Frosty the Snowman
|"Frosty the Snowman"|
|Song by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys|
|Released||December 14, 1950|
|Writer||Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson|
"Frosty the Snowman" (or "Frosty the Snow Man") 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. 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 Frosty the Snowman.
The song recounts the fictional tale of a snowman that is magically brought to life through a silk hat that a group of children find and place on his head. Although Frosty enjoys roaming throughout town with the children who constructed him, he runs afoul of a traffic cop and leaves town, promising he will be back again someday.
Although it is generally regarded as a Christmas song, the original lyrics make no mention of the holiday (some renditions, like that in the Rankin-Bass TV special, change the lyric "I'll be back again someday" to "I'll be back on Christmas Day"). The song supposedly takes place in White Plains, New York, or Armonk, New York; Armonk has a parade dedicated to Frosty annually. The part of the melody is similar to "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" (1932), as well as a musical routine in The Miss They Missed (1938).
|Gene Autry version|
|US Pop Singles||7|
|Nat King Cole version|
|US Pop Singles||9|
|Perry Como version|
|US Pop Singles||74|
|Jan and Dean version|
|US Pop Singles||11|
|Johnny Mathis version|
|US Adult Contemporary||29|
|Kimberley Locke version|
|US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||1|
|Canadian Adult Contemporary||40|
|Billboard Top AC Songs of 2008||46|
|Whitney Wolanin version|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||13|
Also recorded by: Guy Lombardo 1949/1952, Red Foley 1950, Spike Jones UNK, Mitch Miller 1961, The Chipmunks 1962, The Ronettes 1963, The Beach Boys 1964, Brenda Lee 1964, Jimmy Durante 1969 (on the animated TV cartoon special), The Brady Bunch 1970, Lynn Anderson 1971, Bing Crosby 1977, Conway Twitty 1983, George Strait 1986, Ella Fitzgerald 1988, Leon Redbone 1988, Four Freshmen 1992, Cocteau Twins 1993 Glen Campbell 1995, The Carpenters 1996, Jackson Five 2001, Harry Connick, Jr. 2003, The Charlie Daniels Band 2003, Loretta Lynn 2005, Michael Bublé 2012, LeAnn Rimes 2015
1954 short film
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
In 1969, the Rankin-Bass company, in association with Mushi Production of Japan, produced a twenty-five-minute animated television special, Frosty the Snowman, that featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as the narrator, Billy De Wolfe as Professor Hinkle and Jackie Vernon as Frosty. Paul Frees and June Foray both also voice characters including Karen and Santa Claus in this animated special produced and directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. 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 1992.
The Frosty character is owned by both DreamWorks Animation and Warner Bros. Television. The original TV special is part of the Videocraft library, which DreamWorks owns, while Warner owns the rights to the original song and some of the special's sequels.
- Gene Autry, "Frosty the Snowman" Retrieved October 14, 2011
- Liebeskind, Ken (3 December 2011). "Armonk Celebrates Frosty Day Dec. 10". Armonk Daily Voice. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- Weisler, Alex (5 December 2012). "Armonk to give Frosty a warm reception". The Journal News. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Whitney Wolanin – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Whitney Wolanin.
- "Frosty The Snowman". BCDB. 2012-11-16.
- on YouTube
- Lyrics to "Frosty The Snowman"
- Frosty The Snowman at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Book detailing Frosty's lively and long family tree