Almost 11pm on Tuesday, December 4, and I'm listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio for the first time of the yuletide season. It was one of the very first CDs I got when I signed up to the BMG record club back in the early 90s. I could probably listen to it year-round, but I hold off for the time it's truly intended for. The quiet beauty, expectation, and bit of melancholy that comes with Christmas is all there, like it is every year. "Christmas Time Is Here" could be a big, jubilant, sleigh-ride sing-a-long, but good ol' Vince channels Charlie to add that bit of sadness, thoughtfulness.
When I searched for it on iTunes to make sure I spelled "Guaraldi" correctly, I saw that that A Very Special Christmas is also in the top 10 of US iTunes...that's a classic in itself. And while the artists on that brilliant compilation were stars at the time of the album they could have easily become a bit relegated to that era, yet, they aren't. The Pretenders "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," U2's take on "Christmas (Please Come Home)," and of course "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC. Classics were still being made in the 80s! I'm not sure if they are these days in this genre.
In the meantime, I feel a splurge coming on of Christmas music..."Do They Know It's Christmastime?" Or maybe some King's College Choir carols, Wham's "Last Christmas," The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping." I could go on as nostalgia kicks in. So instead, here's a list to check out -- complete with the genius, somehow timeless pairing of David Bowie and Bing Crosby -- banter included.