Did you know you know that record labels used to release special commentary tracks to play along with 45s, much like the ones available on your modern DVDs? It’s true! This holiday season, Scratchbomb has transcribed some Yuletide examples of this bygone format and presents them to you now for your reading pleasure. Today, the commentary track for “Frosty the Snowman.”
WALTER “JACK” ROLLINS, COMPOSER: I’d always wanted to write a holiday song for kids that reflected my love of black magic. Then, one winter day I was walking down the street, and I saw some kids building a snowman that was way taller than them. The kids bit off a little more than they could chew, and the snowman’s head came rolling off and knocked one of the kids down. That inspired the vision of a terrifying snow golem who comes to life somehow and terrorizes the cops and citizens of his town.
GENE AUTRY, SINGER/ACTOR: Well sir, I’d been looking for a Christmas song to do after the big success of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” And if there’s anything I love better than Christmas, or ropin’ cattle and ridin’ across the lone prairie, it’s the dark arts. So I was definitely on board with Walter’s idea. There was just one problem–how exactly would this hoary demon come to life? We racked our puzzlers for days, it seemed, trying to figure this out.
ROLLINS: Then I thought, well, kids always put hats on top of their snowmen, right? What if the hat they found was enchanted? Or if it contained the soul of an ancient evildoer who could animate the snowman with the power of his deathless hatred?
AUTRY: And I said, “Mister, I think you just came up with a number one hit!” Now, some of the boys in the band weren’t too keen on the idea, being a little superstitious and all. So we toned down a few of the more explicit elements, like the goat horn solo and whatnot. But darn if I wasn’t right about the number one hit part! Billboard called it “the first hit single to explicitly invoke Satan!”