Thursday, April 18, 2019

A heaping helping of Vince

It's worth mentioning that Amazon, iTunes and Google Play have made just about all of Guaraldi’s catalogue (as leader) available for streaming and purchase as digital downloads.

And I mean everything:

• All of his releases from Fantasy and Warner Bros., along with the 21st century anthology albums: The Definitive Vince Guaraldi, The Very Best of Vince Guaraldi, etc.

• The initial and much later releases on the resurrected D&D label: Vince Guaraldi and the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Oaxaca, etc.

• Most important, from the standpoint of hard-to-get material, is everything released by Vince’s son, David: Live on the Air, North Beach, both of the Peanuts Lost Cues albums, and so forth. Some of those have become quite difficult to find in CD format.

This list even includes a “digital single” of Guaraldi’s cover of “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” featured as a bonus track within Omnivore’s anthology set of his three Warners albums. And, as you can see above, somebody even took the trouble to produce a faux 45 disc and sleeve. (I assure you: It doesn’t exist in real life.)

Oddly, though, the list does not include “The Sharecropper’s Daughter” or “Oh, Happy Day,” the other bonus tracks from the Omnivore set.

And this is important: I checked with ace sound and re-mastering engineer Michael Graves, and he assures me that these streaming versions of Oh, Good Grief, The Eclectic Vince Guaraldi and Alma-Ville are, respectively, from the Warner Bros. and Wounded Bird CDs … not the Omnivore package he worked on.

The only album missing from the list is the soundtrack to 1969’s big-screen movie, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, released on CD by Kritzerland in 2017.

This is a great chance to “fill in the gaps,” for folks who don’t mind not having physical copies. But I advise acting quickly: Digital services sometimes taketh away just as rapidly as they giveth!

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Peanuts Concerto debuts!

Composer Dick Tunney, left, holds his 70-page
score as pianist Jeffrey Biegel prepares to join the
members of Orchestra Kentucky for the afternoon
rehearsal of Tunney's Peanuts Concerto
It has been quite a journey.

We broke the news about Dick Tunney’s commissioned Peanuts Concerto-to-be back on January 30, 2018, and followed with updates as the project progressed. (Click on Peanuts Concerto, in the labels below this entry, to read all previous installments.)

By late summer, the premiere date had been set for March 23, 2019, with Orchestra Kentucky, under the baton of conductor/music director Jeff Reed, at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The keyboard soloist: newly minted Grammy Award-recognized pianist/composer Jeffrey Biegel (for having performed as a soloist on Kenneth Fuchs’ Spiritualist Piano Concerto, which took this year’s Grammy for Best Classical Compendium).

Tunney and his wife Melodie were on hand, of course: both for the evening performance, and the earlier afternoon rehearsal. Who could blame him? The Peanuts Concerto represented a year of his life, and now he had the opportunity to share this newborn child with the world at large.

First, though, he spent the afternoon helping the orchestra fine-tune the performance.

Tunney and conductor Jeff Reed, taking a break
prior to the evening performance.
“When I’m able to attend a ‘first’ rehearsal,” Tunney explained, “I’ll typically sit in the house with a pencil and some Post-it Notes, and make notations on the score, of corrections or other things that need to be addressed. There were a few things to fix, but — largely — what was on the page, was what I wanted.

“The bigger purpose for sitting through the rehearsal is to help with interpretation. During the first run-through, some tempos were a little quick, and the orchestra lost Guaraldi’s ‘groove.’ The bottom line for classical musicians playing jazz is that it must ‘feel’ right. Much of that can be accomplished by ensuring that the tempos are correct. There’s so much nuance to jazz, and when juxtaposed with the precision of performing classical music, the result can make for some interesting moments.”

All too quickly, it was time to don formal attire for the concerto’s world premiere.

“Jeff [Reed] asked me to introduce the piece,” Tunney continued. “I gave a short introduction to Peanuts and Charles Schulz, and then a few sentences about Guaraldi. I concluded by talking about the task of juxtaposing iconic jazz piano with the symphony orchestra.”

The performance was well attended. “SKyPAC seats 1,800, and I estimate it was 75 percent full. That’s a very respectable audience for Bowling Green.”

And it all comes together! Jeff Reed, standing in front of the orchestra and screen,
conducts the Peanuts Concerto while soloist Jeffrey Biegel performs at the piano.

