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Top 10 Versions of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Christian & Gospel Artists

Traditional Religious Christmas Carol


The words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem" were written by an Episcopal priest named Phillips Brooks in 1867 after a visit to the town of Bethlehem two years prior. The music, simply titled "St. Louis," was written by Lewis H. Redner in 1868. Redner was Brooks’ organist at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is said that the tune came to him on Christmas Eve, and was first sung the next day.

The carol has been covered by artists from just about every style of music. The following list covers the most popular versions by Christian & Gospel Arists.

1. Bebe Winans

BeBe Winans - My Christmas Prayer
Hidden Beach/Epic
The warmth of Bebe Winans' rendition of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" brings to mind crackling fires, hot chocolate with plenty of tiny marshmallows, and the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree.

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2. Bill & Gloria Gaither

Bill & Gloria Gaither - Joy To The World
Spring House Music Group
Bill and Gloria Gaither and the rest of the Homecoming crew deliver a solid traditional rendition of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" on their Joy To The World album. Outstanding harmonies make this a stand-out version that will add to any Christmas collection.

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3. Kevin Max

Kevin Max - Holy Night
Northern Records
Kevin Max keeps "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" purely traditional, adding no bells and whistles at all. His voice and sincere delivery says it all.

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4. BarlowGirl

BarlowGirl - Home For Christmas
Fervent Records/Word
The Barlow sisters add a touch of rock to "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," giving it the signature BarlowGirl treatment, making it a a definite new holiday favorite.

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6. Kathy Troccoli

Kathy Troccoli - A Sentimental Christmas
Reunion Records
You can definitely hear the Christmases of Kathy Troccoli's past in her medley. The combination of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and "Away In A Manger" bring to mind memories of my own childhood and listening to the classics being crooned by the likes of Sinatra, Burl Ives and Perry Como.

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7. Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson - A Most Excellent Mahalia Jackson Christmas
San Juan Music Group
There is a sweetness that comes through Mahalia Jackson's voice in her delivery of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that makes it soar. The bluesy feel combined with her passion and the vocals give this carol what Randy Jackson would call the "it factor."

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8. Sandi Patty

Sandi Patty - Yuletide Joy
On her Christmas album Yuletide Joy, Sandi Patty combines "Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child" with "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" for a rockin' gospel combo that will really bring joy to your Christmas season.

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9. 4HIM

4HIM - Christmas The Season Of Love
Benson Records
4HIM combines four Christmas classics for a montage of holiday cheer on their version of the popular carol. Joining "O Little Town of Bethlehem" are "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," "Away In A Manger" and "Silent Night! Holy Night!"

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10. Fernando Ortega

Fernando Ortega - Christmas Songs
Curb Records
Fernando Ortega's version of the classic carol is beautifully done, very quiet and personal. (Christmas Songs will be available on October 21, 2008)

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