A Charlie Brown Christmas, Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970) was selected to be in The Library of Congress Music Registry


This very great honor that was voted on last year is actually being placed into the National Registry this year.  A short audio recording talking about the cultural significance of A Charlie Brown Christmas will accompany the album in the Registry. Lee Mendelson, Producer of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and I were both interviewed for this introduction, as well as drummer Jerry Granelli with the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

The 25 sound recordings which have been selected in this, the 10th year of the program, are chosen by Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington. They are chosen for their cultural, artistic, and/or historical importance. Nominations are gathered through online submissions from the public and from the National Recording Preservation Board. This year’s “inductees” are as diverse as an 1888 Edison Talking Doll Cylinder, the 3/25/1947 Indians for Indians Hour radio show, and the Barton Hall Concert by the Grateful Dead, May 8, 1977.

Vince Guaraldi, who had won a Grammy for Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” was Lee Mendelson’s choice to write the music for a 1963 documentary Lee was producing about Sparky. One of the songs Vince wrote for that documentary is the now famous “Linus and Lucy.” The documentary was never sold, and the world had to wait until 1965 when Vince’s music for A Charlie Brown Christmas included “Linus and Lucy,” as well as the popular opening music, “Christmas Time is Here” (to which Lee Mendelson wrote the words).

It is predicted that album sales of the original Charlie Brown Christmas will pass 4 million. I posted what I believe is the original album cover at the top of this page, but if you go on the internet you’ll see other versions as well. The music from the album has been covered by over a hundred artists, including Tony Bennett, Mariah Carey, Barry Manilow, Sarah McLaughlin and Toni Braxton, Dave Brubeck, George Winston, Mel Torme, Rosemay Clooney, Wynton Marsalis, and David Benoit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    — Jean Schulz