Highland, Ulster County, New York
Highland is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York, United States. The population was 5,647 at the 2010 census, it is part of the New York City Combined Statistical area. Highland is a community in the town of Lloyd, on U. S. Route 9W. Routes 44 and 55 run through it as well, it is town at the western end of the Mid-Hudson Bridge across from Poughkeepsie. The Brown–Ellis House and Anthony Yelverton House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the community is on the west bank of the Hudson River. Highland is located at 41°43′6″N 73°57′49″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.1 square miles, of which, 4.7 square miles of it is land and 0.3 square miles of it is water. There were 1,891 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.8% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.7 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $48,877, the median income for a family was $60,938. Males had a median income of $40,781 versus $26,335 for females; the per capita income for the CDP was $21,346. About 6.3% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over. Highland Public Library
Adult contemporary music
In North American music, adult contemporary music is a form of radio-played popular music, ranging from 1960s vocal and 1970s soft rock music to predominantly ballad-heavy music of the present day, with varying degrees of easy listening, soul and blues, quiet storm, rock influence. Adult contemporary is rather a continuation of the easy listening and soft rock style that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s with some adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop/rock music. Adult contemporary tends to have lush and polished qualities where emphasis on melody and harmonies is accentuated, it is melodic enough to get a listener's attention, is inoffensive and pleasurable enough to work well as background music. Like most of pop music, its songs tend to be written in a basic format employing a verse–chorus structure; the format is heavy on romantic sentimental ballads which use acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars, pianos and sometimes an orchestral set. The electric guitars are faint and high-pitched.
However, recent adult contemporary music may feature synthesizers. An AC radio station may play mainstream music, but it excludes hip hop, dance tracks, hard rock, some forms of teen pop, as these are less popular among adults, the target demographic. AC radio targets the 25–44 age group, the demographic that has received the most attention from advertisers since the 1960s. A common practice in recent years of adult contemporary stations is to play less newer music and more hits of the past; this de-emphasis on new songs slows the progression of the AC chart. Over the years, AC has spawned subgenres including "hot AC", "soft AC", "urban AC", "rhythmic AC", "Christian AC"; some stations play only "hot AC", only one of the variety of subgenres. Therefore, it is not considered a specific genre of music. Adult contemporary traces its roots to the 1960s easy listening format, which adopted a 70—80% instrumental to 20–30% vocal mix. A few offered 90% instrumentals, a handful were instrumental; the easy listening format, as it was first known, was born of a desire by some radio stations in the late 1950s and early 1960s to continue playing current hit songs but distinguish themselves from being branded as "rock and roll" stations.
Billboard first published the Easy Listening chart July 1961, with 20 songs. The chart described itself as "not too far out in either direction"; the vocalists consisted of artists such as Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, others. The custom recordings were instrumental versions of current or recent rock and roll or pop hit songs, a move intended to give the stations more mass appeal without selling out; some stations would occasionally play earlier big band-era recordings from the 1940s and early 1950s. After 1965, differences between the Hot 100 chart and the Easy Listening chart became more pronounced. Better reflecting what middle of the road stations were playing, the composition of the chart changed dramatically; as rock music continued to harden, there was much less crossover between the Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart than there had been in the early half of the 1960s. Roger Miller, Barbra Streisand and Bobby Vinton were among the chart's most popular performers.
One big impetus for the development of the AC radio format was that, when rock and roll music first became popular in the mid-1950s, many more conservative radio stations wanted to continue to play current hit songs while shying away from rock. These middle of the road stations frequently included older, pre-rock-era adult standards and big band titles to further appeal to adult listeners who had grown up with those songs. Another big impetus for the evolution of the AC radio format was the popularity of easy listening or "beautiful music" stations, stations with music designed to be purely ambient. Whereas most easy listening music was instrumental, created by unknown artists, purchased, AC was an attempt to create a similar "lite" format by choosing certain tracks of popular artists. Hard rock had been established as a mainstream genre by 1965. From the end of the 1960s, it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft and hard rock, with both emerging as major radio formats in the US.
