Run Rudolph Run

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"Run Rudolph Run"
Single by Chuck Berry
A-side" Merry Christmas Baby"
Released1958
Recorded19 November 1958
Studio Chess (Chicago) [1]
Genre Christmas,
rock and roll
Length2:37
Label Chess 1714
Songwriter(s)
  • Chuck Berry Music (credited on original single label)
  • Johnny Marks (subsequent)
  • Marvin Brodie
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Phil Chess

"Run Rudolph Run" [2] [3] [4] is a Christmas song written by Chuck Berry but credited to Johnny Marks and M. Brodie due to Marks' trademark on the character of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. [5] [note 1] It was published by St. Nicholas Music ( ASCAP) and was first recorded by Berry in 1958, released as a single on Chess Records. [15]

It has since been covered by numerous other artists, sometimes with the title "Run Run Rudolph". [16] The song is a 12-bar blues, musically similar to Berry's very popular and recognizable song " Johnny B. Goode", and melodically similar to his song " Little Queenie", the latter of which was released shortly after, in 1959.

History

Chuck Berry reported that he wrote the song himself, but then discovered that the name Rudolph was trademarked by Johnny Marks. Marks sued and consequently was given songwriting credit although he "had nothing to do with the song." Berry also said that M. Brodie does not exist, but was a pseudonym created as "a scheme to make more money for Marks and his publisher." [17] Berry's 1958 45-rpm single gives writing credits to "C. Berry Music – M. Brodie". All subsequent cover versions of the song are credited to Marks and Brodie, as published by Marks's St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP). [10]

The song's dialogue between Santa and the children references popular toys of the 1950s:

Said Santa to a boy child "What have you been longing for?"
"All I want for Christmas is a rock and roll electric guitar"
And then away went Rudolph a-whizzing like a Shooting Star

Said Santa to a girl child "What would please you most to get?"
"A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, drink and wet"
And then away went Rudolph a-whizzing like a Sabre jet. [18]

Cover versions

This song was covered by singer Whitney Wolanin in 2013. Her recording reached the highest chart position of all versions on Billboard, reaching number two on its Adult Contemporary chart. Wolanin starred in a parody music film with the song about the original film A Christmas Story at the Christmas Story House.

It has been covered by other artists including [19] Straight No Chaser, the Ethical Debating Society, Slaughter & the Dogs, L.A. Guns, Mojo Nixon, Emily Osment, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Southern Pacific, Sister Hazel, Billy Ray Cyrus, Foo Fighters, Five Easy Pieces, Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, Dave Edmunds, Hanson, Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, Lulu, Click Five, the Grateful Dead, Keith Richards (on his first solo single), Brinsley Schwarz, Jimmy Buffett, Foghat, Paul Brandt, Whitney Wolanin, Kelly Clarkson, the Tractors, Dwight Yoakam, Reverend Horton Heat, Hanoi Rocks, Billy Idol, Cee Lo Green, Luke Bryan, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Joe Perry, Los Lonely Boys, Jane Krakowski, the cast of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, the Yobs, Vincent Martella (as the character Phineas Flynn, from Phineas and Ferb), the Muppets' band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and a one-off supergroup consisting of Lemmy Kilmister, Billy Gibbons, and Dave Grohl for the 2008 album We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year. It was also covered by Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry for his 2014 EP Joe Perry's Merry Christmas by and Sara Evans on her 2014 album Sara Evans: At Christmas. Cheap Trick released it on their Christmas Christmas CD release in 2017.

Conan O'Brien and his house band, Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, played the song to close a show in December 2010. [20]

Chart performance

Berry's 1958 recording peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1958 during its initial chart run. [21] Sixty years later, the single re-entered the Hot 100 chart at number 45 (on the week ending January 5, 2019), reaching an overall peak position of number 10 on the week ending January 2, 2021, following its third chart re-entry, becoming Berry's third top-ten hit and his first since 1972's " My Ding-a-Ling". In doing so, it broke the record for the longest climb to the top 10 since its first entry in December 1958, at 62 years and two weeks. [22] [23]

Berry's original version first made the UK Singles Chart on the week ending Christmas Day 1963, peaking at number 36 two weeks later (with the song's title misspelled as "Run Rudolf Run"). [24]

In 2013 Whitney Wolanin released a version of the song that reached number two on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The only other recordings that charted in the U.S. were by the country music artists Luke Bryan, whose 2008 rendition peaked at number 42 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and Justin Moore, whose 2011 version peaked at number 58 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Chuck Berry

