Saturday, December 13, 2014


Until technological improvements cut down the necessary lead time, new Christmas songs and albums were usually written and recorded over the summer for a seasonal release.

What does "Mele Kalikimaha" mean in English?

We're decorating the Puzzle Corner Christmas tree here in The Free Choice E-zine offices, but something is off. Or is it?

We'll reveal all next weekend.
But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and reveal the results from the December 6, 2014 Puzzle Corner and our special quiz celebrating the milestones of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

01. When did Rudolph first appear, making 2014 a major anniversary milestone? In 1939, making 2014 the
75th anniversary of the character!

Early book cover
02. Although he has far outlasted the business, what retailer was Rudolph originally created for, and by whom? Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward. Legend has it the retailer was tired of giving out other company's coloring books as presents to customers' children and wanted a character of their own.
03. The classic song came AFTER the event covered in questions 1 and 2, but BEFORE the TV special. When was it written, allowing Rudolph to celebrate yet another milestone anniversary this year? 1949, making 2014 the tune's 65th anniversary!
04. Who wrote the Rudolph song, and who was the very first artist to record it?
Gene Autry first recorded the Johnny Marks song. Allegedly, Autry was one song short of completing his Christmas album, and his wife kept lobbying for "the baby reindeer song" to be included. Whether or not that's true, the rest is history.
Ad for Rudolph's debut
05. When did the TV special first air, making
2014 DVD cover
2014 yet another major anniversary for Rudolph?
On December 6, 1964, making 2014 Rudolph's 50th anniversary!
06. Everyone knows what network Rudolph has aired on since the early 1970s (here in the United States), but who originally debuted the special?
The NBC Television network, where it aired from 1964-1971. CBS has had it ever since. And as reported in last week's FUN FACT, Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman are the only animated Christmas specials to air annually since their debut.
07. Who are Rudolph's parents?
Mr. and Mrs. Donner, according to the TV special.
08. True or False: Sam the Snowman and Rudolph meet during the course of
the TV special.
FALSE! Their only meeting is staged on the CD cover to the show's soundtrack.
09. When shown with one, what is Sam the Snowman's musical instrument of choice? A banjo.
10. Besides the obvious edition of more commercials over the years, how has every showing of Rudolph on TV differed from the very first one?
The audience flooded NBC with protests that at the end of the special, Santa didn't keep his promise to collect the toys on Misfit Island and find them new homes. To correct the mistake, a new ending was created that has aired every year since 1965, but to make room, some dialogue and song reprises had to be cut. Most of those have returned over the years to some extent, but Yukon Cornelius' final scene of discovering a Peppermint Mine (instead of Silver and/or Gold) near Santa's Workshop and being set for life has NEVER aired on TV since 1964!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer images courtesy of Wikipedia's Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and company (c) whoever owns them now, since Montgomery Ward has been out of business since 2000.

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