Patrons — and Tunney — enjoyed an unexpected bonus. Thanks to some necessary behind-the-scenes permissions, Peanuts Worldwide allowed the use of still images of Schulz artwork, which were displayed at appropriate moments during each of the concerto’s three movements. “At least half a dozen times, when an image appeared with the appropriate song, you could hear the audience ooh and ahhh. It was quite touching.”

Indeed, everybody clearly enjoyed the performance.

“The evening went well,” Tunney enthused. “I was extremely pleased with the interpretation, and the entire performance. The Second Movement was absolutely breathtaking, and the Christmas Movement was charming beyond my hopes. Jeffrey [Biegel] played with such artistry and musicality, and the familiar melodies brought a smile to every face.

“The audience applauded between each of the movements … and you know, in some stuffy classical circles, there’s always the question of whether to do that. I choose to call this an enthusiastic response, along with an immediate standing ovation at the conclusion, with a curtain call for conductor and pianist.

“The legacy of Vince Guaraldi’s music was honored, and placed on the proper pedestal.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It's almost concerto time!

At last, a proper press release! (You'd think one would have appeared long before now...)

Reprinted here, in its entirety:


********

Lee Mendelson Film Productions announces the world premiere of the first-ever Peanuts Concerto for Piano and Orchestra based on the legendary music of Vince Guaraldi, arranged by Grammy-winning composer, Dick Tunney, featuring pianist Jeffrey Biegel with Orchestra Kentucky, led by Music Director, Jeff Reed. 


This moving arrangement sets Guaraldi's classic music from the Peanuts specials, into a three-movement work for piano and orchestra. It will be a wonderful introduction for families to hear the jazz writings of the late Vince Guaraldi, in a 21st century symphonic landscape.

Vince Guaraldi wrote and performed the music for the first 15 animated Peanuts specials, until his untimely death in 1976. The album A Charlie Brown Christmas is the second most popular jazz album in history, with more than 4 million copies sold.  

Guaraldi started writing music for 1963's never-aired documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown, which Lee Mendelson produced. When Mendelson, animator Bill Melendez and Charles Schulz created A Charlie Brown Christmas, they turned to their friend Guaraldi, to write the music for the special. A Charlie Brown Christmas has aired every Christmas season since 1965, and the music from that special has become a timeless part of our culture and the holiday season.

Guaraldi wrote the music for the next 14 animated specials, and some of those themes have been incorporated into this concerto.  

Lee Mendelson Film Productions has been producing television and films since 1964, winning 11 Emmys along with 45 nominations, 4 Peabody awards, and Oscar and Grammy nominations. Lee Mendelson Film Productions is the publisher of Guaraldi's musical works. 

The premiere takes place at 7:30 p.m. March 23, 2019, at the SKYPaC in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Biegel is one of the most respected pianists of our time, performing and recording classic repertoire and new works in contemporary classical, and works of all styles. His performance of Kenneth Fuchs' Piano Concerto: Spiritualist helped the recording win the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, and produced by Tim Handley. Biegel is professor of piano at Brooklyn College, and has commissioned many composers to write new works for piano and orchestra.

Tunney and his wife, Melodie, have received 10 Dove Awards, and a Grammy Award for “How Excellent Is Thy Name,” recorded by Larnelle Harris. They have recorded eight albums together, and Dick has recorded five solo instrumental albums. The couple has penned more than 150 songs, many recorded by other Christian artists.  

Maestro Jeff Reed has conducted the orchestras of Alabama, Augusta, Charleston, Detroit, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland (ME), Quad Cities (IA), Sacramento, South Bend and Winston-Salem. He has twice appeared with the Royal Philharmonic at London's Royal Albert Hall, at the specific request of Neil Sedaka.

Visit these websites for further information:

Jeffrey Biegel: www.jeffreybiegel.com

Jeffrey Reed: www.jeffreyreed.info

Dick Tunney: www.tunneymusic.com

Orchestra Kentucky: www.orchestrakentucky.com

Lee Mendelson Film Productions, Inc.: www.mendelsonproductions.com

Monday, February 11, 2019

Concerto-izing, Episode 4

The all-important manuscript, in its completed glory!
We’re rapidly approaching the world premiere of Nashville-based musician, composer and arranger Dick Tunney’s commissioned Peanuts Concerto. It’ll debut Saturday, March 23, with Orchestra Kentucky; the performance will take place in Bowling Green, Kentucky, under the baton of conductor/music director Jeff Reed, with Jeffrey Biegel at the piano.

