacific. Yank, the GI magazine, said Crosby accomplished more for military morale than anyone else of that era.

In December 1965, when the astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell were returning to Earth after setting a record for the longest flight in the US space program aboard Gemini 7 spacecraft, they requested this carol to be played for them.

I had forgotten how wonderful this medley was until I put this video on YouTube last night. Clay Aiken is a genius to put this romantic medley in his program.  Jesse Vargas is also a genius.  This arrangement, written for Clay and the orchestra, is a real gem.  I hope you enjoy the video.


I’ll be home for Christmas;
You can count on me.
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love-light gleams.
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXW_uv3JtRY

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Comments

  1. Loved watching the video….Clay and Jesse really did a great job on that one…. I love the orchestra, and all the rich sounds…I get lost in the voice and the music….LOVE IT!!!!!

    Thanks for all the information. It's funny looking back to "I'll be Home for Christmas" sung by Bing, and recorded by Decca Records…. and now Clay is with them….

    Musicfan…thanks again for all the research, and I just love this place. So much information, and research goes into your articles….Great Job.

    Hugs,
    Judy

  2. Thanks for the beautiful video and some of the history of I'll Be Home for Christmas! You (and some of our other bloggers) do a really fantastic job. Your blogs are always good, informative, and interesting. Thank you for your dedication to Clay Aiken and your hard work in providing us with these wonderful blogs!

  3. Thank you for that beautiful rendition of Christmas Songs from Clay. I thought the Christmas In The Heartland Concert was one of the most beautiful ones he has done. Jesse did a great arrangement for this tour.

    It is also very interesting to hear that Bing Crosby made I'll Be Home For Christmas all those years ago through Decca Records. They have been around forever. I enjoy this very interesting blog and I always love all the work that you do for Clay.

  4. Thanks for the interesting history lesson of the song. Bing and Decca then, Clay and Decca now.
    Jesse and Clay know how to put together smart Christmas tours. Love your blog.

  5. Musicfan,

    Thank you for all the memories from Clay Aiken Christmas performances. Your research provides a lot of interesting reading, too.

    Have a great weekend!

    Caro

  6. Oh wow, I loved this concert too Musicfan… You do such a wonderful job bringing all these goodies back to us. I am so looking forward to 2010. I miss my singer man! Merry Christmas Clay!

  7. I enjoyed reading the history of "I'll Be Home For Christmas". Clay Aiken does a great version of the song.

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