December 6th: “Frosty the Snowman” Jimmy Durante

Frosty the Snowman” (or “Frosty the Snow Man“) is a popular Christmas song written by Waler “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autrie and the Cass County Boys in 1950 and later recorded by Jimmy Durante, releasing it as a single. It was written after the success of Autry’s recording of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Raindeer” 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, 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.

The song recounts the fictional tale of Frosty, a snowman who is brought to life by 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 1969 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.


 

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