Dick has been kind enough to keep me apprised of the concerto’s evolution, from its genesis a little more than a year ago. You can read more in previous blog entries, here, here and here.

I’ll turn the rest of this post over to Dick, who — understandably — is delighted to have completed this project, and is extremely pleased over how it has turned out.

********

The final decisions on song selection, sequence of songs — and the like — changed considerably during this yearlong process. The obvious hero in this was Vince Guaraldi, and his creative fingerprints are (hopefully) all over this work. Weaving the jazz harmonies into a classical orchestral setting was challenging, but there are plenty of “fragments” that really did lend themselves nicely to the symphony. 

The songs included in some fashion are: “Linus and Lucy,” which actually appears in some form in all three movements; “Thanksgiving Theme”; “Red Baron”; “Oh, Good Grief!”; Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique (tipping our cap to Schroeder); “Happiness Is”; “Rain, Rain Go Away”; “Skating”; “Christmas Time Is Here”; and “O Tannenbaum.” Some songs were chosen for their popularity and visibility; others were selected for their musical content, as juxtaposed with the orchestra in a classical setting. (A prime example is “Rain, Rain Go Away.”). I researched all of this pretty thoroughly, watched several television specials, and scoured the landscape for Guaraldi recordings of everything we could get our hands on.

The office studio where the magic takes place: Nary a quill or inkpot to be seen!
One of my original thoughts was to make the middle movement — historically the slower movement, in a piano concerto — the Christmas movement. However, when all was said and done, the Christmas movement became the third and final movement: the “finale,” if you will. This third movement also has been constructed so that an orchestra with pianist can perform it as a stand-alone piece.  

I teased “Linus and Lucy” in three or four different places, before finally concluding the entire work with that most iconic of Peanuts music.

This has been more than a year in the making, and to be at this point seems surreal. Last Thursday, I sent the final score and individual parts to the orchestra office in Kentucky, and was in contact with the Peanuts folks — and Jeffrey — about delivery of the final files. I walked downstairs from my studio around 3:00 p.m. that day, looked at my wife, and thrust both fists into the air. 

She knew.  

The final piece of the puzzle is inserting piano fingerings into the main score. Jeffrey has been practicing on this for a couple of months, and has sent me hand-written fingerings, a few note changes and some phrasing and articulation edits. These final elements will come together this week.

My wife and I will attend the rehearsal (my score in hand) as well as the March 23 premiere.  

Hopefully, this 21-minute piece will bring smiles to the faces of those who are familiar with Guaraldi, and the Peanuts television specials, and — better still! — will introduce some fantastic music to audiences of a generation likely removed from the Peanuts comic strips. 

********

One last quick note from the site-master. As of Sunday, Jeffrey Biegel has become a Grammy-recognized pianist/composer. He performed on the Grammy Award-winning recording for Best Classical Compendium, as a soloist on Kenneth Fuchs’ Spiritualist Piano Concerto, on the Naxos label. Biegel commissioned the concerto, which resulted in several performances and this recording, with the London Symphony Orchestra. The actual Grammy Awards were presented to conductor JoAnn Falletta and producer Tim Handley; Biegel received a certificate as an artist on the recording.

Ergo, Jeffrey will be sliding directly from a classical Grammy triumph to an exciting new work honoring Guaraldi’s Peanuts compositions. Quite a heady way to start the year!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

End-of-the-year tidbits

A few items that have been idling in the to-do pile...

Guaraldi's good friend and champion Charles "Chuck" Gompertz died October 2, at the generous age of 83. Vince's fans know Gompertz as the Episcopal priest who chose the pianist to compose and perform the Jazz Mass that honored the completion of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in the spring of 1965. I knew Chuck from the many generous interviews he gave during the research phase of my biography of Vince, and from the warm and friendly correspondence — and occasional visits — that resulted from our initial chats, and continued until he died.

The Marin Independent Journal published an informative obituary, which can be read here.

