Label: Fantasy – 8431, Fantasy – F-8431-A, Fantasy – F-8431 Format: LP Country: US Released: Aug 24, 2009 Genre: Jazz, Stage & Screen Style: Contemporary Jazz, Soundtrack
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the eighth studio album by American jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi (later credited to the Vince Guaraldi Trio). The album was released in December 1965 in the U.S. by Fantasy Records and was Guaraldi's final studio album for the label. It is the soundtrack to the Christmas television special of the same name.
Guaraldi was contacted by television producer Lee Mendelson to compose music for a documentary on the comic strip Peanuts and its creator, Charles M. Schulz. Although the special went unaired, these selections were released in 1964 as Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Coca-Cola commissioned a Christmas special based on Peanuts in 1965 and Guaraldi returned to score the special.
Guaraldi composed most of the music, though he included versions of traditional carols such as "O Tannenbaum". He recorded some of the score at Whitney Studio in Glendale, California, then re-recorded some of it at Fantasy Records Studios in San Francisco with a children's choir from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in nearby San Rafael. The sessions ran late into the night, with the children rewarded with ice cream afterward.
Bassist Fred Marshall and drummer Jerry Granelli were credited as performing on the album. It was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
On August 19, 2016, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album quadruple platinum for sales of 4 million copies. In November 2014, it was the 10th best-selling Christmas/holiday album in the United States during the SoundScan era.