Fun Facts #6: Its not Christmas without Elvis

DJ Fired for Playing Presley Record

Found a free source of Elvis Presley’s 1957 version of this song-listen for yourself. I do not have the set list from Elvis’s performance to a crowd of 14,000 at the Multnomah Civic Stadium on September 2, 1957. Lots of great details about his time in Portland on a Elvis fan site including images and recorded interviews.

Portland’s KEX Radio banned Elvis Presley’s recordingof “White Christmas” from being played on the air.  One popular deejay at the radio station ignored his boss and it cost him his job.  When radio station KEX received a copy of “Elvis’ Christmas Album” in 1957, the management made the decision not to air the “White Christmas” cut.  Disc jockey Al Priddy figured station manager Mel Bailey wouldn’t be listening late on a
Sunday night, so he gave it a spin.  Unfortunately, Bailey was tuned-in and he promptly
called the station and told Priddy to finish his show and then look for a new job.  “The record was banned because it is not in the good taste we ascribe to Christmas music,” he
told the Oregonian. “Presley gives it a rhythm and blues interpretation. It doesn’t seem to me to be in keeping with the intent of the song,” he added.  Al Priddy returned to the work at the station several weeks later and all was forgotten.  In 1987, at age 78, he was invited to be a guest disc jockey at KEX so he could play Elvis’ “White Christmas” one more time.

Mike’s Fun Facts (2014-2015) were produced monthly by Mike Ryerson and Tanya Lyn March PhD partners of Mike’s History Tours.