David Bowie & Bing Crosby Sing “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” (1977)




We like to bring this chestnut back from time to time. Watch it, and you’ll know why.

In 1977, just a short month before Bing Crosby died of a heart attack, 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. (You can watch the writers tell the story, years later, below.)


After one hour of rehearsal, the two singers recorded The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth and made a little classic. The Washington Post has the backstory on the strange Bing-Bowie meeting. Also find a Will Ferrell parody of the meeting here. We hope you enjoy revisiting this clip with us. Happy holidays to you all.

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Related Content:

David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

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How Leonard Cohen & David Bowie Faced Death Through Their Art: A Look at Their Final Albums


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