My love for Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang comes from two different places.
The first was my portrayal of Snoopy in the Jesup High School musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” back in 1993.
I sang for my supper atop a doghouse inside the auditorium at the Mental Health Institute in Independence. We didn’t have an auditorium at Jesup HS and our director wanted to try a venue off-site. So, we performed that year’s shows eight miles east of school. It was a grand venue with large pillars, wood and an elegant staircase.
Since that show, I’ve had a soft spot for the Peanuts gang.
Especially at Christmastime. Because it happiness and cheer.
It was December 9, 1965 when the TV special aired for the first time. The pic to the left is from the LA Times newspaper.
Since that appeared, I’ve discovered a video that compares the original airing and the one you see today. Let’s remember 1965 was more than 50 years ago and animation technology has changed. Plus the original TV program was sponsored by Coca-Cola and they had ads inside the program. If you want to know more details than that, I’d suggest watching the video.
Music: The story is great, but the music is my favorite. The Vince Guaraldi Trio gave us tunes I still play today. The simple combo just sets the mood for me at Christmas.
Check out some of Vince’s other work from his short career. Guaraldi died at the age of 47 on February 6th, 1976.
The soundtrack was filled with many traditional songs, but Vince’s take was vastly different than other versions. O Tennenbaum, What Child Is This and My Little Drum are great. But the best in my opinion is Christmas Time Is Here.
Here’s the full playlist if you need a refresher.
The story of overcoming the losing sight of the main reason for the season is the theme of the special. Charlie Brown gets a lowly tree and his cast-mates chide his tree selection as they rehearse for the school play. (BTW, if only pictures or video existed of me in the Christmas school play from say 1983 existed, I’d show you my abilities).
Then Linus saves the whole program with his speech.
Another post is coming about another aspect of this story for my family and I.
Thanks for reading.