Competing with the likes of Detroit and Ann Arbor, Jackson won the battle to build Michigan's first state prison in 1838. During the era of the "Big House" and industrial growth, the penitentiary's on-site factories and cheap inmate labor helped Jackson become a thriving manufacturing city. In contrast to Jacktown's beautiful Greco-Roman exterior, medieval punishments, a strict code of silence, no heat, no electricity and a lack of plumbing defined life on the inside. Author Judy Gail Krasnow shares the incredible stories of life at Jacktown, replete with sadistic wardens, crafty escapees, Prohibition's Purple Gang, a chaplain who ran a brothel and influential reformers.
Rudolph, Frosty, and Captain Kangaroo is a memoir by Judy Gail Krasnow about her father, Hecky Krasnow, the producer of such classic children’s records and holiday tunes as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas,” “Peter Cottontail,” “Suzy Snowflake,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “The Captain Kangaroo March,” “Smokey the Bear,” “Davy Crockett,” “Little Red Monkey,” and “The Little Engine That Could.”
The book includes remembrances of Hecky Krasnow’s working relationships with such legendary artists as Gene Autry, Rosemary Clooney, Dinah Shore, Nina Simone, Art Carney, José Ferrer, Burl Ives, Arthur Godfrey, and Captain Kangaroo. In addition to his profound influence on the children’s record industry—an enormous business during the mid-twentieth century—Hecky also produced, wrote, or engineered such adult fare as Rosemary Clooney’s “Come On-a My House” and “Me and My Teddy Bear”; Nina Simone’s classic album The Amazing Nina Simone; and the landmark Chad Mitchell Trio debut, The Chad Mitchell Trio Arrives!
Set against the dramatic backdrop of McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the birth of television and rock and roll, Rudolph, Frosty, and Captain Kangaroo is rich in anecdotes about the politics and history of the era, the stars Hecky produced, and an array of talented composers and conductors with whom Hecky collaborated, including Mitch Miller, Johnny Marks, Percy Faith, J. Fred Coots, Tommy Johnson, Sir Thomas Beecham, Rudolph Goehr, André Kostelanetz, and Arthur Fiedler.