As the alias of renowned record producer and composer Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller is one of the most successful New Age bands of the past several decades. Davis comes from a long musical background throughout his family and became a composed his first chorale in honor of his dog when he was only six years old. After attending the University of Michigan, Davis returned to his hometown of Sylvania, Ohio, and became a high school music teacher. After leaving the profession, Davis got a job writing advertising jingles and soon began to experiment with a new kind of music that he dubbed "18th century classical rock." Using a mix of electric bass and synthesizers, his first album called Fresh Aire, would be released on his own label, American Gramaphone, in 1974. Released under the name Mannheim Steamroller, the record would be a preview of what would become a multi-platinum success all over the world. The band would release a series of Fresh Aire albums over the course of the late '70s and early '80s, many of which signified specific seasons, mythology and other themes.
In 1984, Mannheim Steamroller would release its first Christmas album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, which jumped into the Top 40 charts and sold more than five million copies. The modern twist on a holiday classic, "Deck The Halls" would receive consistent airplay on pop and adult contemporary radio stations. The album was followed up by A Fresh Aire Christmas in 1988 and Christmas in the Aire in 1995, all of which consisted of modern interpretations of old Yuletide favorites and would sell well throughout the world. The group would gain significant notoriety from these albums, and their music would be featured in holiday specials, advertisements and other forms of pop culture in the decades that followed.
While Mannheim Steamroller has built up sizeable following thanks to their incredible success with holiday music, the group has succeeded with a variety of side projects. 1986's Saving the Wildlife, a soundtrack originally for a PBS special, would raise more than half a million dollars for the National Parks Service, and other New Age albums like Romantic Melodies, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse and others would chart well in the United States. However, it is the band's unmistakable Christmas melodies that will continue to receive airplay during the holiday season year after year.