How the Grinch stole Christmas
Theodor Seuss Geisel was a well known illustrator, cartoonist, and author by the time he wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1957. The Grinch was Seuss’ first villain main character, and the clever story about the big green monster who has his mind opened by the ever positive Who’s has become a TV special in 1966.
Seuss collaborated with Chuck Jones and Ben Washam to bring this story to life. They brought in Albert Hague to compose the music and Hague came through in legendary fashion. His three songs Welcome Christmas, Trim Up the Tree, and You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, are now staples of Christmas playlists world wide.
Voice Mix Up
The Grinch serves as the main character and narrator of the story, and his speaking voice was brought to life by Boris Karloff, widely known for his roles in horror films like Frankenstein.
But Karloff was not a singer. The Grinch’s rich, resonant singing voice is credited to Thurl Ravenscroft, the man behind Tony the Tiger and a few fun characters at Disneyland.
Thurl wasn’t credited in the closing credits of the TV special, so Karloff often is mistakenly attributed to the memorable tune.
This song has a greasy, bluesy feel, that perfectly suits the Grinch’s dead tomato heart. No matter what instrument you play, strive to channel Ravenscroft’s resonance as you play or sing this melody. Once you master the written rhythms and pitches, sprinkle in some creativity by adding Grinchy scoops, falls, and stankiness.
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