Thank You, Charlie Brown and Vince Guaraldi

I know I have posted many times in the past about my love of music, and how certain music can instantly transport me to special places and moments from my life. That is especially true this time of year – no other music connects with me like “holiday music” does. And if there ever were a soundtrack to a holiday, it is certainly this one:

Charlie Brown Christmas albumclick image above to hear “Christmastime is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio  

As children, my little brother, little sister and I eagerly awaited this annual holiday special on TV – I can still see us all in a row, sprawled on the floor in front of the TV, waiting for Charlie Brown to uncover the true meaning of Christmas. This animated special is as much a part of MY Christmas traditions as the baby Jesus in a manger (no disrespect intended). It is music that defines a holiday, and the season, for me. Whenever I hear this music, I feel happy and excited and loved. That’s how Christmas “feels” to me – joyful, full of happiness and love.

I’m not totally sure, but I seem to remember reading/hearing that this was the top-selling Christmas album of all time. I can believe it – I myself have it on two CD’s and cassette (I know!)

This TV special soundtrack introduced me to one of my all-time, FAVORITE holiday songs – “Skating” by Vince Guaraldi…

Charlie Brown skating scene click image above to hear “Skating” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio  

So yeah, while there are no angels on high or shepherds jubilee-ing, no trio of ships sailing in or even a drummer boy rum-pum-pum-pumming, these are the songs that are Christmas to me. I cannot imagine anyone not having seen this special but, if you haven’t, PLEASE watch it and listen… You will be happy you did!

charlie brown linus christmasTo enjoy the ENTIRE “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, please click image above 

The “Sounds of Halloween”

In a moment of weakness today, I selected the “Sounds of Halloween” channel on the music service we listen to at the studio. Imagine my surprise (not!) when the first song I heard was the 1962 smash “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt Kickers.

I. HATE. THAT. SONG. And I mean, HATE. H-A-T-E.

Monster Mashclick image above to be tortured by “Monster Mash”

Listen, I totally get it – there are, for every holiday, specific “seasonal” songs that never get listened to except, perhaps, for that specific holiday. New Year’s Eve? “Old Lang Syne.” Christmas? “Here We Come A Wassailing.” Thanksgiving? “Over The River And Through The Woods (To Grandmother’s House We Go).” And Halloween?

“Monster Mash.” Or “Thriller.” Or “Ghostbusters.” In fact, you can see/hear Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 Halloween Songs by clicking here.

I don’t know – I mean, I love Halloween. LOVE IT! But really? As far as seasonal music goes? Halloween music sucks. Sorry, famous-celebrated-artists-associated-with-Halloween-songs, but your music is pretty terrible even ON Halloween. Terrible.

Except maybe “Thriller.” I gotta’ say, Prince of Pop MJ, all these years later, your song still is pretty amazing. Plus – how many wedding receptions have been host to “The Thriller Dance Sequence?” Now THAT is something to celebrate!

Thrillerclick image above to watch the full, original “Thriller” video – enjoy!