Harry Reser - Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

First performance: 20/12/1973


Coverinfo

Santa Claus is comin' to town became a signature for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band who have been regularly performing the song live in concert since 1973, mostly around the months of November and December. Their officially released live 12 Dec 1975 version of the song and has become one of the most popular versions of this Christmas standard. 
 
 
 
 
Bruce covered the song 165 times  

  • The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour  
1973-12-20 - BRISTOL MOTOR INN, BRISTOL, RI
One show, with Bruce and the boys the only act on the bill. Unusual show in that it was an official Roger Williams University school event but it was held off campus, inside the nightclub of the Bristol Motor Inn. This was an 100-minute show. Partial setlist above comes from a newspaper review of the performance. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is likely to have been performed at many of the gigs in this December Christmas period.
 
1973-12-23 - ROVA FARM FUNCTION CENTER, JACKSON, NJ

  • Born To Run Tour  
1975-12-02 - MUSIC HALL, BOSTON
1975-12-03 - MUSIC HALL, BOSTON
1975-12-05 - McDONOUGH ARENA, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC 
1975-12-07 - McDONOUGH ARENA, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC 
1975-12-10 - DAVIS GYM, BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY, LEWISBURG, PA 
1975-12-11 - WALSH AUDITORIUM, SETON HALL UNIVERSITY, SOUTH ORANGE, NJ 
 
1975-12-12 - POST DOME, C.W. POST COLLEGE, GREENVALE, NY 
This is the concert that the official "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" was recorded at, and the resulting recording is now on heavy rotation on radio every Christmas. In fact, the entire show was professionally recorded (along with several other shows in December) under the guidance of Jimmy Iovine as part of a plan to release a live album. Was first released in 1981 on the various artists children album " In Harmony 2". The song was also included on several promotional singles that were released in conjunction with the album. In Harmony 2 is a benefit album; according to the album's back cover, "A royalty is being donated to the Children's Television Workshop and various children's charities." It won a Grammy Award for Best Recording For Children in 1983. The live 12 Dec 1975 version of Santa Claus is comin' to town was also released as the B-side to My hometown in November 1985.
 
 
 
1975-12-16 - LAKER HALL GYM, STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, OSWEGO, NY 
1975-12-17 - KLEINHANS MUSIC HALL, BUFFALO, NY 
1975-12-19 - THÉÂTRE MAISONNEUVE, MONTREAL, QC 
1975-12-20 - NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, OTTAWA, ON
1975-12-21 - SENECA FIELD HOUSE, SENECA COLLEGE, TORONTO, ON
 
  • Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour  
1978-09-21 - CAPITOL THEATRE, PASSAIC, NJ 
1978-09-25 - BOSTON GARDEN, BOSTON, MA 
1978-09-30 - FOX THEATRE, ATLANTA, GA 
1978-11-27 - MECCA ARENA, MILWAUKEE, WI 
1978-11-28 - DANE COUNTY MEMORIAL COLISEUM, MADISON, WI 
1978-11-29 - ST PAUL CIVIC CENTER ARENA, ST PAUL, MN 
1978-12-01 - LLOYD NOBLE CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, NORMAN, OK 
1978-12-03 - SIU ARENA, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, CARBONDALE, IL 
1978-12-05 - LSU ASSEMBLY CENTER, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, BATON ROUGE, LA 
1978-12-07 - SPECIAL EVENTS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TX 
 
1978-12-08 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX
This was reportedly the only show of the tour that was filmed in its entirety, and this could be the very reason it was chosen for official release as part of The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set in 2010.
 
1978-12-09 - DALLAS CONVENTION CENTER ARENA, DALLAS, TX 
1978-12-13 - TUCSON COMMUNITY CENTER ARENA, TUCSON, AZ 
1978-12-15 - WINTERLAND BALLROOM, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
1978-12-16 - WINTERLAND BALLROOM, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
1978-12-19 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, PORTLAND, OR 
1978-12-20 - SEATTLE CENTER ARENA, SEATTLE, WA 
1978-12-27 - STANLEY THEATRE, PITTSBURGH, PA 
1978-12-28 - STANLEY THEATRE, PITTSBURGH, PA 
1978-12-30 - COBO ARENA, DETROIT, MI 
1978-12-31 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH 
1979-01-01 - RICHFIELD COLISEUM, RICHFIELD, OH
 
  • The River Tour  
1980-12-04 - BUFFALO MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, BUFFALO, NY 
1980-12-06 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1980-12-08 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1980-12-09 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1980-12-11 - PROVIDENCE CIVIC CENTER, PROVIDENCE, RI 
1980-12-12 - HARTFORD CIVIC CENTER, HARTFORD, CT 
1980-12-15 - BOSTON GARDEN, BOSTON, MA 
1980-12-16 - BOSTON GARDEN, BOSTON, MA 
1980-12-18 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY 
1980-12-19 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY 
1980-12-28 - NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, UNIONDALE, NY 
1980-12-29 - NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, UNIONDALE, NY 
1980-12-31 - NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, UNIONDALE, NY
 
