The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

Here Comes Santa Claus
(Right Down Santa Claus Lane)

Song Information
Updated January 3, 2017

The official Gene Autry biographer, Holly George-Warren, summarizes the history of the song Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) in her book Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry.

Another Autry recording marked a turning point for the singer in 1947. That summer Art Satherly had suggested Gene record a new Christmas song he had discovered, "An Old Fashioned Tree." For its flipside, Gene remembered a song idea he'd gotten while participating in the annual Hollywood "Santa Claus Lane" parade the previous November. Astride Champion Jr., ahead of St. Nick on his sleigh, he'd heard a child on the sidewalk shout, "Here comes Santa Claus!" Satherly took Gene's idea to Oakley Haldeman, the composer who operated Gene's music publishing division, and he came up with the melody.

"Here Comes Santa Claus!" music notes

Johnny Bond recorded a demo version of the song at his home studio, where Art, cocktail in hand, stood next to the mic (as he usually did during recordings). The tingling of ice cubes was captured on the recording, inspiring the use of jingle bells on the August 28 Columbia session. After initial sales of two million following its December release, "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)" became a perennial top-ten hit every Yuletide season for years to come. More important, it opened up a whole new market for Gene – holiday discs aimed at children. Easter and Thanksgiving recordings would follow, as would one of the biggest-selling Christmas discs of all time.

Publishing Information

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
(Gene Autry/Oakley Haldeman)
© 1947, Renewed Gene Autry's Western Music Publishing Co.
ASCAP

Licensing inquires email kbuhlman@autry.com

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) co-writer Oakley Haldeman.

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) co-writer Gene Autry with Champion ready to deliver Christmas gifts circa 1947.

Gene Autry's Columbia Records Information for
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)

Columbia Records
Recorded August 28, 1947 in Hollywood

An Old Fashioned Tree (Becker-Williams) / Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) (Gene Autry-Oakley Haldeman)

Gene Autry, Vocals; Accompaniment Johnny Bond, Guitar; Bert Dodson, Vocal/Bass; Carl Cotner, Violin; Fred Martin, Vocal/Piano Accordion; Jerry Scoggins, Vocal; unknown horns, violin and jingle bells {Bert Dodson, Fred Martin and Jerry Scoggins are the Cass County Boys}

This recording of Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) is a Gold Record.

Columbia Records
Recorded June 25, 1953 in Hollywood

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
(Gene Autry-Oakley Haldeman)

Gene Autry, Vocals; Accompaniment King Sisters; Jerry Scoggins, Vocal; Bert Dodson, Vocal/Bass; Fred Martin, Vocal/Piano Accordion; unknown guitar, percussion, brass, woodwinds, strings {Bert Dodson, Fred Martin and Jerry Scoggins are the Cass County Boys}

Released on the Columbia EP Christmas Fun.

ASCAP's Top Holiday Songs

Every November, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announces its Top 25 most-performed holiday songs for the past five years. Of course, Gene Autry is on this list and so is the song Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)! Read the press releases and song lists for the following years:


Performers Who Have Recorded
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)

  • .38 Special
  • Alvin and The Chipmunks
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Gene Autry
  • Pat Boone
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • Glen Campbell
  • Freddy Cannon
  • Captain and Tennille
  • Mariah Carey
  • The Carpenters
  • Celtic Thunder
  • Ray Conniff
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Bing Crosby with the Andrew Sisters
  • Cool Yule Band
  • Lacy J. Dalton
  • Destiny's Child
  • Doris Day
  • Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus
  • Bob Dylan
  • Linda Eder
  • Elmo (Sesame Street)
  • The Fireside Singers
  • Eddie Fisher
  • The Gypsy Hombres
  • Bobby Helms
  • Al Hirt
  • The Hit Crew
  • Spike Jones
  • The Jordanaires
  • Kidz Bop Kids
  • Tracy Lawrence
  • Lester Lanin & His Orchestra
  • Liberace
  • The Limestones
  • Little Texas
  • Guy Lombardo
  • Los Straitjackets
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Mills Brothers
  • The Mistletones
  • Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse
  • Anne Murray
  • Willie Nelson
  • Wayne Newton
  • The Platters
  • Elvis Presley
  • Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys
  • Ramsay Lewis Trio
  • Riders in the Sky
  • Jessica Simpson
  • The Smurfs
  • The Swing Kittens
  • Steve Tyrell
  • Conway Twitty
  • The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West
  • Jerry Jeff Walker
  • Scott Whitney
  • Dwight Yoakum


Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer
are pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing,
All is merry and bright.
Hang your stockings and say your pray'rs,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He's got a bag that is filled with toys
for the boys and girls again.
Hear those sleigh-bells jingle jangle,
What a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed, cover up your head,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He doesn't care if you're rich or poor
for he loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we're God's children,
That makes ev'rything right.
Fill your hearts with a Christmas cheer,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He'll come around when the chimes ring out,
then it's Christmas morn again.
Peace on earth will come to all
if we just follow the light.
Let's give thanks to the Lord above,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.


Composer: Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman
©1947 (Renewed) by Gene Autry's Western Music Publishing Co.

Gene Autry Sheet Music

Christmas Sheet Music Set

The Gene Autry Christmas Book
(2014) Book

For the first time ever, Hal Leonard presents a collection of 25 Gene Autry Christmas classics.

Christmas Sheet Music Set

Christmas Sheet Music Set (vintage)
(2008) Book

This special set of original sheet music from Gene Autry's music company archives includes individual sheet music of six Christmas songs, including Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane).

Gene Autry's Christmas Folio

Gene Autry's Christmas Folio (vintage)
(1954) Book

This song book, with the charming Gene Autry Christmas cover illustration by Chuck Saxton, includes sheet music for seven Gene Autry’s Western Music Publishing Co. Christmas songs.


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