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.”


One thought on “Striking up the band for an eternal ‘White Christmas’”

  1. Lew, some Tar Heels may also remember John Scott Trotter as the musical director and orchestra leader on the NBC-TV musical-comedy series “The George Gobel Show.” The program was on from October of 1954 until March of 1959. Trotter, in addition to leading the band, was also part of Gobel’s stand-up comedy routines. The program could have been seen in the Triad on then WSJS-TV, in Winston-Salem. (It’s now WXII-TV, but is still an affiliate of NBC).

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