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Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the Snowman®

How Frosty was Created

"Frosty the Snowman" was created in 1950 by songwriters Jack Nelson and Steve Rollins. Inspired by the success of the popular Christmas carol "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which had sold over 2 million records in 1949, Nelson and Rollins hoped to write another classic that could be loved by young and old. As they considered the success of "Rudolph," they laughingly recalled that three things were on their minds:

  • We could write something that stupid.
  • Those guys are making a fortune.
  • We want to make money, too.

Finding the Perfect Singer for "Frosty the Snowman"

After Nelson and Rollins finished "Frosty the Snowman," they approached legendary cowboy singer Gene Autry, who had the year before sung "Rudolph" and had made it famous. The songwriters now hoped that they could persuade Autry to record another song in that genre and produce another monster hit. By some accounts, Autry eagerly snatched up "Frosty the Snowman," hoping to duplicate his "Rudolph" success. By other accounts, he was initially skeptical. He balked at the offer and the songwriters had to become creative. In order to win Autry over, Nelson and Rollins offered him a two-song package deal-"Frosty the Snowman" to be followed up by the Easter song "Peter Cottontail." Whichever account you choose to believe, one thing is certain-- "Frosty the Snowman" became an enduring holiday hit.

"Frosty the Snowman"--A Vague History

There is very little known about how "Frosty the Snowman" came to be. The song was probably invented shortly after the first snowfall of 1949. During that winter of 1949/50, Nelson and Rollins had evidently considered ascribing human characteristics to all sorts of holiday icons. Finally they settled on the lovable snowman. They wove a catchy tune to their equally catchy lyrics, and by summer they were at the door of Gene Autry.

"Frosty the Snowman" Today

"Frosty the Snowman" is as popular today as he has ever been. You can find the delightful lyrics or adapted stories about Frosty in multiple recordings, translations, books and other products. Then, in 1969, as a major event in the song's history, "Frosty the Snowman" was created as an animated television production by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon, Paul Frees, and June Foray starred. Later, "Frosty the Snowman Returns" was created for television. In one media form of another, this "stupid" little song, as Nelson and Rollins had called it, has made its way into our hearts and has become an integral part of our holiday celebration.

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