Godfather of most beloved Christmas songs

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Johnny Marks


"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" a hit for over 60 years

Johnny Marks was born in Mt. Vernon, New York on November 10, 1909. After graduation from Colgate University and Columbia University, Marks studied in Paris. He served during World War II as a Captain in the 26th Special Service Company where he received a Bronze Star and 4 Battle Stars for his service.

In 1949, Marks formed St. Nicholas Music. His wealthy catalog includes stellar contemporary Christmas carols most notably “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. The song was based on a poem by the same name, written by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May.

Other highlights in the Marks catalog include “Don’t Cross You Fingers, Cross Your Heart”, “Address Unknown”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, “We Speak of You Often”, “She’ll Always Remember”, “What’ve You Got to Lose But Your Heart”, “A Merry Merry Christmas”, “The Night before Christmas Song”, “Everyone’s a Child at Christmas”, “Summer Holiday”, “Neglected”, “Who Calls?”, “Happy New Year, Darling”, “When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter”, “I Guess There’s an End to Everything”, “How Long Is Forever”, “Free”, “Chicken Today and Feathers Tomorrow”, “A Holly Jolly Christmas”, “Silver and Gold”, “There’s Always Tomorrow”, “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” and “Jingle, Jingle, Jingle”.

Marks also served as the director of the Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) from 1957 through 1961.

Johnny Marks died September 3, 1985.

Decorated WWII Vet with Bronze Star and four Battle Stars