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As we continue to work on our new offerings for the Christmas Library for 2011 we're thinking of expanding our "Christmas Legends" area by focusing on individuals who have made significant contributions to the modern Christmas.
I also would like to add, Perry Como and Jean Shepherd (who wrote A Christmas Story).
To add to A Charlie Brown Christmas, regarding Vince Guaraldi, what about Charles Schulz? A special I watched last year on tv I found out that when he made the cartoon there was some controversy about it. Charles Shulz is a legend to me! =)
I had to google a little about it but it makes an interesting story. Here is a little of what I copied and pasted from another link.
Even Schulz admitted that he was probably the only person who could have gotten A Charlie Brown Christmas made. Television executives hated it from the start. It was criticized as being too religious—Linus quotes straight from the King James Bible (Luke 2:8-14). It was criticized for featuring contemporary jazz, an offbeat choice for a cartoon. It was criticized for not having a laugh track. It was criticized for using the voices of real children (except for Snoopy, who was voiced by animator Melendez).
Maybe this story has been told before but it was new to me last year. Very interesting to see how successful it became even though critics hated it. Here is the link to the rest of the story:
I'm trying to think of some folks who weren't so much performers as authors, composers, or others whose work is an indelible part of the Christmas season---Irving Berlin, perhaps, for "White Christmas" and "Happy Holiday," or Jean Shepherd for the novel on which "A Christmas Story" is based (and for his role as the narrator of the film), or Charles Tazewell, who wrote "The Littlest Angel," "The Small One," and other Christmas stories.