“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” began life in 1939 at the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward department store when the company asked one of their copywriter, Robert L. May, to come up with a Christmas story they could give away to shoppers as a holiday promotion instead of the coloring books the company had been giving out for years. May, who considered names like “Rollo” and “Reginald” before landing on “Rudolph”, came up with the idea for the reindeer’s unique physiognomy when a think Lake Michigan fog rolled in and nearly obliterated the view out his office window. “Suddenly I had it!”, he wrote years later, “A nose! A bright red nose that would shine through fog like a spotlight!” That first year Montgomery Ward distributed 2.4 million copies of May’s story (which was written as a poem) to its customers. A decade later, May’s brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, adapted that story into the lyrics and melody for a Rudolph song. Singing cowboy, Gene Autry, recorded it in 1949, and the rest, as Rudolph’s fellow reindeer predicted is history!
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
|Billy May & His Orchestra||Capitol||2948|
|Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians||Decca||28410||81537|
|Eddie Howard & His Orchestra||Mercury||5360||2962|
|Spike Jones||RCA Victor||20-3934|
|Spike Jones & City Slickers||RCA Victor||20-4315||E0VB3743|
|Three Suns||RCA Victor||20-4887|