An Introduction to Vince Guaraldi, the Jazz Composer Who Created the Best Christmas Album Ever, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Open Culture, December 18th, 2023)
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?