December, 1954, and Eddy Arnold charting with two singles. “This Is The Thanks I Get” is still top ten in both Billboard and Cashbox, where it’s been since late summer. In December by Eddy’s latest Christmas release, “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away” debuts.
“Christmas Can’t Be Far Away” was a longtime part of Eddy Arnold Christmas music. During his career, he recorded it three times; the 1954 single, and for both his 1962 and 1997 Christmas albums. On a personal note, it’s one of my favorites of his; a song that’s been a part of my Christmas soundtrack for probably fifty years.
Eddy had already enjoyed success with Christmas music, as far back as 1949. That year, both sides of his Christmas release, “Will Santy Come To Shanty Town” and “C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S” were top ten hits. As for “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away”, RCA Victor released the single in late November of 1954, and charted on Billboard in mid-December. “Christmas Can’t Be Far Away” would climb to 12 on Billboard, during it’s holiday-time stay. Unfortunately, unlike many other Christmas classics, this would be it’s only time charting.
Whether it’s that original 45/78 version with the full voices behind Eddy, or the 1962 stereo version, it’s a song that really should be a part of any real country music Christmas playlist.
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, and focuses on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.