Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song)
|"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"|
Picture sleeve of children's series 10" single released by Columbia Records (MJV-56)
|Single by Gene Autry & The Pinafores|
|B-side||"If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas"
"Here Comes Santa"
"Here Comes Santa Claus"
|Released||September 1, 1949|
|Recorded||June 27, 1949|
In 1939 Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May, created Rudolph as an assignment for Montgomery Ward and Marks decided to adapt the story of Rudolph into a song. Marks (1909–1985), was a radio producer who also wrote several other popular Christmas songs.
The song had an added introduction, stating the names of the eight reindeer which went:
"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 sung commercially by crooner Harry Brannon on New York City radio in early November 1949, before Gene Autry's recording hit No. 1 in the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949. 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 official date of its No. 1 status was for the week ending January 7, 1950, making it the first No. 1 song of the 1950s.
The song was also performed on the December 6, 1949, Fibber McGee and Molly radio broadcast by Teeny (Marion Jordan's little girl character) and The Kingsmen vocal group. The lyrics varied greatly from the Autry version.
Autry's recording sold 1.75 million copies its first Christmas season, eventually selling a total of 12.5 million. Cover versions included, sales exceed 150 million copies, second only to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".
Other notable recordings
- 1950: The song was recorded by Bing Crosby. His version reached No. 6 on Billboard magazine's Best Selling Children's Records chart and No. 14 on Billboard's pop singles chart that year.
- 1950: Spike Jones and his City Slickers released a version of the song that peaked at No. 7 on Billboard magazine's pop singles chart and No. 8 on Billboard's Best Selling Children's Records chart.
- 1951: Red Foley and The Little Foleys released a version of the song that peaked at No. 8 on Billboard magazine's Best Selling Children's Records chart.
- 1953: Billy May recorded a mambo version of the song titled "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo" with vocals by Alvin Stoller.
- 1957: The Cadillacs released a doo-wop version of the song that peaked at No. 11 on Billboard magazine's Rhythm & Blues Records chart.
- 1959: Ray Conniff recorded the song for his album, Christmas with Conniff, which was designed as a presentation for dancing.
- 1960: Alvin and the Chipmunks recorded a popular cover for their album Around the World with The Chipmunks. They would record the song again for their 1961 album Christmas with The Chipmunks and their 1994 album A Very Merry Chipmunk as a duet with Gene Autry.
- 1960: The Melodeers released a doo-wop version of the song that peaked at No. 72 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 singles chart.
- 1960: Paul Anka released a version of the song that peaked at No. 104 on Billboard magazine's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.
- 1963: The Crystals recorded the song for the rock 'n' roll holiday album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, which was produced by Phil Spector.
- 1964: Burl Ives recorded the song for the soundtrack of the holiday TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The soundtrack album containing Ives' version reached No. 142 on the Billboard 200 albums sales chart. He would re-record the song the following year for his holiday album Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.
- 1968: The Temptations released a version of the song that peaked at No. 12 on Billboard magazine's special, year-end, weekly Christmas Singles chart (this same version later got as high as No. 3 on the same chart in December 1971). Their version of the song was also included on the group's 1970 Christmas album, The Temptations Christmas Card.
- 1977: Filipino singer Rico J. Puno covered the song for his holiday album, Christmas.
- 1985: Ray Charles recorded the song for his holiday album The Spirit of Christmas.
- 1987: The California Raisins did a Motown pop-influenced rendition of the song for Will Vinton's A Claymation Christmas Celebration.
- 1989: The Simpsons performed the song during the end credits of their series' pilot episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".
- 1995: Mannheim Steamroller produced a techno-like synth-driven arrangement on their album Christmas in the Aire.
- 1996: Alan Jackson released a version of the song that peaked at No. 56 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
- 1996: The Wiggles recorded this song for their album, Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas. A year later, they sang it on their video, Wiggly Wiggly Christmas.
- 1996: Peach Hips, a group consisting of Kotono Mitsuishi, Aya Hisakawa, Rica Fukami, Emi Shinohara and Michie Tomizawa covered this song for a Christmas album coinciding with the fifth season of Sailor Moon.
- 2002: Jack Johnson recorded the song for a various artists holiday album released by Nettwerk Records and titled Maybe This Christmas (this same version was also released on the 2008 various artists holiday album, This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday Volume 1, which was released on Johnson's record label Brushfire Records).
- 2003: Chicago released a jazz-funk arrangement of the song for their album, What's It Gonna Be, Santa
- 2004: Destiny's Child included the song on a reissue of their 2001 holiday album, 8 Days of Christmas.
- 2004: Rugrats characters Susie Carmichael, and Kimi Finster performed a rock version of the song for their 2004 album Rugrats Holiday Classics.
- 2007: 1910 Fruitgum Company recorded the song for their Christmas album, Bubblegum Christmas.
- 2009: Barry Manilow included the song in the re-release of his third Christmas album, In the Swing of Christmas.
- 2012: Metalcore band August Burns Red recorded and released the song on their holiday album, August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin' Hill.
In popular culture
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
The lyric "All of the other reindeer" can be misheard in dialects with the cot–caught merger as the mondegreen "Olive, the other reindeer", and has given rise to another character featured in her own Christmas television special, Olive, the Other Reindeer. (Coincidentally, she mentions Rudolph by name to one of the reindeer, and the reindeer tells her Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer doesn't exist; it's all an urban legend.)
On the December 23, 2011, edition of WWE SmackDown, Booker T sang a capella the parody of the song, "Cody the Red-Nosed Reindeer", with a reference to Cody Rhodes, in order to cost Rhodes the match against Zack Ryder.
- ASCAP Work ID: 480058686 (ISWC: T0701273995)
- Kim, Wook (December 17, 2012). "Yule Laugh, Yule Cry: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Beloved Holiday Songs". Time. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014.
- Casey Kasem American Top 40 April 8, 1979
- Badger, Reid; Salem, James (December 22, 1996). "America's Holiday Sound– Distinctive artists". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News). Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- Jackson, Kenneth T. (August 15, 1998). The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Volume 1. Gale. p. 550. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
, while Autry's version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" sold more than 12.5 million copies
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 31. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
- Whitburn p. 43
- Whitburn p. 36
- Whitburn p. 25
- Whitburn p. 49
- Whitburn p. 18
- "'Burl Ives' Billboard 200". billboard.com.
- Whitburn p. 61
- Whitburn p. 42
- "Sword Art Online Volume 2, Chapter 4.".
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
- Reno erat Rudolphus, Sheet music in Latin with recorded Gregorian Chant
- Translation into Old English by Philip Chapman Bell
"Mule Train" by Frankie Laine
|U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
January 7, 1950 (Gene Autry)
"I Can Dream, Can't I" by The Andrews Sisters