The history and legacy of Jingle Bell Rock first released in 1957 by Bobby Helms

Jingle Bell Rock was introduced one month before Christmas 1957 and has been a holiday staple that has influenced pop culture ever since.
Jingle Bells And Holly
Jingle Bells And Holly / GraphicaArtis/GettyImages

American Country Singer Bobby Helms ranked on the pop charts with his first Christmas song, "Jingle Bell Rock," in 1957. The song is considered the first mainstream rock n' roll Christmas song and has been covered by many artists and featured in several movies and TV shows.

"Jingle Bell Rock" has been reported to have been composed by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe. This is something disputed by Helms and session guitarist Hank “Sugarfoot” Garland, who claim they wrote the song. They stated that the song given to them by Beal and Boothe was "Jingle Bell Hop" and had no resemblance to the song Helm's released.

The song reached No. 6 after its first release in 1957 and over the years, due to its inclusion in movie soundtracks or other pop culture would come on go on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The highest ranking, No. 3, would occur each holiday season beginning 2019 through 2023.

Several country artists have covered the song, including Brenda Lee, George Strait, Aaron Tippon, Rascal Flatts, and Blake Sheldon & Miranda Lambert. The Platters, 38 Special, Hall & Oates, and The Beach Boys would also cover the song, but only Cubby Checker and Bobby Rydell's 1962 version would chart, topping at No. 21. Hall & Oates version was featured in a campy video that was heavily played on MTV. Daryl Hall was asked why they covered this song, and he stated he was in a rockabilly phase and this was the only Christmas song with that vibe.

Helm's "Jingle Bell Rock" has been featured in several TV Shows including The Wonder Years, Chuck, House M.D., It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, and Once Upon A Time. The song was also featured in the movies Lethal Weapon (1987), Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992), Jingle All The Way (1996), and Vanilla Sky (2001).

Lindsey Lohan covered the song in Falling for Christmas, a Netflix original holiday film, which was a nod to her Mean Girls (2004) performance in the teen comedy. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem sang a version in The Muppet Family Christmas.

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