21 Dec:
Mariah’s Christmas Hit

Rerun: All I Want For Christmas Is You has made Mariah Carey a fortune – but it took an astonishing 25 years for the song to finally reach Number One on the Billboard Hot 100; a feat it achieved on 21st December, 2019, becoming America’s first festive-themed chart-topper since The Chipmunk Song in 1958. 

When originally released in 1994, neither Carey nor her co-songwriter Walter Afanasieff expected great things. Afanasieff voiced concerns that it sounded ‘like someone singing vocal scales’, and Carey concluded that, at Christmas time, the public would always prefer to hear the standards. 

In this episode, Arion, Olly and Rebecca expose the bizarre corner of the internet that denies Afanasieff co-wrote the song; explore why so many people around the world, of all different faiths, identify with its message; and weigh up Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis’s attempts to de-throne the diva…

Further Reading:

• ‘Mariah Carey is Christmas: The Story of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ (Amazon Music, 2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Vhz5BiypU

• ‘’All I Want for Christmas’ Co-Writer Says Success Is ‘Bittersweet’’ (Variety, 2019): https://variety.com/2019/music/news/mariah-carey-all-i-want-for-christmas-co-writer-walter-afanasieff-interview-1203447527/

• ‘How Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Dominates Charts’ (TIME, 2019): https://time.com/5708874/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-you-mariah-carey/

‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’ Every Thursday is ‘Throwback Thursday’ on Today in History with the Retrospectors: running one repeat per week means we can keep up the quality of our independent podcast. Daily shows like this require a lot of work! But as ever we’ll have something new for you tomorrow, so follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors