Saturday, December 25, 2010
Everybody knows the story of Rudolph, the reindeer with the red nose, so I am not going to tell you that story. But I hope you will not be shocked if I tell you that Rudolph is not a real reindeer. He is what you call a fictional reindeer, which means that somebody dreamed him up. And the person who dreamed him up was named Robert L. May.
The reason Mr. May dreamed up Rudolph, which he did in 1939, was because a company called Montgomery Ward wanted to make a coloring book to give to kids at Christmas. Actually, they had been giving away coloring books for several years already, but they used to always have to buy the books from somebody else. And they decided it would be cheaper to make their own books.
Later on, Mr. May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, decided that the story of Rudolph should be a song, so he wrote some music for it. Mr. Marks was a radio producer, and he had studied music in Paris, so he knew how to do this kind of thing. The first person to sing the song on the radio was Harry Brannon, in 1948.
Bing Crosby recorded the song in 1950, and after that a whole bunch of other people recorded it, including Spike Jones, Red Foley, Dean Martin, The Chipmunks, Paul Anka, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Jackson 5.
Sometimes people dress their dogs up to look like Rudolph, which is just nuts. But you already know how I feel about dogs wearing costumes.
Anyway, have a merry Christmas, everybody! Or enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate!