U.S. # 5022
2015 49¢ Charlie Brown and Pigpen
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Television producer Lee Mendelson was the driving force behind A Charlie Brown Christmas, turning out a treat that has entertained millions of viewers. Composer and conductor Vince Guaraldi provided jazzy original songs, resulting in a fresh, up-tempo holiday sound unlike any before it.
Mendelson was a 32-year-old documentary maker whose first work was about Willie Mays. Seeing a Peanuts comic strip about Charlie Brown’s baseball team, he decided he had “done the world’s greatest baseball player, now he should do the world’s worst...” Charles Schulz agreed, beginning a 30-year collaboration that resulted in over 40 animated Peanuts specials.
As he began production on A Charlie Brown Christmas, Mendelson approached Guaraldi to arrange the soundtrack. Guaraldi wrote “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time Is Here” for the special. A choir of children, some chosen because they were slightly off-key, was selected to record the songs. Sessions ran late into the night and ended with rewards of ice cream.
The soundtrack, described as being filled with “small, observant miracles,” is credited with introducing an entirely new generation to jazz. Its charm has made it the tenth best-selling holiday album in history.
Each of the Charlie Brown Christmas stamps features a still taken from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: October 1, 2015 – 1 day before the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip
First Day City: Santa Rosa, CA – at the Charles M. Schulz Museum
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in double-sided booklets 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 50,000,000 stamps
In addition to marking the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip, these stamps marked the 50th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. This set was the second issue to honor the Peanuts. The first came in 2007 (#3507) and pictured Snoopy atop his doghouse dressed as a World War I fighter ace.
These stamps were also issued for National Stamp Collecting Month and continued the long tradition of non-religious Christmas stamps. The very first U.S. Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.