The Charlie Brown Christmas Song: Christmas Time is Here
"Christmas Time is Here" Was Result of a Cab Ride
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" is one of the most popular animated Christmas specials ever made. It won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, was aired annually on CBS more times than even MGM's
classic "Wizard of Oz," and 50% of the TVs in America were tuned in to it when it first aired in 1965. Just one of the many things that made this TV special popular was the music.
Vince Guaraldi composed all the songs in the show. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was the first prime time animated TV show based on the Peanuts characters created by Charles Schulz, and its popularity led to 16 additional TV specials. Guaraldi composed the scores for all of them. And it might never had happened except for one fortuitous cab ride.
Lee Mendelson, who produced the special, was riding in a taxi cab in San Francisco when he heard Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." He liked it so much that he tracked the composer down and asked him to score the TV special. The first song Guaraldi wrote for the show was "Linus and Lucy," which later became the signature musical theme of all the Peanuts specials. Other original songs he wrote for the show were "Skating," "Christmas is Coming" and "Christmas Time is Here," a song that people of often think of as the "Charlie Brown Christmas song."
Despite the continued popularity of the music today, the TV network executives at the time disliked the score for the special. According to Wikipedia, "the executives thought that the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi would not work well for a children's program. When executives saw the final product, they were horrified and believed the special would be a complete flop."
How wrong they were!
Guaraldi died young (at age 47) of a heart attack, but "Linus and Lucy" remains his most well-known work, and the soundtrack for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" continues to be a popular seller during the holidays.
Christmas Time is Here
Charlie Brown Christmas Song Lyrics
"Christmas Time is Here" Lyrics
Written by Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson
Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
Snowflakes in the air
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...
What's Your Favorite Charlie Brown Christmas Song? 5 comments
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