I wish I had a photo of Vince and Chuck together, but — if such an image existed — the latter never was able to find one for me. So I'll settle for the photo here, which certainly conveys Chuck's friendly warmth. I'll miss him dearly.

********

On a lighter note, fellow Guaraldi fan Jim Ford called my attention to a delightful, long-ago anecdote involving Vince and bassist Chubby Jackson, which is detailed in this November 2008 post in Bill Crow's Band Room. You'll find it toward the top, in the second paragraph. It's a definite smile.

May your holidays be jolly and backed by numerous re-plays of Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas album, and may the New Year bring us ever more exciting developments regarding Dr. Funk.

Monday, December 17, 2018

It ain't necessarily so

This is quite brazen.

Fans of Christmas jazz might be tempted, at first blush, to pick up this MP3 EP collection of tunes by famed West Coast jazz pianist Pete Jolly and equally acclaimed jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar.

Alas, this “collection” is nothing of the kind.

Some crook concealed behind the bogus identity of “SRI Jazz” has simply lifted six tracks from Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas album, in a few cases supplying sloppy new titles (“Bagatelle No. 25”???). 

On top of which — not that this matters much — the audio quality is dreadful.

This con job is readily available via both Amazon and Google Play ($5.94), and iTunes ($7.74), where you’ll immediately recognize Guaraldi’s work via the brief audio clips. The damn thing also pops up in Spotify, and at least one of the tracks (“The Christmas Song”) has been posted in YouTube by “Label Engine” (where, thankfully, it has been correctly identified by one commenter).

I left a “Buyer beware” review with Amazon, and also contacted them with a strong suggestion that the item be de-listed, as it’s fraudulent; unfortunately, Amazon is notoriously unhelpful (unconcerned?) about such things, so I’m not holding my breath.

SRI has a rather slapdash web site, although — given this example — I’d be wary of purchasing anything from them.

As the Internet constantly proves, there’s no shortage of hustlers hoping to take advantage of the unwary. Caveat emptor!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Jolly Guaraldi Holiday 2018

Thanksgiving arrived early this year, so I'm a few days later than usual, with this annual round-up of the many Guaraldi-themed concerts taking place during the next month, most of which (of course!) are tied in to his music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

It has become quite obvious that numerous bands and individuals across the country —- and elsewhere! -- have turned this into a popular tradition. Goodness, some of them even have expanded into Halloween- and Thanksgiving-themed concerts, featuring music from those Peanuts TV specials. High-fives to all of them, for keeping Guaraldi's musical torch aloft! I traced the history and growth of this delightful tradition back in 2012, with a modest schedule that now seems quaint. This new post will serve as a clearinghouse for any and all late 2018 concerts that come to my attention. As always, I'll add to this schedule as new information becomes available, so you'll want to check back frequently.


Our Canadian neighbors once again can enjoy the return of the season's most historic booking. Drummer Jerry Granelli, who worked as a member of Guaraldi's trio in the 1960s, will headline Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas with his own trio: Simon Fisk (bass) and Chris Gestrin (piano). He began this annual celebration with a few shows in 2013, and the results were quite popular (no surprise there). His appearances were modest last year, but he has bounced back with six gigs this season, starting Saturday, December 1, at Calgary's Central United Church; and concluding Saturday, December 15, at St. Alberg's Arden Theater. Check his web site for details.


As has become a biannual tradition, the most ambitious tour news comes from Concord recording artist David Benoit, who once again is taking his on the road. (He tends to tour with saxman Dave Koz every other year.) Benoit once again will be accompanied by special guest Sara Gazarek. Their schedule kicks off November 27 in Phoenix, Arizona; and concludes December 23 in San Juan Capistrano, California, with stops along the way in Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado. We caught Benoit's performance in 2011 and 2015, and I can report that it's a great show. It's also tremendously sweet, since he and his team work with a children's choir that is local to each stop. Check his web site for details.


The Heather Pierson Trio — Pierson on piano; Shawn Nadeau on bass; Craig Bryan on drums — has scheduled a tour of (thus far) 10 shows devoted to A Charlie Brown Christmas. All the shows are in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts: They kick off December 1 in Conway, New Hampshire; and conclude December 21 in Framingham, Massachusetts. Check her web site for details.

