The Story Behind The Song: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

8:12 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- If you're still looking for something to put under the tree for your little ones this year, consider writing them a story or poem.

Bob May did it.

You may not recognize his name. He was a copywriter for the Montgomery Ward store in Chicago in the '30's. He was lucky to have a job during the depression, but money was tight. So, as a gift, he wrote a story with his daughter in mind.

He gave that story to his bosses at the store. They were delighted with it because in previous years Montgomery Ward gave coloring books to children who came to see Santa at the store.

In 1939, the store gave kids the poem booklets created by Bob May. It was a huge success for the store.

But the poem booklets didn't print during World War II because of a paper shortage. But they were back in 1946.

In an amazing gesture, Montgomery Ward turned over ownership of the copyrights to Bob May. Bob's brother-in-law set the poem to music.

Turns out in 1949 the only popular singer willing to record the poem turned song was a cowboy actor and crooner named Gene Autry.

"Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" is the second best-selling secular christmas song of all time. White Christmas is the first.







WFMY News 2

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