In 1956, Jackie Gleason released a Christmas album with his orchestra

While chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, finding the right music to play is crucial. Whether you're roasting or preparing to cook your Christmas feast, you should add a Jackie Gleason album to your holiday playlist.

We all know Gleason from his incredible work on The Honeymooners, his self-titled production The Jackie Gleason Show, and numerous other projects, but did you know that he also had a successful music career? In fact, he released several albums and even made history with Music For Lovers Only, which focused on romantic jazz instrumentals.

Yet, one album has received nothing but praise since its release. In 1956, Gleason and his orchestra gave a gift to music lovers that many generations have heard. They released their holiday album, Merry Christmas, a body of work that added a twist to popular classic Christmas songs and included original recordings.

Many referred to it as "one of the warmest holiday albums of all time."

An advertisement for the album in The Arizona Republic newspaper said, "Jackie Gleason's Merry Christmas album, just issued by Capitol Records, contains many hauntingly lovely melodies with unique orchestral arrangements and Keith Textor Singers. A delightful expression of a merry, merry Christmas wish, this new LP High Fidelity Recording is $5."

The 14-track project includes remixed versions of classics like "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland" and more. It can be heard on streaming services like Apple Music and YouTube. 

It didn't top the charts like his first album, but it got many fans in the holiday spirit.

Gleason wasn't just a comedian and actor; he had an ear for music, influencing many warm musical styles today. He left behind the greatest gift of all: his legacy.

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