The Cartoon Christmas Trio — Jeff Knoettner, piano; Rob Swanson, bass; Jimmy Coleman, drums — doesn't concentrate solely on music from A Charlie Brown Christmas; they also pepper their performances with tunes from other animated holiday shows, such as Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Their album is a kick; give it a listen.) They have several shows scheduled thus far, starting Sunday, December 2, in Milton, Delaware; and concluding Sunday, December 23, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Check their web site for details.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Concerto-izing, Episode 3

We’re long overdue for an update on Nashville-based musician, composer and arranger Dick Tunney's commission to create a Peanuts Concerto that will morph Guaraldi’s most recognizable themes into a symphonic fantasy for solo piano and orchestra.

(You can read about the genesis of this project here and here.)

The delay was prompted by the reality of a musician’s life: the arrival of another project with a tighter timeline that superseded Dick’s efforts on behalf of Guaraldi. Dick had to set Vince aside in order to complete a three-movement piano concerto based on the songs of Burt Bacharach, which dominated his schedule earlier this year. It premiered May 19 with Jeffrey Biegel at the piano: the same gentleman who also will perform the Peanuts Concerto when it premieres — as currently is planned — in March 2019 at Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Dick subsequently dove back into Guaraldi’s oeuvre, and we exchanged several notes during the past summer, as various Peanuts tunes were considered for each of the three movements. Mostly, Dick has wanted to ensure that he gives at least a passing nod to any and all “Guaraldi Peanuts classics.” (And boy, there’s an open question: How deep is the list of “songs that shouldn’t be left behind,” bearing in mind the structural requirements of an orchestral concerto?)

At any rate, Dick just surfaced long enough to report on progress, so I’ll turn the rest of this post over to him:

********

On October 1, I finished the piano score for the first movement. The creative tightrope that I’ve been walking for these past couple of months is to keep the jazz harmonic structure, as well as the genius of Mr. Guaraldi’s improvisation, and let them co-exist with the symphony instrumentation and classical attitude. This it the third piano concerto whose commission has found my desk, and at this point it has been the biggest challenge. Honoring the legacy of such wonderful jazz piano, juxtaposed with Jeffrey’s astonishing classical gifts, has been a daunting task.  I’ve chosen to include the “Thanksgiving Theme,” “Red Baron” and “Oh, Good Grief” in the opening movement, with a couple of “Linus and Lucy” teasers/fragments just for fun.

The second movement piano score is underway, and I’m tipping the musical cap to Schroeder; this movement will begin with a piece of Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique, which then morphs nicely into “Happiness Is.” A couple of final song decisions, and hopefully the piano score will be finished in short order. After that, the orchestration.

We’ve chosen to save the “Christmas movement” for last, as the final movement of the concerto. It’s finished, piano and orchestra. All of the Charlie Brown Christmas favorites are present: “Skating,” “Linus and Lucy,” “O Tannenbaum” and “Christmas Time Is Here.”
All in all, I believe that this concerto will become an audience favorite, and will be performed many times beyond its March 2019 premiere.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Another vinyl attack

We're just about to enter the fourth quarter of 2018 — or, as we view it in our household, the increasingly rapid slide into the holiday season — and you know what that means:

More new packaging for vinyl editions of Guaraldi's original album score for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

This seems to have become an annual tradition. I have to assume that folks keep snapping them up, or else we'd not be getting more every year.

First up is the Target exclusive, which features the classic cover and LP, and also comes with a "limited edition original art poster." It went on sale September 28.

Not to be outdone, two weeks earlier Barnes & Noble released a much more tempting version, which boasts a cute "limited edition picture disc."

Mind you, I'm not complaining. Anything that keeps the album relevant is cool in my book, and it's great to see that these large chains regard Guaraldi's 1965 album as a hot ticket. It's the best possible way to ensure that his music keeps getting introduced to the ears of new generations of young listeners.

Unfortunately, it still has a long way to go before overtaking the all-time best-selling holiday albums: a list topped by (in order) Elvis Presley, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Now That's What I Call Christmas!, Mannheim Steamroller (twice), Nat King Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand. Guaraldi does have the best-selling jazz Christmas album (assuming one regards Nat King Cole's release as pop). (And no, Kenny G ain't jazz.)

But who knows? With special annual releases such as these, and the ongoing steady sales of CDs and downloads, Vince may catch up with at least some of the folks on that list...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Treat or trick?

