Frosty the Snowman

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This article is about the song. For the 1969 animated TV special, see Frosty the Snowman (film).
"Frosty the Snowman"
Song by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys
Released December 14, 1950
Genre Christmas song
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Walter Rollins & Steve Nelson
A Little Golden Book storybook edition of the popular song (1950). The illustrator was Corinne Malvern.

"Frosty the Snowman" (or "Frosty the Snow Man") is a popular Christmas 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 by Rankin/Bass Productions (formerly known as Videocraft International), Frosty the Snowman. The ancillary rights to the Frosty the Snowman character are owned by Warner Bros.,[2] but due to the prominence of the TV special, merchandising of the character is generally licensed in tandem with that special's current owners, DreamWorks Classics.

Song[edit]

The song recounts the fictional tale of Frosty, a snowman who is brought to life through a magical 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.[3][4] The chorus is similar to the chorus of "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" (1932),[citation needed]

Charts[edit]

Gene Autry version
Chart (1950) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 7
Nat King Cole version
Chart (1950) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 9
Perry Como version
Chart (1957) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 74
Jan and Dean version
Chart (1963) Peak
position
US Pop Singles 11

Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971) Chart #1 Christmas Album

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
Whitney Wolanin version
Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[5] 13

Cover Versions[edit]

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, Rankin/Bass produced a twenty-five-minute television special, Frosty the Snowman, featuring animation by Japanese studio Mushi Production, and 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.[19] 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.

Movie connections[edit]

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

The family film Jack Frost features Michael Keaton's character performing the song at the start of the film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gene Autry, "Frosty the Snowman" Retrieved October 14, 2011
  2. ^ USPTO trademark database listing
  3. ^ Liebeskind, Ken (3 December 2011). "Armonk Celebrates Frosty Day Dec. 10". Armonk Daily Voice. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Weisler, Alex (5 December 2012). "Armonk to give Frosty a warm reception". The Journal News. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Whitney Wolanin – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Whitney Wolanin.
  6. ^ Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians. "Frosty the Snowman/If I Were Santa Claus" (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Single). Decca. 1950. https://www.discogs.com/Guy-Lombardo-And-His-Royal-Canadians-Frosty-The-Snowman-If-I-Were-Santa-Claus/release/5099875
  7. ^ Red Foley and The Little Foleys. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Shellac, 10", 78 RPM, Promo). Decca. 1950. https://www.discogs.com/Red-Foley-And-The-Little-Foleys-Shirley-Julie-And-Jenny-Rudolph-The-Red-Nosed-Reindeer/release/4123723
  8. ^ Jones, Spike. "Frosty The Snowman". YouTube: Salt & Pepper- It's Christmas Day. 9 December 2016. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DCdWMsgwrr8
  9. ^ Mitch Miller & The Gang. "Holiday Sing Along With Mitch" (Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono). Columbia. 1961. https://www.discogs.com/Mitch-Miller-And-The-Gang-Holiday-Sing-Along-With-Mitch/release/3153453
  10. ^ The Chipmunks. "Christmas with The Chipmunks Vol. 1". Allmusic/Delta Distribution. 1962. http://www.allmusic.com/song/frosty-the-snowman-mt0015017860
  11. ^ Lee, Brenda. "Frosty The Snowman". Second Hand Songs. 19 October 1964. https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/87659
  12. ^ Jimmy Durante Cover of Gene Autry's "Frosty The Snowman". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/471350/Jimmy-Durante-Frosty-the-Snowman-Gene-Autry-Frosty-the-Snow-Man/
  13. ^ "Cindy Brady". Discogs. https://www.discogs.com/artist/2577857-Cindy-Brady
  14. ^ The Brady Bunch. "Merry Christmas from The Brady Bunch (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Paramount Records. 1970. https://www.discogs.com/Brady-Bunch-Merry-Christmas-From-The-Brady-Bunch/release/3062187
  15. ^ Twitty, Conway. "Merry Twismas from Conway Twitty and his Little Friends (Vinyl, LP)". Warner Bros. Records. 1983. https://www.discogs.com/Conway-Twitty-Merry-Twismas-From-Conway-Twitty-And-His-Little-Friends/release/4366909
  16. ^ Leon Redbone and Dr. John Cover of Gene Autry's "Frosty The Snowman". http://www.whosampled.com/cover/16891/Leon-Redbone-Dr.-John-Frosty-the-Snowman-Gene-Autry-Frosty-the-Snow-Man/
  17. ^ The Four Freshmen. "Freshmas!" Ranwood Records. 1992. http://www.allmusic.com/album/freshmas!-mw0000091542
  18. ^ Charlie Daniels and his Band. "Merry Christmas to All". Audium Entertainment. 8 October 2002. http://www.allmusic.com/album/merry-christmas-to-all-mw0000660908
  19. ^ Frosty The Snowman at The Big Cartoon DataBase Retrieved 2012-11-16.

External links[edit]