In 1939 Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May, created the character Rudolph as an assignment for Montgomery Ward, and Marks decided to adapt the story of Rudolph into a song. The song had an added introduction, paraphrasing the poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (public domain by the time the song was written), stating the names of the eight reindeer.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a song written by Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Gene Autry's recording hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949.