Written as a poem in 1818 by pastor Joseph Mohr of the St. Nicolaus Kirche in Oberndorf (Austria). His organist Franz Gruber wrote the music. Together they sang it during mass on Christmas eve, accompanied on guitar as the organ didn't function. For three years the song Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht was only heard in this tiny Tirolian place. Organ builder Karl Mauracher from Fügen was the first outstander who heard the song while fixing Gruber's pipe organ and he took the sheet music home. In 1831 Mauracher arranged it for choir. Four children of the Strasser family sang it in 1832 on the well visited Leipziger Messe. There they got an invitation to come and sing it in Vienna during next Christmas eve, attended by the royal family. That's how it got known all over. In 1839 another family choir sang it in New York.
Betsy Schot [for Zonophone]
Hans Hoffmann [on Edison cylinder]
Haydn Quartet [for Victor]
Edison Male Quartette [oldest version in English; see also Jingle Bells]
Ernestine Schumann-Heink [both in German and English]
Elsie Baker [as Silent Night]
Paul Whiteman [as Silent Night, Holy Night]
John McCormack [as Silent Night]
Bing Crosby [idem]
Sister Rosetta Tharpe [idem]
Yobs [The Boys on a punk X-mas comp]
Enya [as Oicha Chiun]
Eva Cassidy [posthumous release in 2008]
Susan Boyle [most as Silent Night]
Oberndorf (near Salzburg) has its own Stille Nacht Museum, while the church rightfully deserves to be called the Stille Nacht Kirche (see also: Jingle Bells).