December 29, 2017
Did you know who holds the record for the #1 Christmas music artist of all times, selling over 27 million albums? Mannheim Steamroller, the American group founded by record producer and composer, Chip Davis. (Note crooner, Elvis Presley is ranked as the second-highest Christmas artist). Davis is known for his new age rock style, the "Fresh Aire" series of albums, and the now famous Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album and has sold more than 28 million albums in the U.S. alone.
But Davis almost didn't get a chance to make the Christmas album. After shopping the idea around to existing labels and retailers in 1984, he was rejected again and again. Davis said the first thing out of their mouths was: "This is a Christmas record; that’ll never work!" or "Don’t do a Christmas album because that will signal the end of your career!” The solution? Create your own label. And that's just what Davis did.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas went on to sell five million copies after Chip produced it himself — and changed the sounds of Christmas music forever.
Fast forward to modern times, Davis has sold over 40 million records (including 27 million Christmas albums) making the group one of the top 50 biggest selling musical artists of all time and THE biggest selling Christmas artist of all time. He has produced hundreds of sold-out Mannheim Steamroller concerts around the world, and his American Gramaphone record label stands as one of the most successful independent music franchises in history.
WATCH A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT WITH MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER ON MONDAY, JANUARY 1ST AT 4 PM CT / 5 PM ET FOR RFD-TV'S #MUSICMONDAY CONCERT SERIES. CLICK HERE TO LINK OVER TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE.
Fun Facts about "Mannheim Steamroller"
- The band’s name "Mannheim Steamroller" comes from Mannheim, Germany where Mozart lived and the 18th-century German musical technique, Mannheim roller (German: Mannheimer Walze), a crescendo passage having a rising melodic line over an ostinato bass line, popularized by the Mannheim school of composition.
- Mannheim Steamroller is the only group to ever perform twice at the annual Lighting of the National Christmas Tree Ceremony during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations.
- The group has traveled throughout the world for recording sessions and concerts including London, St. Petersburg, Russia, throughout Germany, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.
- The Recording Industry Association of America has awarded 16 gold records, 7 platinum and 4 multi-platinum to Mannheim Steamroller.
- With a musical style dubbed “18th Century Classical Rock,” Mannheim has traveled more than 27 million miles across eight different time zones for their annual Christmas Tour since 1984.
- Chip was named the Country Music Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP in 1976.
- Chip has developed a patent-pending music therapy system. Ambient Therapy combines music with natural sounds and is being used by Mayo Clinic, Wake Forest, Walter Reed and other medical facilities. NASA has approved the review of Ambient Therapy for use by the astronauts in long-range space travels.
- Mannheim Steamroller provided the on-site technology to capture and record the launch and landing of Space Shuttles Discovery and Atlantis — characterized by NASA as the most accurate audio recording of a shuttle launch and landing ever made.
Watch the trailer for Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Special below.