Run Rudolph Run

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"Run, Rudolph, Run"
B-side to "Merry Christmas, Baby" by Chuck Berry
Published St. Nicholas Music
Released 1958
Genre Rock and roll
Label Chess 1714
Writer

"Run Rudolph Run" is a Christmas song popularized by Chuck Berry, written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie and published by St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP). The song was first recorded by Berry in 1958 and released as a single on Chess Records (label no. 1714). It has since been covered by numerous other artists, sometimes under the title "Run, Run, Rudolph".[1] The song is a 12-bar blues, and has a clear musical parallel to Chuck Berry's very popular and recognizable song "Johnny B. Goode", and is also melodically identical to Berry's "Little Queenie", released in 1959.

History[edit]

The song was written by Johnny Marks—the writer of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"—and Marvin Brodie, but on Chuck Berry's 1958 45 rpm single, writing credits are "C. Berry Music - M. Brodie". The song was subsequently officially always listed as written by Marks and Brodie and published by Marks's St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP). All cover versions of the song show the composers as Marks and Brodie and the publisher as St. Nicholas Music.

Covers[edit]

This song was covered by recording artist Whitney Wolanin in 2013. Her recording reached the highest chart position of all versions on Billboard, at #2, with Whitney starring in an HD parody music film with the song about the original film A Christmas Story at the Christmas Story House.

It has been covered by other artists including Emily Osment, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sister Hazel, Billy Ray Cyrus, Five Easy Pieces, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Dave Edmunds, Hanson, Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, Lulu, Click Five, The Grateful Dead, Keith Richards, Brinsley Schwarz, Jimmy Buffett, Foghat, Paul Brandt, Whitney Wolanin, Kelly Clarkson, The Tractors, Dwight Yoakam, Reverend Horton Heat, Hanoi Rocks, Billy Idol, Cee Lo Green, Luke Bryan, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Joe Perry, Los Lonely Boys, Jane Krakowski, the cast of Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet, The Yobs, Vincent Martella (as his character, Phineas Flynn, from Phineas and Ferb), The Muppets' band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem as well as a one-off supergroup consisting of Lemmy Kilmister, Billy Gibbons, and Dave Grohl for the 2008 album We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year.

Conan O'Brien and his house band, Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, played the song to close a show in December, 2010 (view on YouTube).

Chart performance[edit]

Chuck Berry's original 1958 recording peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1958. Berry's version also made the 1963 UK list, peaking at number 36. In 2013 Whitney Wolanin released a version of the song that reached number 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The only other recordings that charted in the U.S. were by country music artists Luke Bryan, whose 2008 rendition peaked at number 42 on the Hot Country Songs charts, and Justin Moore, whose 2011 version peaked at number 58 on the Hot Country Songs charts.

Chuck Berry[edit]

Chart (1958) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 69
Chart (1963) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 36

Whitney Wolanin[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[2] 2


Luke Bryan[edit]

Chart (2008–09) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 42

Justin Moore[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 58

In the media[edit]

"Run Rudolph Run" has been played in many movies, including:

References[edit]

External links[edit]