One of the most successful pianists of all time, George Winston established his unique and iconic style over forty years ago. Vince Guaraldi’s song, Cast Your Fate to the Wind, and his music for A Charlie Brown Christmas were major influences on Winston when he was a teenager. He writes,
I love Vince’s piano playing, and I love his compositions. I play way more of his songs than by any other composer. I first heard him in 1962, with ‘Cast Your Fate to the Wind’….And then in December 1965, I was a fan of animation, and I saw in the TV Guide that there was going to be a cartoon of the Peanuts characters, A Charlie Brown Christmas. And I thought, wow, I’ve got to see that. A lot of us remember where we were, the first time we heard ‘Linus and Lucy’ in that special, during the dance segment….Vince’s piano just drove me crazy. And I went to the record store the next day — just to go to the record store — and there was the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, up on the wall. And I looked at it, and thought, Oh, Vince Guaraldi, the ‘Cast Your Fate’ guy. The TV episode credits had run by so fast, I hadn’t seen it was Vince Guaraldi. So I got the album, and found ‘Linus and Lucy,’ and played it about 100 times on my record player.”
Winston’s fourth album, December, recorded in October 1982, is now a holiday classic and his greatest selling album. December has been certified as selling over three million copies in the U.S. alone and it helped the label for which it was originally recorded, Windham Hill, to get international distribution. All of Winston’s recordings can now be found on his own label, Dancing Cat Records.