Millie Kirkham's association with Elvis Presley began with the 1957 recording session that yielded, among other classics, Don't, Treat Me Nice and Blue Christmas, a song which features some of the most unique vocal background work she and the Jordanaires ever did with the King Of Rock 'N' Roll.
Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires has been quoted as saying that while Elvis liked Tubb but did not want to recut his song. Ordered to do the song, he told the band to play and sing as badly as possible. 'He argued and cussed with them for a couple of hours and finally told us to make the most horrible background we could, so they wouldn't record it', Stoker was quoted as telling a Nashville newspaper.
The backup singers laughed and sang a whooping 'woo-woo-woo-woo-woo' in the background.
'They said have fun -- do something silly', backup singer Millie Kirkham said in a CNN interview.
Presley chopped words into syllables, singing, 'I-I-I'll have a ba-lue Chrrrr-istmas ...'
'When we got through', Kirkham was quoted as saying, 'we all laughed'.
It turned out to be a repeat No. 1 hit for New York songwriters Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson.