Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" in 1940. It was first publicly performed (by Bing Crosby) in December 1941, and Crosby first recorded and released it in 1942. The '42 recording actually degraded so much from overuse that five years later Crosby recreated the original session, laying down the version we're all familiar with now. It's since been recorded by hundreds of other acts.
In 1954, the same year Crosby starred in the year's top-grossing film (titled, as you can probably guess, White Christmas), The Drifters recorded this version, with a gospel-blues tinge that kept it relegated to R & B radio for decades.
This song is so excellent I put it on last year's compilation, "Have Yourself A Bluesy Little Christmas." (I'll be posting that here soon.) While researching this post, I found out (thanks, Wikipedia!) that Bill Pinkney, the bass singer on this record (whose name, you'll note, is misspelled on the label above), was also in The Harmony Grits, whose jumpin' version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" I also chose for last year's compilation, thereby breaking my rule of only having one song per artist.