The Fascinating Story of Vince Guaraldi, the Jazz Musician Behind the Music of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ and Other Peanuts Specials (VIDEO)

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One of the most iconic aspects of the 1965 animated special ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ is the music. There is no denying that the jazz stylings of Vince Guaraldi set the tone for the cartoon perfectly.

The most recognizable piece of music is called ‘Linus and Lucy.’

You can listen to the whole piece here:

The story behind this is music is fascinating. Open Culture reports:

When A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired 58 years ago, few had any confidence that it would be a hit. Its story and animation, bare-bones even by the standards of mid-nineteen-sixties television, made a positive impression on neither CBS’ executives nor on many of the special’s own creators. They didn’t expect that this very simplicity would turn it into a perennial holiday favorite — nor, presumably, that its soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio would become one of the most beloved Christmas albums in existence. Now that we’re well into the season when the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas is heard every day in homes, cafés, and shopping malls all around the world, why not get an introduction to Guaraldi, the man and his music, from pop culture video essayist Matt Draper?

“Born in San Francisco in 1928, Guaraldi credited his two uncles with sparking his interest in jazz as a child, with the future musician already learning the piano by age seven,” says Draper. After serving in the Korean War and returning home to study music at San Francisco State University, Guaraldi began to “pursue his love of jazz in local clubs.”

He soon formed his trio, and recording their first albums in the mid-nineteen-fifties, he “expanded his use of Latin jazz and bossa nova.” In 1962 Guaraldi scored his first hit with “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” a single from an album inspired by Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus.

Watch below. If you’re a fan of the classic Charlie Brown specials, you’ll love this:

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Here’s the song “Skating” which you’ll recognize from the classic special.

This music is unmistakable. It will forever be associated with Charlie Brown and Christmas and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Source material can be found at this site.

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