Like many others of my generation, I associate Christmas with the Rankin/Bass stop motion animation specials--Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, The Little Drummer Boy (that always upset me) and of course, Rudolph! (Trivia fact: the Rankin/Bass team were also involved in the truly awesome 80s cartoon series: Thundercats).
Rudolph was first broadcast in 1964. Narrated by Burl Ives (noted folksinger a serious actor--he played Big Daddy on Broadway and in the film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.), it was based on the already written story of Rudolph (read the brief background here). The songs, "Silver and Gold" and "Holly Jolly Christmas" were written for this show and quickly became Christmas standards. They were written by Johnny Marks, about whom I've already written here.
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