Now that summer is coming to an end, many people are changing their focus from lounging poolside and lazy days at the beach to back to school time and dare I say it – the holiday season.
I’m not kidding when I say I’ve already seen holiday wrapping paper, ribbons and wreath holders at a local warehouse club. Halloween and Thanksgiving items have been at our local grocery store for the past several weeks.
Sigh… I hate it when people rush the holidays. It takes all the fun out of the anticipation.
When I think of the holiday season I think about holiday movies, televisions shows and music.
From the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas there is one local radio station that plays only Christmas music 24/7. It’s the only radio station my family will listen to during that time period.
I LOVE listening to holiday music and watching holiday specials. No holiday season would be complete without watching the holiday specials from one of my favorite comic strips – Peanuts. I love all of the Peanuts holiday specials.
If you are a fan of their specials too there is no doubt that you love the music just as much as the animation. When I think of Peanuts music I think of the “Christmas Time is Here” song and the music that was playing when they were skating. I also think about the “Little Birdie” song from their Thanksgiving special.
Available now where most music is sold is the album Peanuts Greatest Hits. For Peanuts fans this album is a must have.
The album features 12 of the most memorable recordings from the beloved animated Peanuts television specials, all with the sophisticated, yet accessible jazz stylings of the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Peanuts Greatest Hits also includes new liner notes by Peanuts historian and Guaraldi biographer Derrick Bang.
While the Peanuts comic strip appeared daily in newspapers across the world, Vince Guaraldi’s music helped bring the gang to wider audiences through his jazzy Peanuts television and film soundtrack recordings. Charles M. Schulz created the world of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy from his outpost in the Midwestern city of St. Paul, Minnesota. Meanwhile, westward in California, pianist Vince Guaraldi was helping put San Francisco on the jazz map through a series of early recordings with the likes of Cal Tjader, Woody Herman and Conte Candoli.
In early 1964, when Lee Mendelson began work on a television documentary about the world of Peanuts, he heard Guaraldi’s GRAMMY® Award-winning instrumental hit “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” on the radio, while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Mendelson knew he’d found precisely the right musical foil for Peanuts. Over the next decade, Guaraldi composed and performed scores for numerous Peanuts TV specials — including the evergreen A Charlie Brown Christmas — along with a feature film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
The compilation features “Linus and Lucy,” the song that most frequently comes to mind when one thinks of Peanuts soundtracks, as well as “Oh, Good Grief” and several seasonal pieces (“Great Pumpkin Waltz,” “Thanksgiving Theme,” “Christmas Is Coming” and more).
Most selections feature Guaraldi backed by one of his longtime trios: Monty Budwig, bass; and Colin Bailey, drums; or, in later years, Fred Marshall, bass; and Jerry Granelli, drums. You’ll also hear some notable additions to the core trio format: “Little Birdie” features Guaraldi’s own vocals, with the addition of horns as well. Two versions of “Christmas Time Is Here” appear: one by the trio, the other adding the young members of the St. Paul’s Church Choir from nearby San Rafael, California.
Here are the tracks found on the album.
1. Linus and Lucy
2. Charlie Brown Theme
3. Baseball Theme
4. Oh, Good Grief
5. Happiness Theme
6. Little Birdie
7. Great Pumpkin Waltz
8. Thanksgiving Theme
9. Christmas Is Coming
10. Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
12. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
I received a copy of this album to review. I love listening to it. I actually know ALL of the songs found on the album, I just didn’t know the name of the song.
My husband is also a huge Peanuts fan. We had fun playing a little game of “Name the TV special” where we tried to guess what Peanuts special the song was featured in. Of course the Christmas ones were the easiest.
Not only does the album bring back fond memories of Peanuts specials, it’s also an easy listening album that is great to put on in the background when you are working or doing something around your home.
This album would make a great gift for a Peanuts fan. It’s also a fun way to introduce young family members to this timeless, classic music from one of the world’s most beloved comic strip.
The album is available on Amazon.com as an MP3, Audio CD and even in vinyl. Yes, that’s right – VINYL! Vinyl is making a comeback. I love it!
You can also check out Vince Guaraldi Music on Facebook.
Are you a fan of Peanuts? Do you have a favorite Peanuts song?
*I received a free album in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.