Tuesday, December 3, 2013

K.A.C. 2013 - T - 22 ...

     Hop aboard the Reindeer Express! Continuing our thread from yesterday regarding Santa and his sleigh, today's trivia concerns that red-nosed rascal Rudolph! Everybody knows the Gene Autry song by heart (and if you don't, just turn on the radio and wait a few minutes - it is played ALL THE TIME during the Christmas season!), but do you know how the red-nosed rangifer tarandus originally came to be? Would you believe as a store ad? Sad, but true, as the following item from Time Lists tells us: 

     "Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. Frosty the Snowman and his famous corncob pipe couldn't escape the clutches of the advertising industry either; a whiskeymaker in 1890 used Frosty's likeness to showcase an entirely different kind of holiday cheer. Once Prohibition ended, the chain-smoking snowman quickly became the go-to guy for alcohol ads, appearing in posters for Miller beer, Jack Daniel's, Ballantine ale, Rheingold beer, Schlitz beer, Schenley, Oretel's lager beer, Chivas Regal scotch, Fort Pitt pale ale, Mount Whitney beer and Four Roses."

     Did you also know there were not one, but two sequels to Rudolph's story? In 1947, Robert May wrote Rudolph's Second Christmas, which went unpublished until 1991 when it appeared with the name change of Rudolph To the Rescue. In 1954, May wrote (and had published) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again.


And speaking of the Red-Nosed One, we once again turn to our friends at How Stuff Works to explain exactly HOW this whole 'glowing nose' effect is pulled off ... and WHY Rudy is the only one who has it!
Check it out!



     Join us again tomorrow as we explore another first, the earliest Christmas tree (along with some current photos of modern trees where people should have left well enough alone)!

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