November 1987: Run-DMC Celebrate "Christmas in Hollis"

Run DMC (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
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(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

October 1987 would see the debut of A Very Special Christmas. It was the first in a series of Christmas-themed charity albums created to benefit the Special Olympics. Featuring holidays classics performed by the likes of Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks and Madonna, the album was a huge hit, selling millions of copies over the years.

Thanks to the savvy RUSH Productions PR man Bill Adler, it also included Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," the only all-new track on the collection. After the group initially scoffed at the idea of doing a Christmas song, they changed their tune when Adler suggested they set the song in the hood. With Rick Rubin serving as the song's producer, they crafted "Christmas in Hollis." The track came with a comedic music video that was in heavy rotation on MTV throughout the 1987 holiday season. 

The following year in 1988, "Christmas in Hollis" was further immortalized when it was used to soundtrack the opening sequence of the year's fifth-most popular (but easily the most enduring) movie, Die Hard, giving more credence to the fact that Die Hard is indeed a Christmas movie. 

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The song was #1 in America for three weeks in September and October 1985.
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