‘Do You Hear What I Hear?,’ Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston performs "Do You Hear What I Hear?" on "The Tonight Show" in 1990.

Whitney Houston performs “Do You Hear What I Hear?” on “The Tonight Show” in 1990.

Whitney Houston appeared on “The Tonight Show” on Dec. 11, 1990 (Johnny Carson was still the official host, though Jay Leno was guest-hosting that night). It was about a month after the release of her I’m Your Baby Tonight album, and she performed the second single from that album, “All the Man That I Need.” But she also performed a sensational version of one of her favorite Christmas songs, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Check it out below.

This is not a particularly old Christmas song, having been recorded for the first time in 1962 by Harry Simeone Chorale, and the next year by Bing Crosby. (Both versions were widely heard.) Houston, who got her start as a singer at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, recorded it for the 1987 compilation album, A Very Special Christmas (a fundraiser for the Special Olympics), but left it off her 2003 Christmas album, One Wish: The Holiday Album.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.

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