Meet the father of the Yule Log and learn other funs facts about the PIX classic

Fred Thrower

WPIX station president Fred Thrower, the father of “The Yule Log” Find out his story in this SHORT VIDEO.

What is the Yule Log?

The Yule Log is a special holiday program that was created in 1966 by New York TV station WPIX Channel 11.

It debuted as a 3-hour program, originally consisting of a 17-second 16 millimeter filmed loop of a festively decorated roaring fireplace while traditional Christmas carols played over the video.
When did it premiere?

The Yule Log premiered in full-color on Saturday, December 24, 1966, at 9:30 PM on WPIX Channel 11 in New York City.

Where was the Yule Log filmed?

The original one was filmed in 1966 on 16 millimeter film at Gracie Mansion, the home of then Mayor of New York, John Lindsay. Four years later, in 1970, WPIX decided to re-shoot the footage on state-of-the-art 35 millimeter film, as the original 16 millimeter footage had become worn by this time.

Unfortunately, when WPIX shot the original Gracie Mansion footage, to capture the log in all its flaming glory, the crew decided to remove the protective screen and a stray spark damaged a valuable antique rug. Needless to say, the Mayor’s office was not receptive to the idea of letting WPIX come back and re-shoot the footage.

The search was then on for an identical fireplace. One was eventually found in California and a crew of technicians was then dispatched out to complete the re-shoot. This time from the footage they shot, they were able to edit out a perfect 7-minute loop that magnificently captured the fire when it was at its roaring best. It is this iconic fireplace footage that has captured the fascination of millions in the tri-state area and across the nation since 1970.

The Soundtrack

åSeq

Title Artist

Start Time

Original Album Cover Art

1

Joy To The World (Instr) Percy Faith

0:00

Music Of Christmas
Columbia 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1959)

2

A Musical Christmas Card Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians

1:57

The Meaning Of Christmas
Capitol 1961

3

Sleigh Ride The Ray Conniff Singers

2:55

Christmas With Conniff
Columbia 1959

4

O Little Town Of Bethlehem Frank Sinatra

5:20

A Jolly Christmas
Capitol 1957

5

White Christmas (Instr) Andre Kostelanetz

7:22

Joy To The World:
Music For Christmas

Columbia 1959

6

O Holy Night (Instr) Mantovani

10:38

Christmas Carols
London 1953
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1958)

7

The Little Drummer Boy The Harry Simeone Chorale

13:15

Sing We Now Of Christmas
20th Century Fox 1959

8

The First Noel Nat King Cole

16:14

The Christmas Song
Capitol 1962

9

MEDLEY:  It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas / Toyland (Instr) Frank DeVol

18:08

The Old Sweet Songs Of Christmas
Columbia 1960

10

MEDLEY:  Winter Wonderland / Silver Bells Henry Mancini

20:55

A Merry Mancini Christmas
RCA 1966

11

Away In A Manger Ed Ames

24:40

Christmas With Ed Ames
RCA 1967

12

MEDLEY:  We Wish You A Merry Christmas / We Three Kings / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Instr) The Living Strings

26:58

The Spirit Of Christmas
RCA Camden 1963

13

O Tannenbaum (Instr) Mantovani

28:44

Christmas Carols
London 1953
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1958)

14

Carol Of The Bells (Instr) Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

31:55

The Music Of Christmas
Capitol 1958

15

Mary’s Boy Child The Pete King Chorale

33:14

Christmas Time
Kapp 1960

16

MEDLEY:  Silent Night / O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Instr) Frank DeVol

36:09

The Old Sweet Songs Of Christmas
Columbia 1960

17

I’ll Be Home For Christmas Frank Sinatra

38:33

A Jolly Christmas
Capitol 1957

18

Sleigh Ride (Instr) Andre Kostelanetz

41:40

Wonderland Of Christmas
Columbia 1963

19

O Come All Ye Faithful (Instr) Percy Faith

44:07

Music Of Christmas
Columbia 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1959)

20

O Come All Ye Faithful The Robert Shaw Chorale

48:09

Christmas Hymns & Carols
Volume 1

RCA 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1957)

21

Jingle Bells (Instr) Paul Mauriat

50:23

The Christmas Album
Philips 1967

22

Christmas Is Christmas All Over The World The Singing Angels

53:10

Issued as a 45-rpm single only. Click here for full size.

Princess Records 1973

23

Angels We Have Heard On High The Robert Shaw Chorale

55:35

Christmas Hymns & Carols
Volume 1

RCA 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1957)

24

Here We Come A-Caroling The Ray Charles Singers

57:32

Here We Come A-Caroling
MGM 1956

25

Gesu Bambino (Instr) Percy Faith

58:27

Hallelujah!
Columbia 1958

26

Hark The Herald Angels Sing Eugene Ormandy

1:01:28

The Glorious Sound Of Christmas
Columbia 1962

27

My Favorite Things The Pete King Chorale

1:04:34

Christmas Time
Kapp 1960

28

MEDLEY:  Deck The Halls / It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Instr) The Living Strings

1:07:16

The Spirit Of Christmas
RCA Camden 1963

29

We Wish You A Merry Christmas The Ray Charles Singers

1:10:00

Here We Come A-Caroling
MGM 1956

30

The Twelve Days Of Christmas Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians

1:10:30

Now Is The Caroling Season
Capitol 1957

31

I Saw Three Ships (Instr) Percy Faith

1:14:11

Hallelujah!
Columbia 1958

32

The Christmas Song Nat King Cole

1:16:08

The Christmas Song
Capitol 1962

33

Winter Wonderland (Instr) Arthur Fiedler

1:19:13

Pops Christmas Party
RCA 1959

34

Away In A Manger The Robert Shaw Chorale

1:22:06

Christmas Hymns & Carols
Volume 1

RCA 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1957)

