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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Legend of Rudolph

Origin of the legend

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is the only addition to the Santa folklore in the twentieth century. In 1939, Robert May, an advertising copywriter for the Montgomery Ward Department Store in Chicago conceived the idea for a shiny nosed reindeer, a Santa’s helper to distribute to parents and children. An artist friend, Denver Gillen spent hours at a local zoo drawing whimsical sketches of reindeer at rest and play. After many names, May finally settled on naming the reindeer Rudolph, the preference of his four-year old daughter. That Christmas in 1939, 2.4 million copies of the Rudolph booklet were handed out at Montgomery Ward stores across the country.

Rudolph was reprinted as a Christmas booklet sporadically until 1947. That winter a friend of May’s, Johnny Marks, put the poem to music. One professional singer after the next declined the opportunity to record the song until 1949 when Gene Autry consented. The Autry recording rocketed to the top of the Hit Parade. Since then, 300 different recordings have been made and more than eighty million records sold. The original Autry hit is second only to Bing Crosby’s White Christmas as the best  selling record of all times.

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Sharon Donovan said...

I hope you enjoy this legend as much as I did. Merry Christmas!

Oliver said...

I'm serving drinks with a wink and a smile so belly up!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Sharon and Oliver

What a fun post -I've always been fond of Rudolph but have to confess I didn't know his origins.

Oh some mulled wine would be lovely Oliver, thank you. Cheers!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Oliver said...

A fine goblet of mulled wine it is Lyn my lovely, and a chocolate strawberry. Let me feed you, wink

Beth Caudill said...

I love Rudolph. I even have an old book version of Rudolph and Twas the night before Christmas.

My oldest says he's outgrown the cartoon specials but the youngest just had to watch when the special came on TV.

Oliver said...

Hello Beth dear, a nice toddie perhaps. Wink

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, dear friend, we do love our legends! I always find a little more lore with a little searching.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Beth, who doesn't love Rudolph. One is never to old. The legend lives on...

Mary Ricksen said...

You are something else my friend. Where do you get the inspiration!!! I'll just sit here Oliver and listen to Sharon tell us Christmas tales.
One hot chocolate please! Thanks, take care of Sharon...