  • Born In The U.S.A. Tour 
1984-09-18 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1984-09-22 - CIVIC ARENA, PITTSBURGH, PA 
1984-09-25 - BUFFALO MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, BUFFALO, NY 
1984-10-15 - PACIFIC COLISEUM, VANCOUVER, BC 
1984-10-19 - TACOMA DOME, TACOMA, WA 
1984-10-22 - OAKLAND-ALAMEDA COUNTY COLISEUM ARENA, OAKLAND, CA 
1984-10-31 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA 
1984-11-02 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA 
1984-11-04 - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL SPORTS ARENA, LOS ANGELES, CA 
1984-11-08 - ASU ACTIVITY CENTER, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE, AZ 
1984-11-11 - McNICHOLS SPORTS ARENA, DENVER, CO 
1984-11-12 - McNICHOLS SPORTS ARENA, DENVER, CO 
1984-11-15 - ST LOUIS ARENA, ST LOUIS, MO 
1984-11-16 - HILTON COLISEUM, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AMES, IA 
1984-11-18 - BOB DEVANEY SPORTS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN, NE 
1984-11-19 - KEMPER ARENA, KANSAS CITY, MO 
1984-11-23 - FRANK ERWIN CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, TX 
1984-11-25 - REUNION ARENA, DALLAS, TX 
1984-11-26 - REUNION ARENA, DALLAS, TX 
1984-11-29 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX 
1984-11-30 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON, TX 
1984-12-02 - LSU ASSEMBLY CENTER, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, BATON ROUGE, LA 
1984-12-06 - BIRMINGHAM-JEFFERSON CIVIC CENTER ARENA, BIRMINGHAM, AL 
1984-12-07 - LEON COUNTY CIVIC CENTER, TALLAHASSEE, FL 
1984-12-09 - MURPHY CENTER, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY, MURFREESBORO, TN 
1984-12-11 - RUPP ARENA, LEXINGTON, KY 
1984-12-14 - MID-SOUTH COLISEUM, MEMPHIS, TN 
1984-12-16 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, GA 
1984-12-17 - THE OMNI, ATLANTA, GA 
1985-01-04 - HAMPTON ROADS COLISEUM, HAMPTON, VA 
1985-01-05 - HAMPTON ROADS COLISEUM, HAMPTON, VA 
1985-01-07 - MARKET SQUARE ARENA, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 
1985-01-08 - MARKET SQUARE ARENA, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 
1985-01-10 - FREEDOM HALL, LOUISVILLE, KY 
1985-01-13 - CAROLINA COLISEUM, COLUMBIA, SC 
1985-01-15 - CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, CHARLOTTE, NC 
1985-01-19 - GREENSBORO COLISEUM, GREENSBORO, NC 
1985-01-24 - PROVIDENCE CIVIC CENTER, PROVIDENCE, RI 
1985-01-26 - CARRIER DOME, SYRACUSE, NY 
1985-03-28 - SYDNEY ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 
1985-09-01 - GIANTS STADIUM, EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ
 1985-09-06 - HOOSIER DOME, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
 
  • World Tour 1992-1993  
1992-12-02 - REUNION ARENA, DALLAS, TX 
1992-12-03 - ST LOUIS ARENA, ST LOUIS, MO 
1992-12-05 - MARKET SQUARE ARENA, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 
1992-12-07 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1992-12-08 - SPECTRUM, PHILADELPHIA, PA 
1992-12-13 - BOSTON GARDEN, BOSTON, MA 
1992-12-14 - BOSTON GARDEN, BOSTON, MA 
1992-12-16 - CIVIC ARENA, PITTSBURGH, PA 
1992-12-17 - RUPP ARENA, LEXINGTON, KY
 
  • The Reunion Tour 
1999-11-28 - TARGET CENTER, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 
1999-11-29 - TARGET CENTER, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
 
  • The Rising Tour
2002-12-04 - MELLON ARENA, PITTSBURGH, PA 
2002-12-05 - AIR CANADA CENTRE, TORONTO, ON 
2002-12-08 - CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, CHARLOTTE, NC 
2002-12-09 - CAROLINA CENTER, COLUMBIA, SC 
2002-12-13 - PEPSI ARENA, ALBANY, NY 
2002-12-16 - VALUE CITY ARENA, COLUMBUS, OH 
2002-12-17 - CONSECO FIELDHOUSE, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
 
  • Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour  

  • Magic Tour 
2007-12-01 - GELREDOME, ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS 
2007-12-02 - SAP ARENA, MANNHEIM, GERMANY 
2007-12-04 - OSLO SPEKTRUM, OSLO, NORWAY 
2007-12-10 - GLOBE ARENA, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN 
2007-12-12 - SPORTPALEIS, ANTWERP, BELGIUM 
2007-12-13 - KOLNARENA, COLOGNE, GERMANY 
2007-12-15 - ODYSSEY ARENA, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND 
2007-12-19 - THE O2 ARENA, LONDON, ENGLAND 
2008-07-11 - OLYMPIASTADION, HELSINKI, FINLAND
 
  • Working On A Dream Tour  
2009-06-02 - RATINAN STADION, TAMPERE, FINLAND 
2009-06-13 - BONNAROO, GREAT STAGE PARK, MANCHESTER, TN
2009-07-26 - ESTADIO SAN MAMÉS, BILBAO, SPAIN 
2009-11-15 - BRADLEY CENTER, MILWAUKEE, WI 
2009-11-18 - SOMMET CENTER, NASHVILLE, TN 
2009-11-20 - 1ST MARINER ARENA, BALTIMORE, MD 
2009-11-22 - HSBC ARENA, BUFFALO, NY
 
  • Wrecking Ball Tour 
2012-11-15 - CENTURYLINK CENTER, OMAHA, NE 
2012-11-17 - SPRINT CENTER, KANSAS CITY, MO 
2012-11-19 - PEPSI CENTER, DENVER, CO 
2012-11-26 - ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC 
2012-11-28 - ROSE GARDEN, PORTLAND, OR 
2012-11-30 - ORACLE ARENA, OAKLAND, CA 
2012-12-04 - HONDA CENTER, ANAHEIM, CA 
2012-12-10 - PALACIO DE LOS DEPORTES, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
 
  • High Hopes Tour  
 
  • The River tour 2016.
2016-08-23 - METLIFE STADIUM, EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ

  • Off tour 
1983-12-28 - MONMOUTH ARTS CENTER, RED BANK
La Bamba's Holiday Hurrah Benefit 
 
1988-12-18 - THE STONE PONY, ASBURY PARK
Friends of Special Children Benefit
 
1998-12-11 - TRADEWINDS, SEA BRIGHT
Holiday Express
 
1998-12-11 - PALADOZZA, BOLOGNA, ITALY
On Italian TV show Taratata on Rai Uno.
 
1999-12-20 - McLOONE'S RUM RUNNER, SEA BRIGHT 
During his annual Christmas party at McLoone's Rum Runner in Sea Bright, NJ. Though the date is not certain it seems the party took place on December 20, and Bruce joined Bobby Bandiera's band for well over an hour, performing Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs among other classics.
 
 
2000-12-17 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2000-12-18 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2001-12-03 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2001-12-04 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2001-12-06 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2001-12-07 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
 
2001-12-15 - CONTINENTAL AIRLINES ARENA, EAST RUTHERFORD
Holiday Express
 
2003-12-05 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2003-12-07 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
2003-12-08 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK
 
2003-12-19 - HOLY CROSS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, RUMSON
John Mulheren funeral
 
2004-12-02 - HEINZ HALL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, PITTSBURGH
Concert for Flood Aid
 
2004-12-19 - HARRY'S ROADHOUSE, ASBURY PARK
early
 
2004-12-19 - HARRY'S ROADHOUSE, ASBURY PARK
late
 
2006-12-02 - STARLAND BALLROOM, SAYREVILLE, NJ
Light of Day
 
2006-12-12 - COUNT BASIE THEATRE, RED BANK
Bobby Bandiera All-Star Holiday Concert
 
2008-12-22 - COUNT BASIE THEATRE, RED BANK
Hope Concert
 
2015-12-19 - STUDIO 8H, GE BUILDING, ROCKEFELLER CENTER, NEW YORK CITY
During a TV appearance on Saturday Night Live. The song was played in its E Street Band arrangement, with Sir Paul McCartney, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and the full Saturday Night Live cast (and some of the crew) joining the band on stage.
 
Rainforest Fund Concert
  

Songinfo

"Santa Claus Is Comin' to town"is a Christmas song, written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor's radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 500,000 copies of sheet music and more than 30,000 records sold within 24 hours. The version for Bluebird Records by George Hall and His Orchestra (vocal by Sonny Schuyler) was very popular in 1934 and reached the various charts of the day. The earliest known recorded version of the song was by banjoist Harry Reser and his band on October 24, 1934 . The song has been recorded by over 200 artists.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

I just came back from a lovely trip along the Milky Way
I stopped off at the North Pole to spend a holiday
I called on dear old Santa Claus to see what I could see
He took me to his workshop and told his plans to me

So you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're a wake
He knows if you've been good or bad so be good for goodness sake

Oh you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Oh you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town