Turns out Columbia Records is equally guilty.
|The Rod McKuen album|
Got all that?
Unfortunately, the initial FSM post and subsequent dialogue revealed misinformation regarding how many songs McKuen actually contributed to the 1969 Peanuts film, which piqued my curiosity ... and led to my discovery that the Columbia Records story-soundtrack LP is guilty of serious errors.
And, sadly, these mistakes have been repeated by no less an authority than the American Film Institute's Catalog of Feature Films 1961-1970, which has a blatantly wrong entry regarding A Boy Named Charlie Brown; this was duly cited by an FSM message board contributor who certainly had no reason to suspect an AFI publication.
All of which goes to show how pernicious bad data can become, once it migrates to the Internet.
This blog post, then, is an effort to set the record straight.
|The film story/soundtrack album|
Each of the LP's two sides is a single long track. On the back of the LP sleeve, in the third column, an anonymous author attempted to divide each of these two tracks into distinct sections, by assigning sometimes arbitrary titles to each short "chapter." Each of these titles, in turn, is credited to one of five composers (or combined composers). And this is where the errors crept in, because McKuen is cited for all sorts of things that seem to be different songs ... but actually are reprises of the three songs he actually wrote for the film.
|The misleading information, in part|
I've therefore done what I obviously should have done years ago, and sussed out the actual contents of the Columbia LP, in terms of what you're hearing when, and who wrote it.
Starting with the latter, let's establish authorship.
As mentioned, McKuen contributed three songs: the title tune ("A Boy Named Charlie Brown"), "Failure Face" and "Champion Charlie Brown."
A fourth song, "I Before E," is by conductor/arranger John Scott Trotter (music) and Bill Melendez and Al Shean (lyrics).
Guaraldi used six of his own compositions throughout the film: "Charlie Brown's All-Stars," "Baseball Theme," "Blue Charlie Brown," "Linus and Lucy," "Skating" and "Lucifer's Lady."
Trotter delivered four of his own original compositions: "Cloud Dreams," "Catatonic Blues," "Bus Wheel Blues" and "Blue Puck." He also orchestrated "broader" instrumental versions of the songs by McKuen and Guaraldi.
Finally, one track must be credited to a certain Ludwig Van Beethoven.
The following lists give the LP's "chapter titles" first, followed by the actual compositions employed — which, in some cases, match the chapter titles — and who performs them.
So, let's begin with...
0:00 "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" — vocal, sung by McKuen
2:45 "Cloud Dreams" — performed by the orchestra
3:49 "Charlie Brown and His All-Stars" — actually "Charlie Brown's All-Stars," performed first by Guaraldi's combo, which then is joined by the orchestra
6:30 "We Lost Again" — actually "Baseball Theme," performed first by Guaraldi's combo, and then orchestrated; at 8:00, this segues to an orchestral instrumental version of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown"
9:31 "Blue Charlie Brown" — performed by Guaraldi's combo
13:27 "Time to Go to School" — actually "Linus and Lucy," performed by Guaraldi's combo
14:17 "I Only Dread One Day at a Time" — actually an orchestral version of "Charlie Brown's All-Stars"
15:27 "Failure Face" — vocal, sung by the Peanuts gang
16:12 "By Golly, I'll Show 'Em" — actually "Catatonic Blues," by the orchestra
19:20 "Class Champion" — actually an orchestral instrumental version of "Champion Charlie Brown"
19:42 "I Before E" — vocal, sung by Charlie Brown and Linus
24:36 "School Spelling Bee" — a brief orchestral instrumental reprise, with mouth harp, of "I Before E"
25:14 "Champion Charlie Brown" — vocal, sung by the Peanuts gang
0:00 "Start Boning Up on Your Spelling, Charlie Brown" — dialogue only; no music
1:45 "You'll Either Be a Hero ... or a Goat" — actually an orchestral instrumental version of "Champion Charlie Brown"
2:50 "Bus Station" — also a piano/orchestral instrumental version of "Champion Charlie Brown"
4:27 "Bus Wheel Blues" — orchestral version
5:42 "Do Piano Players Make a Lot of Money?" — actually a snatch of the third movement of Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata in C minor, Op. 13
6:18 "I've Got to Get My Blanket Back" — actually a minor-key orchestral version of "Linus and Lucy," which segues (at 7:28) to an orchestral instrumental version of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," and then segues back (at 9:02) to a slow combo version of "Linus and Lucy"
10:44 "Big City" — actually a slow combo version of "Linus and Lucy"
11:48 "Snoopy on Ice" — actually a combo version of "Skating," which segues (at 13:24) to an orchestral presentation of "Blue Puck"
15:54 "Found Blanket" — actually a combo and orchestral version of "Linus and Lucy"
16:28 "National Spelling Bee" — actually an orchestral instrumental version of "Champion Charlie Brown"
17:03 "B-E-A-G-E-L" — dialogue only, no music, until it segues (at 21:01) to a string-heavy orchestral instrumental version of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown"
21:52 "Bus Wheel Blues" — orchestral reprise, with mouth harp
22:26 "Homecoming" — actually an orchestral instrumental version of "Champion Charlie Brown"
24:17 "I'm Never Going to School Again" — actually an orchestral instrumental version of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown"
24:49 "Welcome Home, Charlie Brown" — a combo rendition of "Lucifer's Lady"
25:45 "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" — vocal, sung by McKuen
And there you have it. If anybody ever untangles the legal rights and re-masters this LP for CD release, let's hope they get it right...
MAY 2016 UPDATE: Although no progress has been made with respect to such a CD, I'm happy to report that gentle nudging has resulted in the AFI database information being corrected, which can be verified via the AFI's online Catalog of Feature Films. We can't do anything about the incorrect information in the print edition cited above, but maybe this more accurate online entry will overtake the existing errors that have been migrating via the Web.