December 6: Linus and Lucy

December 6: Linus and Lucy

Sequel to: A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Special, 1965)

We're all pretty familiar with the 1965 television classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. But did you know that there are 3 sequels to this iconic show?

Today's song is pulled from the first attempted sequel, appearing 27 years after the original. It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown hit the airwaves on CBS in 1992. Interestingly, this was actually released to video first, via an exclusive at Shell gas stations.

You can tell by watching that it tried to emulate the success of the original, and by doing so, failed miserably. You are treated to a plotline involving Charlie Brown trying to sell wreaths and buy gloves, Peppermint Patti attempting to get out of a book report, and yes, another Christmas play… with Scripture thrown in along the way. You'll never think of "Hark!" quite the same way after watching Sally practice her lines. Intended to be broadcast in a 30-minute timeslot for years to come, it was never seen on TV again. You can find it as a bonus feature on the DVD release for A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's not a great show, but it's fun to watch… kinda.

Of note is the annoying smooth jazz versions of Vince Guaraldi's music, which in today's case, is the iconic theme Linus and Lucy. This music pretty much represents Peanuts in the minds of most people, having originated on the Christmas special in 1965. Vince died in 1976, and later Peanuts specials tapped into other musicians and styles to fill the void. In an unprecedented move, instead of working with new music, for the first time since his death, Vince's music was recomposed by jazz pianist David Benoit. As you listen to it, it just sounds… off. There's some weird "bouncy" thing going on, while at the same time pulling the great jazz score into something that should be played in a dentist's reception room.

The music was just one of the many things that went wrong in this sequel to the original Peanuts special. I've included the closing dialogue to the show, which features the recomposed theme in the background, followed by the end credits, which should provide you with a good feel of how the music for this special was done. As a Peanuts fan, this special is just painful to watch… and hear.

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From the Archives: December 6

What's This All About?

New to Steve's 25 Days of Christmas Music? Take some time to read the explanation and introduction!