Walter E. “Jack” Rollins was born September 15, 1906 in West Virginia.
Jack grew up to become a songwriter teamed up with Steve Nelson.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
The name Peter Cottontail comes from a series of books by Thornton W. Burgess.
In 1949, the songwriting duoof Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson wrote “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.”
Due to the immense popularity of Gene Autry’s Christmas songs “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson asked Autry to record their song. His version of the song peaked at number 3 on the U.S Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It is often regarded as one of the most popular Easter songs of all time, and often features on TV commercials around the Easter period.
Frosty the Snowman
Then in search of another seasonal hit, the duo wrote “Frosty the Snowman” in 1950. They also asked Autry to record the song and along with the Cass County Boys, Gene Autry recorded the song.
Frosty was subsequently adapted to other media including a popular television special.
The song supposedly takes place in White Plains, New York, or Armonk, New York.
Today, Armonk has an annual parade dedicated to Frosty.
The songwriters also wrote “The Wedding Samba” in 1950.
In 1954, Jack co-wrote with Don Robertson the country number one hit song “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” recorded by Hank Snow. The song spent 20 weeks at the top spot and a total of 41 weeks on the chart.
Jack Rollins went on to write the “Smokey the Bear” song for the public-service mascot.
Jack Rollins died January 1, 1973, and is buried in Queens Point Memorial Cemetery in Keyser, West Virginia.
Now WE know em