35

Silent Night Eugene Ormandy

1:23:49

The Glorious Sound Of Christmas
Columbia 1962

36

Deck The Halls (Instr) Percy Faith

1:27:02

Music Of Christmas
Columbia 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1959)

37

The Christmas Waltz (Instr) David Rose

1:29:50

David Rose Christmas Album
Capitol 1968

38

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town The Ray Conniff Singers

1:33:02

Christmas With Conniff
Columbia 1959

39

Deck The Halls The Norman Luboff Choir

1:35:26

Songs Of Christmas
Columbia 1957

40

Good King Wenceslas (Instr) Eugene Ormandy

1:36:33

A Christmas Festival
Columbia 1968

41

MEDLEY:  Frosty The Snowman / Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Henry Mancini

1:39:46

A Merry Mancini Christmas
RCA 1966

42

MEDLEY:  What Child Is This / O Little Town Of Bethlehem / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Instr) Al Hirt

1:42:09

The Sound Of Christmas
RCA 1965

43

Jingle Bells The Ray Conniff Singers

1:46:28

Christmas With Conniff
Columbia 1959

44

Do You Hear What I Hear (Instr) Percy Faith

1:49:09

Christmas Is…
Columbia 1966

45

Do You Hear What I Hear Ed Ames

1:51:53

Christmas With Ed Ames
RCA 1967

46

White Christmas Henry Mancini

1:54:35

A Merry Mancini Christmas
RCA 1966

47

Bring A Torch Jeanette Isabella (Instr) Percy Faith

1:57:12

Hallelujah!
Columbia 1958

48

The Christmas Tree (Instr) David Rose

2:00:18

David Rose Christmas Album
Capitol 1968

49

MEDLEY:  O Come All Ye Faithful / O Little Town Of Bethlehem / Coventry Carol / Away In A Manger (Alternate Version) (Instr) The Living Strings

2:02:36

The Spirit Of Christmas
RCA Camden 1963

50

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Instr) Percy Faith

2:06:58

Christmas Is…
Columbia 1966

51

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Frank Sinatra

2:09:54

A Jolly Christmas
Capitol 1957

52

Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming (Instr) Percy Faith

2:13:19

Music Of Christmas
Columbia 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1959)

53

O Tannenbaum (Instr) Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

2:15:32

The Music Of Christmas
Capitol 1958

54

What Child Is This The Ray Conniff Singers

2:18:34

Christmas With Conniff
Columbia 1959

55

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Instr) Mantovani

2:21:01

Christmas Greetings
London 1963

56

Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Instr) Roger Williams

2:24:18

Christmas Time
Kapp 1959

57

Silent Night (Instr) Roger Williams

2:26:22

Christmas Time
Kapp 1959

58

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Instr) Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

2:30:08

The Music Of Christmas
Capitol 1958

59

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen The Norman Luboff Choir

2:33:32

Songs Of Christmas
Columbia 1957

60

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Instr) Arthur Fiedler

2:34:30

Pops Christmas Party
RCA 1959

61

We Three Kings Andre Kostelanetz

2:36:38

Joy To The World:
Music For Christmas

Columbia 1959

62

Christmas Bells (Instr) Mantovani

2:39:05

Christmas Greetings
London 1963

63

Silent Night Lena Horne

2:41:17

Merry From Lena
United Artists 1966

64

We Wish You A Merry Christmas Eugene Ormandy

2:44:09

A Christmas Festival
Columbia 1968

65

MEDLEY: Deck The Halls / The First Noel (Instr) David Rose

2:46:09

David Rose Christmas Album
Capitol 1968

66

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Instr) George Melachrino

2:48:07

Christmas Joy
RCA 1959

67

O Holy Night Nat King Cole

2:50:25

The Christmas Song
Capitol 1962

68

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Instr) Eddie Dunstedter

2:53:17

The Bells Of Christmas
Capitol 1959

69

Carol For Another Christmas (Instr) Henry Mancini

2:54:31

A Merry Mancini Christmas
RCA 1966

70

Joy To The World (Instr) Percy Faith

2:57:03

Music Of Christmas
Columbia 1954
(Re-recorded in stereo in 1959)

Track Listing for New 4th Hour of the Yule Log Soundtrack

(ADDED IN 2009)

1)  Mantovani: “Adeste Fideles”

2)  Ray Conniff: “Deck The Halls”

3)  Bert Kaempfert: “Holiday For Bells”

4)  Mitch Miller: “Must Be Santa”

5)  Percy Faith: “Good King Wenceslas”

6)  The New Christy Minstrels: “Sleigh Ride”

7)  The Harry Simeone Chorale: “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”

8)  Bing Crosby: “A Time To Be Jolly”

9)  Percy Faith: “Away In A Manger”

10) Sammy Kaye: “Santa, Santa, Santa Claus”

11) Vic Damone: “Deck The Halls”

12) Bert Kaempfert: “Children’s Christmas Dream”

13) Ray Conniff: “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”/”The Little Drummer Boy”

14) The New Christy Minstrels: “Here We Come A-Caroling”

15) Percy Faith: “Angels We Have Heard On High”

16) The Living Voices: “Be A Santa”

17) Ray Conniff: “Joy To The World”

18) Johnny Mathis: “O Holy Night”

19) Sammy Kaye: “All Around The Christmas Tree”

20) Mike Douglas: “Touch Hands On Christmas Morning”

21) The Harry Simeone Chorale: “Christmas Is”

22) Bert Kaempfert: “Jingo Jango”

23) Percy Faith: “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”

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