Soft rock was derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies. Major artists included Carole King, Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Bread; the Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts became more similar again toward the end of the 1960s and into the early and mid-1970s, when the texture of much of the music played on Top 40 radio once more began to soften. The adult contemporary format began evolving into the sound that defined it, with rock-oriented acts as Chicago, the Eagles, Elton John becoming associated with the format. Soft rock reached its commercial peak in the mid-to-late 1970s with acts such as Toto, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Air Supply and Crofts, Dan Fogelberg and the reformed Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours was the best-selling album of the decade. By 1977, some radio stations, notably New York's WTFM and NBC-owned WYNY, Boston's WEEI, had switched to an all-soft rock format; as Softrock
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Hudson, New York
Hudson is a city located along the west border of Columbia County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 6,713, the second-largest in the county, following the nearby town of Kinderhook. Located on the east side of the Hudson River and 120 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, it was named for the river and its namesake explorer Henry Hudson. Hudson is the county seat of Columbia County. Hudson is sister city with Uganda. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles. 2.2 square miles of it is land and 0.15 square miles, or 7.38%, is water. Hudson is located 120 miles from New York Harbor, at the head of navigation on the Hudson River, on what was a spit of land jutting into the Hudson River between the South Bay and North Bay. Both bays have been filled in. Across the Hudson River lies the town of Athens in New York. Between them lies Middle Ground Flats, a former sandbar that grew due to both natural silting and from dumping the spoils of dredging.
The Town of Greenport borders the other three sides of the city. As of the census of 2010, there were 6,713 people, 2,766 households, 1,368 families residing in the city; the population was estimated at 6,648 in 2013. These numbers include the 360 residents of the local Hudson Correctional Facility. Population declines since the late 20th century may be attributable to demographic trends in which retirees, young couples, childless couples and weekenders have been replacing larger families in the city, they have converted apartment buildings to single-family homes, the number of unoccupied homes and rate of tax delinquency have declined. The population density was 3,110.8 inhabitants per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 59.0% White, 25.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 7.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.2% of the population. There were 2,766 households out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 50.5% were non-families.
40.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 3.09. In the city, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $35,117, the median income for a family was $37,400. Males had a median income of $26,274 versus $22,598 for females; the per capita income for the city was $22,353. About 23.0% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over. The native Mahican people had occupied this territory for hundreds of years before European encounter, preceded by thousands of years of indigenous cultures.
Dutch colonists began to settle here in the 17th century, calling it "Claverack Landing", having other settlements in Manhattan and at Albany, downriver and up, respectively. In 1662 some Dutch bought this area of land from the Mahican, it was part of the Town of Claverack. After the English took over New Netherland, this area was settled by Quaker New England whalers and merchants hailing from the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, they capitalized on Hudson being at the head of navigation on the Hudson River and developed it as a busy port. Hudson was chartered as a city in 1785, soon after the United States achieved independence from Great Britain; the self-described "Proprietors" laid out a city grid. Hudson grew as an active port and came within one vote of being named by the state legislature as the capital of New York state, losing to Albany, an historic center of trade from the 17th century. Hudson grew and by 1790 was the 24th-largest city in the United States.
In 1820, it had a population of 5310, ranked as the fourth-largest city in New York, after New York City and Brooklyn. Construction of the Erie Canal in 1824 drew development west in the state, stimulating development of cities related to Great Lakes trade, such as Rochester and Buffalo, although the Hudson River continued to be important to commerce. During the 19th century, considerable industry was developed in Hudson, the city became known as a factory town, it attracted new waves of migrants to industrial jobs. Wealthy factory owners and merchants built fine houses in the Victorian period. Hudson obtained a new charter in 1895, it reached its peak of population with 12,337 residents. In 1935, to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the city, the United States Mint issued the Hudson Half Dollar; the coin is one of the most rare minted by the United States Government, with only 10,008 coins struck. On the front of the coin is an image of Henry Hudson's ship the Half Moon, on the reverse is the seal of the city.
