|David Willat and your faithful blog host. (David is the good-looking gent not wearing a|
(I interviewed David and two other former choir members, back in June 2010, during an energetic four-way conversation; the setting was one of the the rehearsal rooms at St. Paul's Church itself, in San Rafael. That was a memorable couple of hours.)
Local-access DJ Bill Buchanan, who back in 2012 granted me his weekly KDRT show to discuss my just-published Guaraldi biography, opened his studio again for a half-hour chat with Willat and me. The three of us had a grand time, as David discussed his experiences back in the day. The interview even resurrected a memory nugget that I'd not heard before, which you'll recognize while listening to the show, and which you can bet I'll be investigating more aggressively.
The show is being broadcast this week on our local station, and the podcast version is available for listening here.
Sadly, I made a lamentable gaffe at one point, with respect to the date of the second presentation of Guaraldi's Jazz Mass. My memory was accurate when I pegged that event in January 1966, at the Rev. Charles Gompertz's Church of Ignacio ... but then I had to spoil the moment by trying for the precise date, and fluffed it. (January 23, for the record, and not January 8. That's what happens when you try to show off.)
That aside, the conversation was lively, and David was a great sport. I only wish Bill's show could have included some of the juicy stuff that was mentioned before and after the microphones went live...
As I mention toward the conclusion of my book, true fame comes when an artist's work enters the pantheon of pop-culture exposure, particularly on television and in cinema. Guaraldi's tunes, as he recorded them, have lived on in TV shows such as The Simpsons and Arrested Development, and in the soundtracks of movies such as The Royal Tennenbaums and An Education.
The most recent big-screen example is the 2014 Hugh Grant romantic comedy, The Rewrite, which also features Marisa Tomei and recent Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons. Although the soundtrack is dominated by original music from Clyde Lawrence and Cody Fitzgerald, the menu also includes tunes by Madeleine Peyroux and Stolen Jars, along with the Vince Guaraldi Trio's rendition of "Since I Fell for You," from his album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. Thus far, the soundtrack is available only as an MP3 download at Amazon and a few other digital outlets; no CD has been announced.
Unfortunately, I've no idea when most of us in the States might be able to see the film. Although released in the United Kingdom back in early October, it has yet to secure wide U.S. distribution ... which probably isn't a good sign for a film with such a heavyweight cast. It therefore might be awhile before we can hear Guaraldi's tune within the context of writer/director Marc Lawrence's storyline. Ah, well...