Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Inside the National Recording Registry
Friday, December 14, 2012
The soundtrack of the holidays is lousy with annoying songs about sleigh rides and snowmen, and beautiful old carols done up as treacly as possible. One of the saving graces this time of year is the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, written by Vince Guaraldi.
Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” theme became identified forever with the Peanuts gang and their creator, Charles Schulz. Schulz described how Guaraldi "had captured something about the lilting quality of the kids,” remembers Jean Schulz, his widow. “The way they walk and bounce a little bit — he captured that in his music.” The theme is one of the most familiar pieces in jazz, though its composer, who died in his 40s, was never widely known outside the West Coast jazz scene.
A Charlie Brown Christmas was chosen for preservation in 2012 in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Its story is told by Jean Schulz; Jerry Granelli, the drummer who played with Guaraldi; and Lee Mendelsohn, the producer who worked closely with Schulz on the Christmas special and later Peanuts programs.
More Peanuts on Studio 360:
Kurt talks with Charles Schulz’s biographer David Michaelis about how America’s most beloved comic strip made “depressed” a household word.
Victoria de Puy and her daughter Geraldine read Peanuts in Panama City, and the comic strip taught them about the United States — but were there really so many leaves to rake?
Read Peanuts cartoons from the 1950s and '60s.
Grandma Got Run Over by a ReindeerArtist: The Irish RoversAlbum: Songs of ChristmasLabel: Rover Records
Linus and LucyArtist: Vince Guaraldi TrioAlbum: A Charlie Brown ChristmasLabel: Fantasy Records
Wonderful ChristmastimeArtist: Paul McCartneyAlbum: McCartney IILabel: Hear Music
The Christmas SongArtist: Vince Guaraldi TrioAlbum: A Charlie Brown ChristmasLabel: Fantasy Records
Cast Your Fate to the WindArtist: Vince Guaraldi TrioAlbum: Jazz Impressions of Black OrpheusLabel: Fantasy Records
Linus and LucyArtist: David BenoitAlbum: Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!Label: GRP Records
Linus and LucyArtist: George WinstonAlbum: Linus & Lucy - The Music of Vince GuaraldiLabel: Dancing Cat/George Winston
Linus and LucyArtist: Wynton Marsalis SeptetAlbum: Joe Cool's BluesLabel: Columbia
Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)Artist: Vince Guaraldi TrioAlbum: A Charlie Brown Christmas