Christmas Songs #5: Frosty the Snowman by Gene Autry (1947)

Number 5: Festive Christmas Songs
Good Housekeeping: Nov. 30, 2019

Frosty the Snowman 
Gene Autry  (1947)

Gene Autry is the performer behind this song and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," so it's a voice you've been attached to since you were a little kid. 

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"Frosty" was the creation of the songwriters Steve Edward Nelson and Walter "Jack" Rollins, where were looking for a seasonal follow-up to "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," which was a #1 hit the year before. 

Gene Autry

Unlike "Rudolph," which was based on a book written 10 years earlier, "Frosty" was an original story. Like "Rudolph," it was recorded by Gene Autry and also became a seasonal favorite.  

This makes the list of Christmas songs that aren't really about Christmas, joining the likes of "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" as songs that have lots of winter imagery, but no specific mention of the holiday.  

Frosty the Snowman 
Gene Autry



Frosty The Snowman
The Ronettes (1963)

The Ronettes recorded this for the 1963 album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. Spector produced the track using his "Wall Of Sound" technique and utilizing the session players who crafted many of the hits coming out of Los Angeles in the '60s. 

The Ronettes

The Ronettes also did versions of "Sleigh Ride" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" on the album. Phil Spector is Jewish, so according to Ronnie Spector, she picked the Christmas songs for The Ronettes, as that was a big holiday for her family. 

Many of these songs may have become Christmas classics, but unfortunately the album was released on November 22, 1963 - the same day US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The record, which Spector spent much of the summer of 1963 working on, didn't sell well as it was overshadowed by the news.

Frosty The Snowman
The Ronettes 



Frosty The Snowman
Jimmy Durante (1969)

In 1969, this song was made into an animated television film, Frosty The Snowman, featuring the voices of Jimmy Durante and Jackie Vernon. 

Jimmy Durante in Frosty the Snowman

Several sequels have subsequently been filmed. The Frosty The Snowman special was animated by the Rankin/Bass team, who also did the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special.

Frosty The Snowman
Jimmy Durante


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