Chart (1958) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100 [25] 69
Chart (2018–2022) Peak
position
Australia ( ARIA) [26] 37
Global 200 ( Billboard) [27] 22
Canada ( Canadian Hot 100) [28] 32
Ireland ( IRMA) [29] 48
Lithuania ( AGATA) [30] 63
Portugal ( AFP) [31] 129
Slovakia ( Rádio Top 100) [32] 78
Switzerland ( Schweizer Hitparade) [33] 60
UK Singles ( OCC) [34] 36
US Billboard Hot 100 [35] 10
US Holiday 100 ( Billboard) [36] 9
US Rolling Stone Top 100 [37] 5

Whitney Wolanin

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Adult Contemporary ( Billboard) [38] 2

Luke Bryan

Chart (2008–09) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [39] 42

Justin Moore

Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [40] 58

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom ( BPI) [41] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States ( RIAA) [42] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Notes

  1. ^ There is some debate about authorship. [6] [7] The original record credited authorship to Berry's music company (Chuck Berry Music, Inc.) and Brodie. [3] Only in subsequent releases did the writing credits go to Marks and Brodie [2] (and even then, this was not always the case, as multiple later releases by the label credited the song simply to Berry [8] [7] Marks was the songwriter of the thematically similar, but musically different, song " Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer". [9] All cover versions of "Run Rudolph Run" by other artists have since credited the song to Marks and Brodie (as published by Marks's St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP)). [10] Berry's song " Little Queenie" - recorded during the same session as "Run Rudolph Run", and which was musically similar to, but lyrically different than, "Run Rudolph Run" [7] - was released shortly after "Run Rudolph Run", in 1959. In it, the song never listed Marks or Brodie as a songwriter, [10] only Berry's music company [11] [12] or Berry himself. [13] [14] [7]

References

  1. ^ "The Chuck Berry Database: Details For Recording Session: 19. 11. 1958". A Collector's Guide to the Music of Chuck Berry. Dietmar Rudolph. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Chuck Berry - Run Rudolph Run". Allmusic.com. AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Run Rudolph Run
  3. ^ a b "Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run / Merry Christmas Baby". Discogs.com. Discogs®. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
  4. ^ "Run Rudolph Run (Single Version)". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Run Rudolph Run
  5. ^ "140-Run!-Rudolph,-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-and-the-copyright-mystery". Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Run Rudolph Run". Songfacts.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. ...Rudolph is copyrighted, and Berry had to give the publishing rights to Johnny Marks, who wrote the original Rudolph. Perhaps if Berry had used "Randolph" (another reindeer he mentions), he could have kept the publishing. That's what the makers of the British TV special Robbie the Reindeer did.
  7. ^ a b c d Rudolph, Dietmar (18 December 2013). "Run! Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – and the copyright mystery". Crlf.de. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vo. 2 Disc 1". Chess. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Run Rudolph Run (Chuck Berry)
  9. ^ "GeneAutry.com: Music, Movies & More - The Essential Gene Autry, 1931-1953". www.Autry.com. Archived from the original on 2018-12-05. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "ACE Repertory - JOHNNY MARKS". Ascap.com. Retrieved 11 December 2019. (ASCAP's complete catalogue listing for Johnny Marks. "Run Rudolph Run" is listed. "Little Queenie" is not.)
  11. ^ "Chuck Berry – Little Queenie (image)". Discogs.com. Discogs®. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Chuck Berry – Little Queenie". Discogs.com. Discogs®. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Chuck Berry - Little Queenie". Allmusic.com. AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Archived from the original on 30 August 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Little Queenie - Composed by Chuck Berry
  14. ^ "Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vol. 2 Disc 3". Chess. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Little Queenie (Chuck Berry)
  15. ^ Chess Records no. 1714
  16. ^ "Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again". Discogs.com. Discogs®. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2019. [Lynyrd Skynyrd Track 6:] Run Run Rudolph
  17. ^ "140-Run!-Rudolph,-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-and-the-copyright-mystery". Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Lyrics for Chuck Berry - Run Rudolph Run - Santa Radio". www.santaradio.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Run Rudolph Run". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  20. ^ "Conan O'Brien - Run, Run, Rudolph". 2008-12-22. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-24 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN  0-89820-161-6.
  22. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Mariah Carey's 'Christmas' Back Atop Hot 100, As Dean Martin, Wham! & Chuck Berry Hit Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-12-28.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Results Matching: Run Rudolf Run". Official Charts.
  25. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. January 3, 2022. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  27. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  28. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  29. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  30. ^ "2021 52-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. December 31, 2021. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  31. ^ " Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  32. ^ " ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 20185152 into search. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  33. ^ " Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  35. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  36. ^ "Chuck Berry Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 31, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  38. ^ "Whitney Wolanin Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  39. ^ "Luke Bryan Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Justin Moore Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  42. ^ "American single certifications – Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 18, 2020.

External links