This post was written as part of Sally's 12 Days of Christmas blogathon. Visit her site on Christmas Eve to read reviews, write-ups and more from other fine bloggers that have participated!
I know you know the jazzy tones of Charlie Brown's Christmas when it plays during the holiday season but have you ever wondered how such an unconventional style of music became associated with a kids' holiday special?
The director, Lee Mendelson, had known he wanted a jazzy soundtrack but hadn't decided who would compose it. Then in a car ride one day, he stumbled upon then unknown Vince Guaraldi when his song came on the radio. Mendelson approached Guaraldi with the job offer and when Guaraldi called Mendelson up two weeks later and played Linus and Lucy for him, he knew he had found the right person.
However, the network didn't think jazz was appropriate for a children's film at all and before the animated special even showed, they told Mendelson that the music, among other things, were not network-friendly and so they wouldn't be hiring him back. Ahem. As you can imagine, the show did spectacularly well and both audience and critics alike loved the film and the soundtrack.
The soundtrack is rare in the fact that it has never gone out-of-print since its first release and remains a staple in Christmas playlists year after year.
Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
P.S. Be sure, very sure, to come back on Friday for my Rose-Colored Radio Christmas Special! It will be the best show yet...