Rudolph Goes Retro: 5 Versions of a Holiday Classic


Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.

Happy Holidays, folks! For this post I’ve decided to take one great Holiday song and showcase 5 different versions of it, with each version by a classic artist.

The song I chose is “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Why? Because it’s my Uncle Anthony’s favorite, and like many of us, he’s had a difficult year. So I thought I’d do this post as a tribute to him and his favorite Christmas Carol.

The story of Rudolph was actually created by song-writer Johnny Mark’s brother-in-law, Robert L. May, as a storybook for Montgomery Ward. Marks liked May’s story so much, he adapted it into what has become one of the most classic Christmas songs of all time.

Here now are 5 retro versions of the Holiday favorite “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”!

1. Gene Autry (1950 & 1957)

Gene Autry actually made TWO recordings of Rudolph’s song. The first in 1949 (which is considered the original hit) and then again in 1957.

2. Dean Martin (1959)

In 1959, Dino (that is, Dean Martin, the King of Cool) did his version of “Rudolph”, which of course, is a true Holiday treat.

3. Harry Babbitt (1950)

This version by Harry Babbitt can be found on “Vintage Christmas” which is a great compilation of Holiday songs from the 40’s and 50’s by Past Perfect Records.

4. Perry Como (1953)

Here’s a favorite of my immediate family’s. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Perry Como!

5. Paul Anka (1961)

He went from teen heartthrob to Living Legend without missing a beat. Everyone loves Paul Anka! Here’s his upbeat, Big Band version of “Rudolph” from 1961.

Well, wasn’t that a delight! I hope you enjoyed these classic versions of a most beloved Christmas Carol. 🦌

You can follow Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era ever here on WordPress. You can also follow Retro Dee on on Twitter @RealRetroDee and Instagram @mariepascal82

Only a few days remain until we announce results in our ninth annual Grooveyard Great 88 survey.   We’ll count down the 88 songs during a special five-hour edition of “The Grooveyard”  this Saturday, December 26th starting at 7 PM.  The dozen songs that missed the survey posted daily now through then during our “12  Days of Greats”.  Check out the full holiday schedule here.

Listen to “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM on 88.1 FM on Long Island or by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org, via the TuneIn app. or the  WCWP app on your iPhone or Android device.  You can also follow us on Twitter. and on the Facebook groups for the show and WCWP.

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