From Bing Crosby’s 1977 holiday special, Bing Crosby’s Marrie Olde Christmas.
“Little Drummer Boy” was originally written in 1957, and the “Peace on Earth” counterpoint and lyrics were added to the song especially for David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s recording.
According to Rolling Stone, Bowie was told about the idea to sing “Little Drummer Boy” as a duet, and the rocker demurred saying, “I won’t sing that song, I hate that song.”
And so, the counterpoint melody was written to assuage Bowie.
Recorded on September 11, 1977, the song was set up by dialogue between the unlikely pair about how they celebrate Christmas before singing the duet.
Crosby actually passed away just over a month later on October 14.
Original airdate – November 30, 1977, on CBS.