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Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and "White Christmas"

Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds Singing White Christmas in Film Holiday Inn, 1942

Bing Crosby and Margorie Reynolds singing "White Christmas" in "Holiday Inn" trailer, 1942.

The song “White Christmas,” written by composer Irving Berlin for the 1942 film “Holiday Inn,” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, was actually written from the viewpoint of a New Yorker who found himself in sunny Beverly Hills during Christmas. This was obvious in the commonly-omitted first verse:

The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, LA
But it's December the 24th
And I'm longing to be up north

This verse was left out of the song’s first recording in 1942 because, outside the context of the film, producers felt the song would be more relevant to a wider audience. Crosby did not sing the verse in the film anyway. He finally did sing the verse in a performance in the Hollywood Palace Christmas television show in 1968. Singer Karen Carpenter also included the verse in her famous 1978 rendition of the song, as part of the Carpenter duo's "Christmas Portrait" album.

Also see: "The Christmas Song" and a Hot San Fernando Valley Day.