"Sleigh Ride" is a popular song usually associated with Christmas. It was originally written as an instrumental piece in 1946 by Leroy Anderson, who intended it to refer to any winter event, not specifically Christmas. Mitchell Parish added words later, as he did for several of Anderson's compositions. The most famous recording of it is by the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Fielder.
1949 – The Boston Pops' instrumental version was the original, but Leroy Anderson himself recorded a (slightly faster) instrumental version the following year. The Boston Pops have re-recorded it several times
1950 – Leroy Anderson. The Decca Gold Label Series singles (#16000), both 45 and 78 rpm, referenced above were not issued as individual records. They were part of the four-disc set Leroy Anderson Conducts His Own Compositions. Anderson would re-record the song in stereo in 1959.
The Andrews Sisters – notable as the first known vocal recording of the tune.
Merv Griffin with the Freddy Martin Orchestra
1954 – Bing Crosby with vocal backing by Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra (Decca 28463); Crosby recorded the song again in 1977 for his final album, Seasons.
George Melachrino – Christmas in High Fidelity. The arrangement is more string-heavy; even the horse's whinny is done by the violins.
1955 – Walter Schumann – The Voices of Christmas
1956 – Jo Stafford – Ski Trails
Spike Jones – A Xmas Spectactular
Ferrante & Teicher - Adventures In Carols (Westminster LP; re-recorded in 1962's Snowbound)
1958 – Johnny Mathis – Merry Christmas
1959 – Ray Conniff – Christmas with Conniff
Andre Kostelanetz – Joy to the World: Music for Christmas. A similar arrangement to the Leroy Anderson and Boston Pops version, but moderately faster in speed and featuring a whistle in portions of the song.
Hugo Winterhalter – Wish You Were Here
1960 – Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
1961 – Mitch Miller – Holiday Sing-Along
1963 – The Ronettes - A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. An altered version with background vocals singing "Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding" and excluding the "Giddy up giddy up giddy up let's go..." and "The birthday [or] Christmas party at the home of Farmer Gray..." portions. The same version was used in 2012 for Nickelodeon.
Bert Kaempfert – Christmas Wonderland
1964 – Jack Jones – Christmas Album
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme – That Holiday Feeling
The Ramsey Lewis Trio – More Sounds of Christmas
1965 – Al Hirt – The Sound of Christmas
The Ventures – Christmas Album. A surf-style instrumental, similar in beat and arrangement to their biggest hit, "Walk Don't Run". It omits the "Farmer Gray" portion of the song.
Andy Williams – Merry Christmas
1966 – The New Christy Minstrels – Christmas with the Christies
1968 – Herb Alpert – Christmas Album
Robert Goulet – Wonderful World of Christmas
1969 – Boots Randolph – Boots and Stockings
1970 – Lawrence Welk – Merry Christmas
1971 – The Partridge Family – A Partridge Family Christmas Card
1977 – Burl Ives – Christmas by the Bay
1978 – The Carpenters – Christmas Portrait (This version mentions "Christmas party" instead of the usual "birthday party" in the bridge.)
1992 – Deborah Gibson (then known as Debbie Gibson)– A Very Special Christmas 2. (This version, based on the Ronettes version, featured the backup singers singing "Sleigh Ride...Sleigh Ride" instead of "Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding")