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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Related Artists: Gene Autry , Bing Crosby , Ella Fitzgerald

Have you ever wondered who wrote this song? Such a popular Christmas classic and recorded by many artists including Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has a place at every Christmas.

So, who is the mastermind behind the song? Johnny Marks, songwriter and brother-in-law of Robert Lewis May, the writer of the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The story introduced the idea of a ninth reindeer to lead the pack, with a red nose that lit up to light the way for Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.

The song was written in 1949 and was first sung by Harry Brannon on the New York City radio in November of the same year. But it was Gene Autry who had the first hit with the song to reach number one in the US.

At first, Autry had rejected the song as it was only going to be a B-side; however, his wife convinced him to record it. This month, the track has re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 and was at 36. Definitely a triumph after being recorded nearly 70 years ago. Thank goodness for Mrs Autry.

The original version of the song also had an introduction that paraphrased the poem, A Visit from Saint Nicholas. A special Christmas stop TV motion animation was also made in 1964 titled Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and aired on NBC in the US. Following this first debut and based largely on the original song, the animation has continued to air on CBS and become a Christmas staple in the US. Since 1964, the song has aired every year and is the longest continuously running Christmas TV special.

A fun fact about the song; the lyric, "All of the other reindeer", is often misheard as "Olive, the other reindeer" and led to the creation of another Christmas TV special, Olive, the Other Reindeer in 1999 starring no one other than Drew Barrymore.

Hope that gives you something to talk about during your Christmas gathering - Merry Christmas to all our readers!