Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Vince. Snoopy say's, "hi."

As you may or may not know, Vince Guaraldi is a famous American Jazz musician, San Francisco born and raised. (I wonder if he was ever a street musician.) You've all heard his works, I'm sure. Ever heard of Charles Schultz' comic strip "Peanuts"? Ever seen a Charlie Brown cartoon? If you answered yes to either of those, then chances are, you know who he is, even if his name escapes you.

Well, today, July 17th, was Vince Guaraldi's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY VINCE!

Vince would have been 81 years old today. Sadly, he died at an early age: of a heart attack in 1976. He was only 47 years old.

What he left behind, however, lifts the spirits, speaks of festivity and gentle times, of times of fun. It speaks of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Marcy, Snoopy, Woodstock, Pig Pen, Schroeder, and the rest of the gang.

This is how it all began:

"While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were bassist Fred Marshall (who later married Bev Bivens of the folk-rock group We Five) and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials and the documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Click here for more info."

In honor of Vince, here are some memories of childhood days gone by, family game night, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas decorating, Caroling, and Charlie Brown specials.

We'll start off with a bit of music and bio.

And here's some not so familiar Vince...

And of course there's one of the all time favorites from the Christmas special, here played by Vince himself... on guitar!

I found this interesting related info: The Eric Mintel Quarted (or EMQ) performs the music of Vince Guaraldi, while Peanuts specials play on the big screen. For more info go to


JamaGenie said...

Who knew? The music on Peanuts specials was always so perfect and "right", it never occurred it might be played by humans. :-) Thank you for enlightening us!

Frieda Babbley said...

rofl! You're so right. I never thought about that. Crazy isn't it? This post isn't what I had had in mind, but when I saw that it was Vince's birthday, I just couldn't resist. And can I just tell you how hard it is to find the actually theme song, in its entirety, in good sound, and NOT played by someone else who's parents are proud of their child's skills? Argh! I was about to give up when I found that last clip. Seems we're night owls, JamaGenie. lol.

Frieda Babbley said...

Oh, and it's not the theme song. (That - the theme -would be "linus and lucy",odd when it's focused on Charlie Brown. I wonder if they wanted it to go another way.)But if anyone find a real good one of the theme, let me know!

Dustjacket attic said...

Oh your a gem Frieda, I just didn't think about who did the music. I loved little birdie and the easter egg clips. What a talented man. Thanks for sharing that. xxx

Frieda Babbley said...

He truly was. I wonder what caused him to have a heart attack at such a young age. He's so interesting looking, isn't he? I adore the mustache. You don't see those anymore!

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