Local legend has it that coin was minted on the direct order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to thank the Hudson City Democratic Committee for being the first to endorse him for state senator and governor. In the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, Hudson became no
LaGrange, New York
LaGrange is a town in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The population was 15,730 at the 2010 census; the town was named after the ancestral estate of the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette. The town was established in 1821 as "Freedom" from parts of the towns of Beekman and Fishkill, but confusion with another location caused the name to be changed to "LaGrange" in 1828. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.3 square miles, of which 39.9 square miles is land and 0.46 square miles, or 1.17%, is water. The town of LaGrange is located within the Hudson Valley region of New York; the towns bordering LaGrange are Union Vale to the east, Beekman to the southeast, East Fishkill and Wappinger to the south, Poughkeepsie to the west, Pleasant Valley to the north, with a small part of Washington bordering LaGrange. Three state highways bisect the town and connect it with other towns in Dutchess County and the surrounding area; the Taconic State Parkway is a north-south parkway through LaGrange.
James Baird State Park, which provides a golf course, sports fields, hiking and cycling trails, is located in LaGrange along the Taconic Parkway. The parkway serves as an important commuter road for LaGrange, connecting the town to points south, including New York City, 75 miles distant. New York State Route 55 is an east-west road. In the summer and fall of 2014, three traffic circles were added to this stretch of Route 55 in Freedom Plains in an effort to ease congestion and to beautify this part of LaGrange. To the west, Route 55 connects LaGrange to the city of Poughkeepsie, the closest urbanized area to LaGrange. New York State Route 82 is a highway that goes southwest-northeast through the town, from Hopewell Junction to Moores Mills. Route 82 connects LaGrange with Millbrook to Hopewell Junction to the south. There are several county roads that go in various parts of the town. Freedom Park is the most extensive park belonging to the town of LaGrange. At the park, there is a small, spring-fed lake in which patrons are permitted to swim under the supervision of Red Cross-trained lifeguards.
There is a set of eight 25-yard lap lanes. There is a concession. Freedom Park boasts a bandstand and a large, open-air pavilion; each summer, a day camp is offered by the town at Freedom Park. Other parks in LaGrange include Stringham Park, an extensive complex of soccer fields located on Stringham Road in the west of the town, James Baird State Park, which provides a golf course and cycling and hiking trails; as of the census of 2000, there were 14,928 people, 5,085 households, 4,103 families residing in the town. The population density was 376.0 people per square mile. There were 5,240 housing units at an average density of 132.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 91.98% White, 2.41% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.94% Asian, 1.14% from other races, 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.26% of the population. There were 5,085 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.2% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 19.3% were non-families.
15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.28. In the town, the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males. The median income for a household in the town was $74,881, the median income for a family was $80,724. Males had a median income of $61,806 versus $36,955 for females; the per capita income for the town was $27,872. About 1.7% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over. Pierre A. Barker, former mayor of Buffalo, New York John Gatins, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Isaac R. Harrington, former mayor of Buffalo, New York Anthony Van Wyck, former member of the Wisconsin State Senate Arthursburg – A hamlet at the south town line.
Billings – A hamlet north of LaGrangeville. Freedom Plains – A hamlet northwest of LaGrangeville. James Baird State Park – A state park in the north part of the town. LaGrangeville – A hamlet in the southeast part of the town. LaGrangeville is an area in LaGrange with the zip code of 12540; as of 2014, this area had a population of 8,221. Manchester Bridge – A hamlet in the western part of the town. Moores Mill – A location in the northeast part of the town. Noxon – A location west of LaGrangeville. Rombout Ridge – A location near the west town line. Titus – A hamlet near the west town line. Arlington High School and LaGrange Middle School of the Arlington Central School District are in LaGrange, as are several of the School District's primary and intermediate schools. Town of LaGrange official website LaGrange Association Library Trinity Methodist Church in LaGrange Freedom Plains Presbyter
WLTW is an adult contemporary radio station licensed to New York City and serving the New York metropolitan area. WLTW is owned by iHeartMedia and broadcasts from studios in the former AT&T Building in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan; the station first went on the air on January 1, 1961 as WRVR owned by the Riverside Church. WRVR played some jazz, along with religious programming and public affairs; as time went on, WRVR was a full-time jazz station with a strong audience following but low ratings. In mid-1974 Riverside Church looked to cut its losses and sell WRVR, but with a preferred condition that the station's jazz format be preserved. At the same time, classical music-formatted WNCN was in the process of a controversial format change to Album oriented rock, with new call letters WQIV. A group of WNCN audience members formed the non-profit WNCN Listeners Guild and attempted to block the station's then-owner, Starr Broadcasting, from making the format switch. After their efforts failed, the WNCN Listeners Guild partnered with GAF Corporation and entered negotiations with Riverside Church to purchase WRVR and switch its programming to classical.
