A Charlie Brown Christmas, the animated TV special, has always existed. At least, that’s how it seemed to me as a kid. It’s how it seems now, really. I don’t remember watching it the first time, it just was a tradition that we observed as a family.
It was one of those “kids shows” that (not so) strangely, I never had to persuade my parents to watch. I can’t swear to this, but I don’t think we ever missed an annual airing of the special on CBS.
It never occurred to me to think about the music separately from the special until much, much later. The iconic and instantly recognizable “Linus And Lucy” is as much part of the holiday season for me as Christmas trees, Santa, candy canes or good cheer.
The album is such a gem, all by itself. Vince Guaraldi’s compositions, arrangements and playing are all flawless, as are Fred Marshall’s double bass and Jerry Granelli’s drumming. Damn shame we didn’t have the soundtrack album in my house, I might have picked up on jazz much, much sooner.
Anyway, I could gush about this album for another 600 words but if you’re familiar with the album you’ve probably stopped reading to cue it up on your own. If you’re not, well, it’s high time you become acquainted with it! It’s got to be on every streaming platform ever, so don’t delay.