A Boy Named Charlie Brown, a collection of jazz songs by The Vince Guaraldi Trio which were from the earliest Peanuts television specials, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00, as part of their monthly $5 MP3 Album Deals.
Vince Guaraldi was a jazz pianist responsible for some traditional, samba and bossa nova-style acoustic jazz during his career. He scored a minor hit with the song “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” which was released in the mid-1960s and won him a Grammy Award. It was on the strength of this song, which netted him the gig to score the Peanuts specials, starting with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965. That score, became an instant smash and is regarded as a traditional Christmas album to this very day. He wound up scoring the next 15 specials afterwards, all infused with the bright, upbeat fast-paced and sometimes mellow rainy ballads that permeated and made the specials as memorable and identifiable as the animation or the narratives within them. His career was cut tragically short when he died of a heart attack in February of 1976, capping not only a loss to the jazz community, but also ending an era of the sound and feel of the Peanuts specials. Specials continued to be produced well into the 21st century, but replacement sound alike composers for them couldn’t muster up the great energy that came from the mind of Vince Guaraldi, and thus, they were never the same again.
With A Boy Named Charlie Brown (not to be confused with the 1969 Peanuts theatrical release, which Guaraldi also had scored with John Scott Trotter), remains a collection of some of the best of that early wave of Vince’s work for the specials, and a first listen will instantly bring a first generation or tenth generation fan of those early specials back to the zeitgeist of those times with songs like “Oh Good Grief,” “Happiness Is,” “Blue Charlie Brown,” “Baseball Theme,” and of course, his magnum opus, still played and remains as the key musical symbol of the entire Peanuts animated oeuvre, “Linus and Lucy.” All the songs are not only great jazz, played by the Guaraldi trio with a verve, a crackling energy and a sunny sincerity, they are also in essence, some of the most memorable tunes in animation history. Not since Carl Stalling scored Warner Brothers cartoons had an artist become so instantly recognizable by his work in animation, and really, no one has been able to do that since.
To sum up, in listening to A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the listener doesn’t only get to hear jazz music that is top shelf, they also get a chance to relive an integral piece of their childhood, regardless of their age.
Browse over 2,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each!
1. Oh, Good Grief
2. Pebble Beach
3. Happiness Is
5. Charlie Brown Theme
6. Linus And Lucy
7. Blue Charlie Brown
8. Baseball Theme
9. Freda (With The Naturally Curly Hair)
10. Fly Me To The Moon
Note – when you purchase MP3s through Amazon, it stores your purchases to Amazon’s Cloud Drive; from there you can stream the music right from their online player. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, your MP3 purchases will automatically be available for you to stream on your device. All your purchases are backed up and available for you to download at any time. You can download the files to your computer to load to an MP3 device and to your iTunes account if you have one. If you’d like to gift these MP3 purchases, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album.