Mendelson also wrote the lyrics to “Christmas Time Is Here,” a song featured in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the 1965 special that turned “Peanuts” into a TV staple. “Charlie Brown Christmas” brought Mendelson the first of his 12 Emmys. The last came in 2015 for “It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown.” Mendelson’s work with animator Lee Melendez also brought him four Peabody Awards, an Oscar nomination and two Grammy noms.
A lifelong fan of jazz, Mendelson had the inspiration to hire musician Vince Guaraldi to create original music for “Charlie Brown Christmas,” a touch that helped make the specials stand out with viewers young and old. Over the years Mendelson worked with other notable musicians such as Dave Brubeck,