For a songwriter, a Christmas hit is the ultimate jackpot. Singer Mel Tormé could easily have lived his whole life just on the royalties from "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts roasting...), for which he wrote the music as a young man. The prospect of such annuities was one reason there was such an explosion of Christmas songwriting in the 1940s and '50s, when a majority of the current holiday repertoire was born. But given the rewards, why have so few songwriters since then had any luck giving Rudolph and Frosty a run for their not-insignificant money?
Read all of Eric Felten's article here.