Friday, December 23, 2011

12-23-11 Christmas Song(s) of the Day #23: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph, who might've been Reginald or Rollo before Robert May settled on "Rudolph" for the Montergomery Ward 1939 coloring book. Following in that longest of Christmas traditions, the bottom line, Rudolph was created so they didn't have to pay royalties for licensing to anyone else.

May's brother-in-law adapted the story into the song a decade later and, trivia for the night, Gene Autry was NOT the first person to sing it. That would be Harry Brannon. But Gene's version was released shortly after and the legend began.

Judy and Bing's Radio version 1950 (smoking Chesterfields all day!)

and with Ella (smoking a cigar all day!)

and Ella by herself:

Red Foley and the Little Foley's (his daughters) 1951

Billy May's Mambo version 1953

The Cadillacs Doo-Wop version

The Crystals

and, best for last:


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