James Pierpont

"Jingle Bells" is one of the best-known and commonly sung American songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in the autumn of 1857. It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too "racy" (and secular) to be sung by a children's church choir in the days it was written.

Although originally intended for the Thanksgiving season, and having no connection to Christmas, it became associated with Christmas music and the holiday season in general decades after it was first performed by blackface minstrel performer Johnny Pell in Ordway Hall on September 16, 1857. Some area choirs adopted it as part of their repertoire in the 1860s and 1870s, and it was featured in a variety of parlor song and college anthologies in the 1880s. It was first recorded in 1889 on an Edison cylinder; this recording, believed to be the first Christmas record, is lost, but an 1898 recording also from Edison Records survives.

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1939

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-26053 10-in. 1/26/1922 Hortense All Star Trio ; All Star Trio Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-022162 10-in. 4/5/1938 Jingle bells, jingle bells Vernon Geyer Electric organ solo, with piano composer  
Victor BS-035567 10-in. 4/6/1939 Jingle bells Frank Dailey ; Stop and Go Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W151868 10-in. 10/30/1931 Jingle bells Joe Gumin Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pierpont, James," accessed October 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106195.

Pierpont, James. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106195.

"Pierpont, James." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106195

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