February 5, 2023

Regardless of being a reputation unknown to many, Johnny Marks is the person behind loads of widespread vacation hits we nonetheless bop alongside to at this time. From Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Across the Christmas Tree” to Burl Ives’s “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold,” Marks made a reputation for himself as a songwriter throughout the music business, and his seasonal tracks have since embedded themselves in our Christmas tradition.

Although Marks’ catalog of songs is pretty in depth, it’s his aptitude for the festive which has confirmed noteworthy through the years. Particularly, some of the fascinating quirks of Marks’ profession is his involvement in popularizing the vacation traditional “Rudolph the Crimson-Nosed Reindeer.”

Johnny Marks & Rudolph

The music everyone knows and love was initially only a poem, and it was Johnny Marks’ personal brother-in-law, Robert L. Could, who created the now-famous reindeer again in 1939. Because the poem was initially written for retailer Montgomery Ward, the rights weren’t initially Could’s to personal. Fortunately, the pinnacle of the corporate, Sewell Avery, selected to provide Could the rights within the mid-Nineteen Forties.

Marks is then stated to have seen the potential within the character and the thought his brother-in-law had created, so he determined to place it to music. In 1949, Gene Autry’s recording of the music made it to No. 1 on the U.S. charts, and the idea was later tailored into its personal tv particular in 1964 by Rankin/Bass.

Marks remained concerned and soundtracked the TV particular, creating but extra festive songs so as to add to his catalog within the course of. Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” can be partially credited to Marks as a result of well-known reindeer’s inclusion, associating the author with one more traditional seasonal observe. Who knew one man may have such affect over the vacations?

As “Rudolph the Crimson-Nosed Reindeer” begins to make appearances on vacation playlists across the nation this 12 months, be sure you give Johnny Marks and Robert L. Could a shoutout — you’ll be the speak of the tinsel-draped water cooler. To present the music (and loads of different Christmas hits, whether or not penned by Marks or not) a hear, tune in to Vacation Traditions (Ch. 71).


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