Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ hits No. 1 65 years later

Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ hits No. 1 65 years later

It only took 65 years of twirling around that evergreen, but Brenda Lee’s holiday classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has finally hit No. 1.

As a senior citizen among songs, the 1958 Christmas chestnut tops the Dec. 9 Billboard Hot 100 chart that was released on Monday.

That’s almost exactly 63 years after the tinsel tune first hit the Hot 100, at No. 64, on Dec. 12, 1960.

Lee’s third career chart-topper — and first since 1960’s “I Want to Be Wanted” — previously peaked at No. 2 on the pop chart, first reaching that position in December 2019.

And now “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is just the third holiday single ever to jingle all the way to the top, following Alvin and the Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” in 1958 and, of course, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which first hit No. 1 in 2019.

Brenda Lee (in 1961) was the first woman in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Getty Images

In honor of its 65th anniversary, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” recently got its first official video, which was released in November. And Lee — who will turn 79 on Dec. 11 — will be performing her beloved bop on NBC’s “Christmas at the Opry” special on Thursday.

The Nashville-based Lee — who is the first woman to be inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame — recorded her Christmas classic when she was just 13.

“It has just been a gift to me, written by a wonderful man named Johnny Marks, who was Jewish and didn’t even believe in Christmas,” Lee told The Post in 2021. “He said he wrote it on the beach in New York [while watching] the pine trees swaying in the summer.”

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas” got a big holiday boost when it was featured in 1990’s “Home Alone.” Wikipedia Commons

It was love at first listen for Lee because “it was a rocking kind of a song. I just had a ball doing it. It took us probably two takes. It was in the summer, and Owen [Bradley, the producer] had it all decorated up like Christmas, and it was just precious.”

Thirty-two years later, the song had a cinematic revival after being featured in 1990’s “Home Alone.”

“It was a Christmas miracle,” said Lee. “When I went to the movie, I knew right then that it was gonna be a standard.”

Brenda Lee (at last month’s Country Music Association Awards) will perform Thursday on NBC’s “Christmas at the Opry.” WireImage

Now Lee leads a festive Top 10 on the Hot 100, which also includes “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (No. 2), Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” (No. 4), Wham!’s “Last Christmas” (No. 5), Burl Ives’ “It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas” (No. 6) and Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (No. 10).

As for her own Christmas tree decorating traditions, Lee told The Post, “My Christmas tree is a lot of lights and a lot of ornaments that I’ve had since I can’t even remember. I’ve kept them all. Some of them are pretty raggedy-looking, but I wouldn’t replace them for anything.”

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