Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – William Price King – Music for Christmas and New Year – Sleigh Ride

William Price King shares some of the classic Christmas music that has entertained us all at this time of year..


Sleigh Ride was composed by Leroy Anderson as a light orchestral piece and was inspired by a particularly hot heat wave in July of 1946. By the time Leroy had finished the work it was in fact winter of 1948. The lyrics for the song were written in 1950 by Mitchell Parish.

Leroy Anderson recorded his own version in 1950 for Decca and it continued to be popular through the early part of the 50s.There were a number of versions that benefited from the addition of sound effects such as the clopping of horses hooves and even the sound of a horse whinnying.

There have been some notable versions of the song released over the years of this Christmas song including Johnny Mathis in 1958 and The Ronettes in 1963.

According to ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Sleigh Ride consistently ranks in the top 10 list of most performed songs during the Christmas season worldwide.

Here is a wonderful version by the incomparable Miss Ella Fitzgerald – Amazon

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION

Connect with William

Regular Venue 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory:

19 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – William Price King – Music for Christmas and New Year – Sleigh Ride

  1. I think Sleigh Ride has been engrained in most of us from birth, wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I also like his other pieces such as Typewriter, but I can’t imagine he would have come up with music for computers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – The Weekly Round Up – More parties, books, stories and music.. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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