CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – “Frosty the Snowman” has been a staple of the holidays ever since it was written back in 1950. However, the guy who helped make it had more than his fair share of hits that we listen to to this very day.
Born in Scottdale, Penn. on September 15, 1906, raised in Keyser, W.Va. and died on January 1, 1973, Walter E. “Jack” Rollins is most known as the guy who wrote the lyrics to “Frosty the Snowman,” “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and even “Smokey the Bear,” among other works.
When making these tracks, Rollins was assisted by his writing partner, Steve Nelson, who helped compose the songs.
According to the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, Rollins didn’t just write fun little characters, he co-wrote many country songs as well, including “the No. 1 hit ‘I Don’t Hurt Anymore’ for Hank Snow and ‘A Prison Without Walls,’ a Top 10 hit for Eddy Arnold.”
He also created songs that were recorded by Fred Astaire, Martina McBride, Dinah Washington, Henry Mancini, The Carpenters, Nat King Cole, Gene Autry, Rosemary Clooney, Willie Nelson, Anne Murray, Kenny G and 2008 West Virginia Music Hall of Fame inductee Frankie Yankovic.
Rollins himself was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2011, 38 years after his death. His grandson, James Busemeyer, accepted the award on his behalf.