Sleigh Ride is a popular light orchestral piece, composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946; he finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. It was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record on RCA Victor Red Seal 49-0515 (45 rpm) / 10-1484 (78 rpm), and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra. The 45 rpm version was originally issued on red vinyl. This original mono version has never been available on CD, although the later 1959 re-recording is available in stereo. The orchestra has also recorded the song with John Williams, their conductor from 1979 to 1995, and Keith Lockhart, their current conductor.
Leroy Anderson recorded his version of Sleigh Ride in 1950 on Decca 9-16000 (45 rpm) / 16000 (78 rpm). This monaural version is available on CD as well as his 1959 stereo re-recording. This recording hit the Cashbox magazine best sellers chart when re-released in 1952. Mitch Miller also did a version of this song in 1961, found in the best-selling LP Holiday Sing Along With Mitch.
Although Sleigh Ride is often associated with Christmas, and often appears on Christmas compilation albums, the song's lyrics never specifically mention any holiday or religion except certain Sleigh Ride versions (the Carpenters and Air Supply being examples).
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