'Winter Wonderland' and the somber story of the man who composed it

The festive sounds of "Winter Wonderland" echoing across the air during the Christmas season become a bit more poignant after reading the story of the aspiring songwriter's untimely passing shortly after the first recording of the song. The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week by Clare Ansberry telling the tale of one Richard Smith, from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, who penned the lyrics to "Winter Wonderland" in 1934 while "being treated for tuberculosis" at a sanitarium in his hometown: While there, he entered contests, writing jingles and ads for companies.  "Winter Wonderland," some say, was inspired by seeing children play outside his window in the snow and remembering doing the same as a boy at Honesdale's Central Park across the street from his childhood home. Mr. Smith died the following year, just before his 34th birthday, and never saw the now classic carol make it to the top of the charts, where it remains...(Read Full Post)