We have been hearing the iconic song “Christmas City”. A song written and performed by the legendary Merv Griffin. How do you get Merv Griffin to write and sing a song for a little parade in the city of Duluth? Well, It's a good story. I also have the long-lost B-Side.

According to Paul Lundgren at perfectduluthday.com, and Wikipedia, KBJR and Chris Rich said his Grandfather started the whole process, wanting an original song for the parade.

In the early 1960s a gentleman by the name of Don Peterson approached my grandfather with two songs he had written for the parade. “Christmas City” is the upbeat toe-tapping song that you can’t help but sing along with and “The Song of the Christmas City” is a more slow tribute with a jazz feel similar to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”

My grandfather then asked a friend of his, Merv Griffin, if he would sing the songs and put them to music. This was well before Mr. Griffin had become the successful TV personality and media man that he would later become. Both Merv and his wife flew to Duluth, met with my grandparents, and stayed at their house on London Road. Merv took the sheet music back to a recording studio in New York City where both songs we pressed on a 45rpm record with full big band orchestras. Merv’s wife also sang in one of the songs.

The takeaway I got from the story. I and probably most of Duluth, always thought Merv Griffin wrote that song for the Christmas City Of The North Parade, but it was actually a local.

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Many people hear the song every year, and don't hear all the lyrics clear. It was written by a Duluthian and given to Merv Griffin. There is also a B side to this song.  You can hear below, I have also posted the song lyrics below. Some lyrics are heard wrong.

The story up above talks about how Merv's wife sang some. That is not her in the intro of the song.  Maureen Reynolds is given credit but there is nothing on her that I could find on the internet. This is directly off the original 45 rpm single, you can hear the scratches.

Interesting story, according to Perfect Day Duluth, Wausau, at the time this song came out in 1962, was known as The Christmas City Of The North.

Here are the lyrics to Christmas City by Merv Griffin a song written by Don Peterson:

Christmas city, wonderful city
All dressed up in snow and mistletoe
Christmas city, wonderful city
Come this Christmas to Christmas city I’ll go

Up on hilltops pick on an icicle
Chew it while you slide to fun below
Down in midtown people are nice-icle
Come this Christmas to Christmas city I’ll go

I hear bells ringing, ding-dong ding-dong ding
I hear voices singing of a winter wonderland, come along you’ll understand

Christmas City gotta stay happy
Make a snowball — that’s the kind of throw
Christmas city, wonderful city
Come this Christmas to the Christmas city, let’s go

I hear bells ringing, ding-dong ding-dong ding
I hear voices singing of a winter wonderland come along you’ll understand

Christmas city gotta stay happy
Snowman, snowgirl, any kind at all
Christmas city, wonderful city
Come this Christmas and you’ll suddenly find your youth
In that wonderful city of Christmas called …
the beautiful city of Christmas called …
the wonderful city of Christmas called Duluth

Christmas City, wonderful city
Christmas City, called Duluth
Christmas City, wonderful city
Christmas City, wonderful city

The song plays every year to promote the parade and is featured on KOOL 101.7 your home for the holidays. KOOL will be playing your favorite Holiday songs. The songs that KOOL 101.7 plays are based on popularity, and listener suggestions.

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