The rock format on 104.3 FM would last less than a year, as GAF announced it would purchase WQIV in July 1975 and restore 104.3 FM to its former call sign and programming. As the WNCN/WQIV drama concluded, Sonderling Broadcasting stepped in and bought WRVR from Riverside Church for just over $2 million. Sonderling owned WWRL, hoped that it could move WWRL's Urban contemporary format to FM as a counter-move against WBLS, which had cut into WWRL's ratings. Like the WNCN/WQIV situation, community opposition tried to stop sale of the station. Sonderling took control of WRVR in October 1976 after over a year of delays; the listeners' protests did prevent the proposed change, WRVR remained a jazz station under Sonderling ownership. At that time it developed the precursor to what would become known as the "smooth jazz" format. In 1978 Viacom announced it was purchasing the Sonderling chain, a sale which took a year-and-a-half to become final; when Viacom took over in 1980, the call letters were changed to WKHK and the station adopted a country music format known as "Kick 106.7 FM".
The format change took place in the middle of the night and brought many protests from New York jazz fans, who petitioned the FCC to deny the station's license renewal. WKHK would suffer from low ratings, as they were unable to compete with WHN, which had a country music format at the time. On January 23, 1984, Viacom dropped country music and turned 106.7 into an MOR station–with new call letters WLTW and on-air branding of "Lite FM". They were an easy listening station without anything that would be classified as "elevator music". At this point, the station played music from such artists as Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, the Carpenters, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Barry Manilow, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, the Stylistics; the station played softer songs from such artists as Elton John, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, the Righteous Brothers and Billy Joel. The station wouldn't play any new music except for new songs by artists that were familiar to listeners of the station.
With this format change, ratings did increase from its low levels. By the late 1980s, WLTW started to play songs from such artists as Whitney Houston, Foreigner, the Doobie Brothers and Bruce Springsteen; as other competing New York City stations changed their focus, the station stayed with their soft adult contemporary format though they were phasing out songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, the Carpenters. At this point, the station's ratings were at or near the top compared with other New York City radio stations. By 1996, with WPAT-FM adapting a Spanish adult contemporary format, WPLJ adapting a hot adult contemporary format, WMXV switching to a modern adult contemporary format, WLTW segued to a mainstream adult contemporary format with a more uptempo direction than before, phased out the majority of its soft adult contemporary material. Chancellor bought WLTW and the rest of Viacom's radio group in 1997. In 1999 Chancellor merged with Capstar to form AM/FM, which retained WLTW.
In 2000, AM/FM merged with Clear Channel Communications, which became iHeartMedia in 2014. WLTW was simulcast nationwide on XM Satellite Radio from 2001 to the end of 2003, under the channel name "Lite." WLTW on XM was replaced by The Blend on February 2, 2004. In 2004, all XM music channels went commercial free, WLTW was replaced with a unique-to-XM channel called Sunny, which had an easy listening format. Since Clear Channel has regained the right to air commercials on their XM music channels. Sunny began carrying commercials, but was still exclusive to XM. After a few format tweaks, Sunny played soft oldies. During the holiday season, WLTW has played Christmas music interspersed with its regular playlist. Only on Christmas Day and a few days leading up to it would the station devote all its airtime to holiday music. After the September 11 attacks, Christmas music was seen as a comforting "feel-good" format for radio listeners. Established as a popular station for Christmas music, WLT
Christmas music comprises a variety of genres of music performed or heard around the Christmas season. Music associated with Christmas may be purely instrumental, or in the case of many carols or songs may employ lyrics whose subject matter ranges from the nativity of Jesus Christ, to gift-giving and merrymaking, to cultural figures such as Santa Claus, among other topics. Performances of Christmas music at public concerts, in churches, at shopping malls, on city streets, in private gatherings is an integral staple of the Christmas holiday in many cultures across the world. Music associated with Christmas is thought to have its origins in 4th-century Rome, in Latin-language hymns such as Veni redemptor gentium. By the 13th century, under the influence of Francis of Assisi, the tradition of popular Christmas songs in regional native languages developed. Christmas carols in the English language first appear in a 1426 work of John Awdlay, an English chaplain, who lists twenty five "caroles of Cristemas" sung by groups of'wassailers' who would travel from house to house.
