Song of the Day Dec 9
December 9, 2023
Today our song is: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Wikipedia tells us this about the song:
In 1939, Johnny Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May, created the character Rudolph as an assignment for Montgomery Ward, and Marks decided to adapt the story of Rudolph into a song. English singer-songwriter and entertainer, Ian Whitcomb, interviewed Marks about the creation of the song in 1972.
The song had an added introduction, paraphrasing the poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (in the public domain by the time the song was written), stating the names of the eight reindeer:
"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen,
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?"
The song was first introduced live on New York Radio (WOR) by crooner Harry Brannon in November 1949. Gene Autry recorded the song on June 27, 1949, and it was released as a children's record by Columbia Records in September 1949. By November, Columbia had begun pushing the record to the pop music market. It hit No. 1 in the US charts during Christmas 1949.
The song had been suggested as a "B" side for a record Autry was making. He first rejected it, but his wife convinced him to use it. The official date of its No. 1 status was the week ending January 7, 1950, making it the first No. 1 song of the 1950s. Autry's version of the song also holds the distinction of being the only chart-topping hit to fall completely off the chart after reaching No. 1. The success of the Christmas song gave support to Autry's subsequent popular Easter song, "Here Comes Peter Cottontail"