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Gallup Vault: 'White Christmas' Crooner Led 1950 Singer Poll
Gallup Vault

Gallup Vault: 'White Christmas' Crooner Led 1950 Singer Poll

This article originally was originally posted on December 22, 2016.

In 1950 -- the year the Peanuts comic strip debuted, the Korean War started, and Goodnight Irene by Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers topped the pop charts -- Bing Crosby was the runaway favorite in a Gallup poll asking Americans to name their favorite male singer.

1950: Who would you say is your favorite male singer?
  U.S. adults
Bing Crosby 33
Perry Como 6
Dennis Day 4
Nelson Eddy 3
Ezio Pinza 3
Frank Sinatra 3
Gene Autry 2
Billy Eckstine 2
Tony Martin 2
Vaughn Monroe 2
Arthur Godfrey 1
Frankie Laine 1
Gordon MacRae 1
John Charles Thomas 1
Miscellaneous 13
Other operatic singers 7
No favorite, none, no one in particular 17
Nov. 12-17, 1950

By 1950, Crosby's rendition of White Christmas, first recorded in 1942, had already become the best-selling Christmas song of all time -- a distinction it still holds. This, along with Crosby's multidecade best-selling career, helps explain why a remarkable 33% of U.S. adults named Crosby their favorite male singer. Perry Como was a distant second, mentioned by 6%, followed by Dennis Day at 4%.

Frank Sinatra tied Nelson Eddy and Ezio Pinza for fourth at 3%. However, as George Gallup noted, "considerable differences" were found by age. Sinatra ranked third among 21- to 29-year-olds, fifth among 30- to 49-year-olds, and ninth among those 50 and older. Bandleader and bebop pioneer Billy Eckstine also ranked much higher among young people, while Eddy and Day had greater appeal among older Americans. Notably, Crosby led among all age categories.

1950: Americans' Favorite Male Singer, by Respondent Age
Note: Singers include Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Dennis Day, Nelson Eddy, Ezio Pinza, Frank Sinatra, Gene Autry, Billy Eckstine, Tony Martin, Vaughn Monroe, Gordon MacRae, John Charles Thomas and Lauritz Melchior
    21 to 29 years 30 to 49 years 50 and older
  1. Crosby Crosby Crosby
  2. Como Como Day
  3. Sinatra Eddy Eddy
  4. Eckstine Day Como
  5. Monroe Sinatra Thomas
  6. Day Pinza Pinza
  7. Martin Autry Monroe
  8. Eddy Martin Autry
  9. Pinza Monroe Sinatra
  10. MacRae Eckstine Melchior
Gallup, Nov. 12-17, 1950

The same poll asked Americans to name their favorite female vocalist. Dinah Shore led that list, at 11%, followed by Jeanette MacDonald, Kate Smith, Jo Stafford, Lily Pons and Doris Day.

These data can be found in Gallup Analytics.

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