"The Little Drummer Boy" First Airs
In 1968, Rankin-Bass produced a stop motion animated Christmas television special based on The Little Drummer Boy.
The film names the drummer boy Aaron and expands the song's storyline to include events before the birth of Jesus. It stars the voices of Greer Garson as "Our Storyteller" and Jose Ferrer as Ben Haramad; it also features the Vienna Boys' Choir singing the title song. It aired for many years on NBC (under original sponsorship of the American Gas Association (AGA)) before entering syndication. It currently airs in the U.S. on the ABC Family cable channel.
A television sequel, titled The Little Drummer Boy, Book II, premiered in 1976, also on NBC, again sponsored by the AGA, again narrated by Greer Garson, and also currently airing on ABC Family. NBC stopped airing the program after many complaints of Anti-Arabism.