David Bowie and Bing Crosby Sing “The Little Drummer Boy”: A Chestnut From 1977

In 1977, just a short month before Bing Crosby died, the 40s crooner hosted David Bowie, the glam rocker, on his Christmas show. The awkwardness of the meeting is palpable. An older, crusty Crosby had no real familiarity with the younger, androgynous Bowie, and Bowie wasn’t crazy about singing The Little Drummer Boy. So, shortly before the show’s taping, a team of writers had to frantically retool the song, blending the traditional Christmas song with a newly-written tune called Peace on Earth. After one hour of rehearsal, the two singers recorded The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth and made an instant little chestnut. The Washington Post has the backstory on the strange Bing-Bowie meeting. We hope you enjoy revisiting this classic clip with us. Happy holidays to you all.

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Comments (8)
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  • Marcel says:

    “Peace on Earth” was not very peaceful; it absolutely destroyed “The Little Drummer Boy”.

    I wonder who allowed such disastrous arrangement…

  • Debby says:

    My God, what genius! If Bowie hadn’t bulked at singing “the little drummer boy” we would never have heard this duet between them.

  • Karen H says:

    I love this duet…the harmony is beautiful! Such an unlikely pair, but an awesome creation.

  • Dan says:

    It has been for a few years now, one of my favorite songs. Very Nice blending of old and new. To bad a duet like that is no longer possible.

  • Bart says:

    I get tears every time I hear this song on the radio. Best Xmas song ever of my generation.

  • ian murie says:

    Beautifull blend by wonderfull artists. So sorry it was never released as a single. I think Mrs Crosby wouldn’t allow it. Shame, such a massively nostalgicly sentimental and uniquely beautifull performance

  • denise kershner says:

    After they completed recording Peace On Earth did Bing Crosby n David Bowie realise how good it was ?

  • Liam O'Raw says:

    Actually it was released as a single which I bought my father at the time, infact to this day I think it may be with all my other records in my attic.

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