Frosty the Snowman is a fictional symbol of winter wonder and holiday cheer. Like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
, Frosty the Snowman got his start in a popular song. Written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, "Frosty the Snowman" was recorded by country singer Gene Autry
in 1950 and then again the same year by comedian Jimmy Durante
and crooner Nat King Cole
. (Autry had also recorded "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in 1949.) According to the song, Frosty is a "a jolly happy soul" who comes to life when a magical "old silk hat" is placed on his head. He leads the local children on a merry chase through town before disappearing, saying "don't you cry, I'll be back again some day." The character took hold immediately, with Dell Comics and Little Golden Books releasing Frosty stories in 1951. The jolly critter got a bigger boost in 1969, when CBS TV broadcast an animated Frosty The Snowman
special created by Rankin/Bass Productions (the same outfit that produced the hit Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
TV special in 1964). Jimmy Durante narrated the show in what became one of his last performances. The Frosty
TV show was replayed every year for decades, and with the song in regular rotation on December playlists, Frosty the Showman has become firmly ensconced as a "holiday favorite."