It's been a seasonal hit for almost 60 years, but the biggest hit in the history of Columbia Records almost didn't get made. It was 1949, Gene Autrey was hung over and the record company president was threatening to cancel the session. It was costing him money, and he thought it would be a waste of time anyway. Finally, after a couple of false starts, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was recorded on the third take. Rudolph took off. So did Autry and the producer. Hecky Krasnow's biography has now been written by his daughter, Judy Gail Krasnow and it's called Rudolph, Frosty and Captain Kangaroo.