In the 16th century, various Christmas carols still sung to this day, including "The 12 Days of Christmas", "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", "O Christmas Tree", first emerged. The Victorian Era saw a surge of Christmas carols associated with a renewed admiration of the holiday, including "Silent Night", "O Little Town of Bethlehem", "O Holy Night"; the first Christmas songs associated with Saint Nicholas or other gift-bringers came during 19th century, including "Up on the Housetop" and "Jolly Old St. Nicholas". Many older Christmas hymns were translated or had lyrics added to them during this period in 1871 when John Stainer published a influential collection entitled "Christmas Carols New & Old". Few notable carols were produced from the beginning of the 20th century until the Great Depression era of the 1930s, when a stream of songs of American origin were published, most of which did not explicitly reference the Christian nature of the holiday, but rather the more secular traditional Western themes and customs associated with Christmas.
These included songs aimed at children such as "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", as well as sentimental ballad-type songs performed by famous crooners of the era, such as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "White Christmas", the latter of which remains the best-selling single of all time as of 2018. Popular Christmas music produced from after World War II until the present day has remained thematically and instrumentally similar to the songs produced in the early 20th century. Since the dawn of the rock era in the mid-1950s, much of the Christmas music produced for popular audiences has had explicitly romantic overtones, only using Christmas as a setting; the 1950s featured the introduction of novelty songs that used the holiday as a target for satire and source for comedy. Exceptions such as "The Christmas Shoes" have re-introduced Christian themes as complementary to the secular Western themes, a plethora of traditional carol cover versions by various artists have explored all music genres.
Music was an early feature of its celebrations. The earliest examples are hymnographic works intended for liturgical use in observance of both the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany, many of which are still in use by the Eastern Orthodox Church; the 13th century saw the rise of the carol written in the vernacular, under the influence of Francis of Assisi. In the Middle Ages, the English combined circle called them carols; the word carol came to mean a song in which a religious topic is treated in a style, familiar or festive. From Italy, it passed to France and Germany, to England. Christmas carols in English first appear in a 1426 work of John Audelay, a Shropshire priest and poet, who lists 25 "caroles of Cristemas" sung by groups of wassailers, who went from house to house. Music in itself soon became one of the greatest tributes to Christmas, Christmas music includes some of the noblest compositions of the great musicians. During the Commonwealth of England government under Cromwell, the Rump Parliament prohibited the practice of singing Christmas carols as Pagan and sinful.
Like other customs associated with popular Catholic Christianity, it earned the disapproval of Protestant Puritans. Famously, Cromwell's interregnum prohibited all celebrations of the Christmas holiday; this attempt to ban the public celebration of Christmas can be seen in the early history of Father Christmas. The Westminster Assembly of Divines established Sunday as the only holy day in the calendar in 1644; the new liturgy produced for the English church recognised this in 1645, so abolished Christmas. Its celebration was declared an offence by Parliament in 1647. There is some debate as to the effectiveness of this ban, whether or not it was enforced in the country. Puritans disapproved of the celebration of Christmas—a trend which continually resurfaced in Europe and the USA through the eighteenth and twentieth centuries; when in May 1660 Charles II restored the Stuarts to the throne, the people of England once again practiced the public singing of Christmas carols as part of the revival of Christmas customs, sanctioned by the king's own celebrations.
William Sandys's Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, contained the first appearance in print of many now-classic English carols, contributed to the mid-Victorian revival of the holiday. Singing carols in church was instituted on Christmas Eve 1880 in Truro Cathedral, England, now seen in churches all over t