Striking up the band for an eternal ‘White Christmas’

On this day in 1942: Charlotte-born John Scott Trotter conducts the orchestra for Bing Crosby’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The record will sell more than 30 million copies — the best-selling single in history.

Trotter, the roly-poly son of a wholesale grocery salesman, launched his career as pianist and arranger in fellow Charlottean Hal Kemp‘s band at Chapel Hill. In 1936 he left for California, where he began his long association with Crosby by scoring the movie “Pennies From Heaven.”