Friday Factoid: Johnny Marks

What’s this? What’s this? There’s music in the air…

This year’s holiday show will feature a number of songs from Christmas cartoons and movies. One of the most prolific of these Christmas songwriters is Johnny Marks. Marks is famous for the classics “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold,” and “Run Rudolph Run” (a couple of which we will be singing). However, less well known about Marks is the fact that his brother-in-law, Robert L. May, was the creator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, having published his Rudolph poem with the Montgomery Ward department store in 1939. In addition to Christmas songwriting, Marks served in the 26th Special Services during World War II, the entertainment sector of the U.S. Military, as well as serving as the director of ASCAP from 1957-1961. Perhaps most unusual about Marks’s ultimate career path is that he was Jewish.