There’s no doubt about it, we West Virginians are a talented group of people. Need proof? Look no further than Walter E. “Jack” Rollins.
The Keyser-born songwriter wrote “Frosty The Snowman” in 1950.
Born in Mineral County in 1906, Rollins moved to Pittsburgh when he turned 18 according to the West Virginia Encyclopedia. He would eventually move to New York City and write songs for Hill and Range Music Publishers.
In 1949, Rollins wrote the Easter classic, “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” with Steve Nelson providing the tune. Nelson would also provide the music a year later for Frosty.
The legendary Gene Autry and his Cass County Boys would be the first in a long line of artists to record the song.
Rollins also wrote the original “Smokey The Bear” jingle and several country songs for Gene Autry, Hank Snow, George Jones, and others.
He passed away in 1973 and is buried in Keyser. He was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2011.