Bing Crosby was noted for his family Christmas Specials, so in 1977 when his special was set in England and the producers brought in David Bowie it was truly an odd pairing. Bing was Mr. Old School Christmas and crooner (he was 73 at the time) while the flamboyant Bowie (30) was in no great rush to appear on his Christmas Special.
According to many sources Bowie only agreed to do the show because A) it was filmed at Elstree Studios, not far from Bowie’s home, and B) his video for “Heroes” would be a part of the show (complete with an introduction by Crosby).
When he saw he was suppose to duet with Bing on “The Little Drummer Boy” he supposedly stated ” “I hate this song. Is there something else I could sing?”
The story goes that the show’s Producers who were also songwriters took less than a two hours and came up with the “Peace on Earth” bit that Bowie agreed to interweave with Crosby’s rendition of “Little Drummer Boy.”
Here’s the link: Bing and Bowie