When you think of Charlie Brown and the gang the first name comes to the mind of everyone all over the world and that is of Charles Schulz. There was also another name that a lot of people tend to forget and that name is Vince Guaraldi. Schulz was the one who gave birth to Peanuts, but it was Guaraldi who gave them life with music.
Guaraldi was making music way before he made the music for Peanuts, his first recorded session was in 1953 with The Cal Tjader Trio. His first solo projects came in 1955-1957 with Modern Music from San Francisco, Vince Guaraldi Trio and A Flower is a Lovesome Thing. It wasn’t till 1962’s Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus with Guaraldi version of “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” and the rest was history. The next two years Guaraldi released three hit albums with 1963’s Vince Guaraldi in Person and Vince Guaraldi, Bola Sete and Friends and 1964 The Latin Side of Vince Guaraldi.
Later in 1964, Lee Mendelson contacted Guaraldi for a job to make the music for the upcoming Peanuts Christmas (A Charlie Brown Christmas 1965) and in two weeks over the phone made the iconic piano piece that many people of today know it by listening to it but never knew the name of it. That piece is the Linus and Lucy Theme, and the rest is history. Over the years Guaraldi worked on both his solo career and doing the soundtrack to all of the Peanuts special and including the Peanuts first film A Boy Named Charlie Brown until his untimely death on February 6, 1976, at the age of 47. Sadly on the same day of his death, he just finished making the soundtrack to what many Peanuts fan called its swan song, and that was Its Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. If you are wondering what is my favorite Vince Guaraldi song it’s this one.
Over the year there have been many unreleased pieces of music of Guaraldi have been released with the latest being 2015 An Afternoon with The Vince Guaraldi Quartet. Let us know in the comment below on your thoughts on Vince Guaraldi.