Watching Hardrock, Coco, Joe, Suzy Snowflake and Frosty The Snowman on WGN-TV Channel 9 while growing up in Chicago.

suzy snowflake hardrock frosty
Here are photos of Suzy Snowflake, Hardrock, Coco, Joe, and Frosty The Snowman. The cartoons aired on WGN-TV Channel 9 for many years.

Now, will it be easy for me to begin to write a story about three animated cartoons that aired in Chicago during our favorite children’s shows on WGN-TV Channel 9 that were so bizarre, so spell-binding, that its songs were catchy and never left our minds ever? Absolutely! There no doubt about it.

The black and white animated cartoons I will write about are Hardrock, Coco, Joe, Suzy Snowflake and Frosty The Snowman. Hardrock, Coco, and Joe were first aired on December 18, 1956, on WGN-TV’s Garfield Goose and Friends, hosted by Frazier Thomas. It wasn’t the first TV station that aired the cartoon, it was WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1952. The cartoon was about three little dwarves who help Santa Claus at Christmas. Here is the chorus of the song that was repeated during the cartoon:

Oh-lee-o-lay-dee, o-lay-dee-I-ay Donner and Blitzen, away, away Oh-lee-o-lay-dee, o-lay-dee-I-oh!  I’m Hardrock! I’m Coco! I’m Joe! 

The next one is Suzy Snowflake. The song was written in 1951 was performed by Rosemary Clooney. The cartoon debuted in 1953 on Garfield Goose and Friends on WBBM-TV Channel 2. Here are the lyrics of the song, which is sung twice during the cartoon:

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow-white gown
Tap, tap, tappin’ at your windowpane
To tell you she’s in town
Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
Come out ev’ryone and play with me
I haven’t long to stay
If you want to make a snowman
I’ll help you make one, one, two, three
If you want to take a sleigh ride
Whee! The ride’s on me
Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin’ down
Bringing joy to ev’ry girl and boy
Suzy’s come to town.
The last one is Frosty The Snowman. This one debuted in 1955 in Chicago. I am not sure which show it made its debut. Most likely it was on Garfield Goose. The song was bouncy and jazzier than the other versions. A slight difference in the song is the verse, Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump is sung in the beginning and repeated many times in the song.
My first memory of watching cartoons was around in the late 60s when Garfield Goose & Friends aired on the afternoons on WGN-TV. It also aired on Bozo’s Circus during the holiday season. As I was growing up, the cartoons seemed to disappear from the airwaves, until I started going to comic book conventions and saw then on VHS bootlegs. I bought my first one in the early 90s, went home and watched the cartoons for the first time in years. The VHS tape had a lot of clips from TV kid shows that in Chicago from the early 50s to the mid-80s. The cartoons are on DVD now and on YouTube.
In 2005, Bozo, Gar and Ray TV special aired on WGN-TV for the first time. It showed clips of Ray Rayner, Garfield Goose, and Bozo’s Circus. The three cartoons are also included in the special. It’s has been airing twice every year during the holiday season ever since.
One memory stood out was when I was at Bogan High school and three guys in my class were singing the song from Hardrock, Coco, and Joe. One guy was singing, and the other two were swinging their heads. It was very funny watching these guys doing this.
These cartoons touched a nerve with everyone I know. They really weren’t high-quality animation, but it didn’t matter, they are classics. I can watch these anytime. I am hoping that kids today would appreciate watching these. We will see.
This ends my story. I just miss watching these cartoons on my old Motorola black and white TV set when I was little. It gives me and other people a warm and fuzzy feeling that is beautiful and makes us very happy. Thank you. Pete Kastanes-Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook page.

 

One thought on “Watching Hardrock, Coco, Joe, Suzy Snowflake and Frosty The Snowman on WGN-TV Channel 9 while growing up in Chicago.

  1. “Hardrock” and “Suzy” were ahead of their time: they were “stop action” animation, done by a man named Wah Ming Chang, according to Wikipedia (The Blogger’s Best Friend(TM)). Remember, this was in the days before computers, so they had to be filmed one frame at a time, which must have taken forever. “Frosty” was done by UPA, who also did “Mr. Magoo.” That’s probably my favorite version of the song. It really swings, doesn’t it? UPA did a cartoon for Easter of “Peter Cottontail” that you can find on YouTube, backed no doubt by the same quartet who did “Frosty.”

    I have some pretty strong memories of these three, which I wrote about here: https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com/2015/12/10/writers-workshop-a-christmas-memory/

    Great post, Pete!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.