I've had to keep mum about this, since initially getting involved back in early May. That's when Concord/Craft asked if I'd be willing to write fresh liner notes for an upcoming release of the score for the Peanuts television special, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

(As if I'd have declined...!)

The assignment was a delightful excuse to once again probe the evolution of Guaraldi's efforts for the third prime-time Peanuts special, this time adding a few additional details that have come to light since my book was published.

Unfortunately, as has become clear from audio samples posted at the Varese Sarabande website and CraftRecordings' Instagram site, Concord/Craft did not have access to any of Guaraldi's original studio tapes, which we can assume contained takes that were far longer than what was edited into the TV special. (This lends weight to my long-standing fear that such tapes no longer exist.) These samples indicate that this new CD is built from a "baked" music-and-effects track; in other words, this disc's individual tracks will feature music only as it is heard in the animated special, with short edits, fades and some abrupt stops ... along with sound effects. The re-mastering certainly will enhance the audio quality, but there's no question that the listening experience will be compromised by the sound effects "clutter."

By definition, the CD also will be brief. Assuming every single note is included, the 17 tracks will run somewhere between 19 and 20 minutes.

I'll turn the rest of this post over to the Concord/Craft press release:


********

One of the most sought-after soundtracks in the beloved collection of music from the iconic Peanuts animated TV specials, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is being made available for the first time ever on Friday, October 5, via Craft Recordings. Featuring music by Grammy Award-winning composer/performer Vince Guaraldi, the CD package includes a new introduction from the TV show's executive producer, Lee Mendelson, along with insightful liner notes by Derrick Bang, Peanuts historian and author of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano.

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Music from the Soundtrack) features some of the most iconic tracks in pop culture, including the instantly recognizable "Linus and Lucy," as well as the languid, lyrical "Great Pumpkin Waltz." The music was recorded on October 4, 1966, at Desilu's Gower Street Studio in Hollywood, California, by Guaraldi (piano) and his longtime friends and trio sidemen - bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Colin Bailey - joined by Emanuel Klein (trumpet), John Gray (guitar) and Ronald Lang (woodwinds). The entire scoring process was overseen by composer, arranger and conductor John Scott Trotter, well-known for a three-decade run as Bing Crosby's music director and close friend.

Following the astounding popularity of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip and the first two successful Peanuts television specials -- A Charlie Brown Christmas and Charlie Brown's All-Stars -- It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown debuted October 27, 1966, with a phenomenal 49 percent audience share, meaning 49 percent of the people watching television during those 30 minutes had tuned in to see Charlie Brown.

"This is the quintessential Vince Guaraldi for our Peanuts specials ... some of his best atmospheric jazz," Mendelson shares. "Vince's score carries the gang with the autumn leaves, through the scary and cold Halloween night. This music comforts the indomitable faith of Linus, still waiting for his hero since 1966: forever in our ears, hearts and memories."

"Guaraldi had a strong sense of how music could -- and should -- be employed to maximize the viewing audience's emotional response," writes Bang. "[He] emphatically established the Peanuts 'musical personality' with this third outing, and all subsequent prime-time specials owed much to the groovin' atmosphere that is so prevalent in Great Pumpkin. Guaraldi had a gig for life ... and his legacy lives on, expand[ing] by the year, thanks in great part to the jazz swagger given to an insecure blockhead and his lovably crazy beagle."

Track listing:

1. Linus and Lucy
2. Graveyard Theme
3. Snoopy and the Leaf/Frieda (With the Naturally Curly Hair)
4. The Great Pumpkin Waltz
5. Linus and Lucy (Reprise)
6. Charlie Brown Theme/Happy Linus
7. The Great Pumpkin Waltz (Reprise)
8. The Red Baron/Military Drum March
9. The Great Pumpkin Waltz (2nd Reprise)
10. Trick or Treat
11. Fanfare/Breathless/Trick or Treat (Reprise)
12. Charlie Brown Theme (Reprise)
13. Breathless
14. It's a Long Way to Tipperary/There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding/Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag/Roses of Picardy
15. Trick or Treat (2nd Reprise)
16. Linus and Lucy (2nd Reprise)
17. Charlie Brown Theme (2nd Reprise)

It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown can be pre-ordered via Amazon or the Craft Recordings Web Store, or copies will be available October 5 at your local indie record store.