Frosty the Snowman

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"Frosty the Snowman"
Song by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys
Released December 14, 1950
Genre Christmas song
Label Columbia Records
Writer Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson
A Little Golden Book storybook edition of the popular song (1950). The illustrator was Corinne Malvern.

"Frosty the Snowman" is a popular song written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950.[1] It was written after the success of Autry's recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the previous year; Rollins and Nelson shipped the new song to Autry, who recorded "Frosty" in search of another seasonal hit. Like "Rudolph", "Frosty" was subsequently adapted to other media including a popular television special. The song was originally titled "Frosty the Snow Man". The song supposedly takes place in White Plains, New York, or Armonk, New York. Armonk has a parade dedicated to Frosty annually.[2][3]

Song[edit]

The song recounts the fictional tale of a snowman that is magically brought to life through a top hat that a group of children place on his head. Although Frosty enjoys roaming throughout town with the children who constructed him, the sun becomes too much for him to bear and Frosty is forced to leave town, promising he will be back again someday.

Charts[edit]

Gene Autry version
Chart (1950) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 7
Perry Como version
Chart (1957) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 74
Jan and Dean version
Chart (1963) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 11
Johnny Mathis version
Chart (2003) Peak
position
US Adult Contemporary 29
Kimberley Locke version
Chart (2007) Peak
position
US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian Adult Contemporary 40
Billboard Top AC Songs of 2008 46

Book[edit]

In 1950, Little Golden Books published Frosty the Snow Man as a children's book, adapted by Annie North Bedford and illustrated by Corinne Malvern.

1954 short film[edit]

In 1954, the UPA studio brought "Frosty" to life in a three-minute animated short which appears regularly on WGN-TV. This production included a bouncy, jazzy a cappella version of the song and a limited animation style reminiscent of UPA's Gerald McBoing-Boing. The short, filmed entirely in black-and-white, has been a perennial WGN-TV Christmas classic, and was broadcast on December 24 and 25, 1955, and every year since, as part of a WGN-TV children's programming retrospective, along with their two other short Christmas classics, "Suzy Snowflake" and "Hardrock, Coco and Joe." The short had previously been telecast annually on WGN's The Bozo Show, along with its two other companion cartoons. The three cartoons are also a tradition on WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which not only broadcasts the cartoons on their station, but also makes them available on their website.

1969 Rankin-Bass television special[edit]

In 1969, the Rankin-Bass company, in association with Mushi Production of Japan, produced a thirty-minute animated television special of Frosty the Snowman that featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and Jackie Vernon as the title character. Paul Frees and June Foray both also voice characters in this animated special directed and written by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass.[4] This was a story based on the discovery of Frosty the Snowman. Three sequels were produced, Frosty's Winter Wonderland (based upon the song "Winter Wonderland") in 1976, in which Frosty got married, and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July in 1979, followed by The Legend of Frosty the Snowman in 2005. CBS' own spiritual sequel, Frosty Returns, was broadcast in 1995.

Character ownership[edit]

The Frosty character is owned by both Warner Bros. Television and DreamWorks Animation, because WB owns the rights to the original song and some of this special's sequels, and DreamWorks owns the classic Rankin/Bass library which the original special is a part of.

Movie connections[edit]

The version performed by The Ronettes is featured in the film Goodfellas, after the Lufthansa heist scene.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gene Autry, "Frosty the Snowman" Retrieved October 14, 2011
  2. ^ Liebeskind, Ken (3 December 2011). "Armonk Celebrates Frosty Day Dec. 10". Armonk Daily Voice. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Weisler, Alex (5 December 2012). "Armonk to give Frosty a warm reception". The Journal News. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Frosty The Snowman @ BCDB". BCDB. 2012-11-16. 

External links[edit]