1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Gene Autry - Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings Recorded by Gene Autry in the 1940s and 1950s (CD released in 2004 on Varese Sarabande)
The 26 tracks on this CD include "Frosty the Snowman", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", 2 versions of "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane), "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "Where Did My Snowman Go", "Up On the House-Top(Ho, Ho, Ho)", and "The Night Before Christmas Song" duet with Rosemary Clooney. Steven Nelson & Jack Rollins had already created the Easter character Peter Cottontail
before they imagined Frosty’s hat, corncob pipe, and button nose. Nat
King Cole, Jimmy Durante, and others recorded versions of "Frosty the Snowman", but cowboy
movie star Gene Autry’s was the million-seller in 1950. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
was born as a promotion gimmick for Montgomery Ward department stores.
Copywriter Robert May wrote the original poem and along with his
brother-in-law, veteran composer Johnny Marks, they came up with the
jaunty, jingle-like tune. Gene Autry’s 1949 version is the second
biggest-selling record after Bing Crosby’s "White Christmas". Another
Christmas song that contributed to Gene Autry’s fame "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)" was written by
‘The Singing Cowboy’ himself. This was his and Oakley Haldeman’s salute
to the holiday season and Santa Claus in 1947. This collection includes both his 1947 version of "Here Comes Santa Claus" where he etched his own folksy, down-home pronunciation of 'Sanny Claus' in our minds, as well as his 1953 version of the song.