Good grief, it’s A Boy Named Charlie Brown – on CD – complete! A Boy Named Charlie Brown opened on December 4, 1969 at the Radio City Music Hall, only the third animated feature to play there (the first two were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi). It boasted the largest advance sale of any picture in Radio City Music Hall history. It became an instant classic, the reviews were great, audiences flocked to the film and it has remained an instant classic ever since. Vincent Canby summed it all up in his New York Times review: “A practically perfect screen equivalent to the quiet joys to be found in almost any of Charles M. Shulz’s Peanuts comic strips.”
Of course, Charlie and company had already had several animated hits on TV and one of main components of those was the witty and tuneful music of jazz great Vince Guaraldi. Producer Lee Mendelsohn was driving home from a meeting with Schulz when he happened to hear Guaraldi’s classic “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” on the radio. He contacted Guaraldi, cast his fate to the wind, and the rest is musical history and heaven.
Guaraldi’s music for A Boy Named Charlie Brown is simply amazing and simply perfect. Add to that the fantastic underscore of John Scott Trotter and songs by Rod McKuen and you have the makings of a classic soundtrack, so much so that the music was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song Score. There was, of course, a soundtrack release by Columbia Records, but it was more of a “story” album, with a lot of talking over virtually every cue, some of it written specifically for the LP. Soundtrack fans longed for a complete soundtrack release without the narration. They longed for many years.
But good grief, guess what? This world premiere CD release was produced from the original music-only session masters before the narration was overlaid and so, at long last, fans have what they’ve been asking for four decades, the complete score and songs with no narration at all in pristine and glorious stereophonic sound. Vince Guaraldi was one of the all-time greats and this CD is a testament to his genius and brilliance. So, come join Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the entire Peanuts gang for an infectious, tuneful, and magical musical adventure. -KRITZERLAND
1. Champion Charlie Brown (Logo)*/Cloud Dreams†
2. Champion Charlie Brown (Main Title)*/A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Vocal: Rod McKuen)*
3. Kite Music (Lucifer’s Lady)**/Charlie Brown and His All-Stars**
4. Percussion Swinger**/Baseball Theme**
5. Baseball Theme (Charlie Brown Pitches)**
6. Baseball Theme (Three Strikes and You’re Out)**/A Boy Named Charlie Brown (We Lost Again)*/Air Music (Snoopy Theme)**/ The Red Baron Strikes Again†
7. Blue Charlie Brown**
8. Linus and Lucy (Time to Go to School)**/Champion Charlie Brown (I Only Dread One Day at a Time)*
9. Failure Face (Lucy, Violet, Patty)*/Catatonic Blues†
10. “I” Before “E” (Charlie Brown, Linus)††
11. Champion Charlie Brown (The Gang)*
12. Oh, Good Grief**/Champion Charlie Brown (Bus Station)*/A Boy Named Charlie Brown*
13. Linus and Lucy (I’ve Got to Get My Blanket Back)**
14. Bus Wheel Blues†
15. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (“I” Before Milk)*/Champion Charlie Brown*
16. Linus and Lucy (Big City)**
17. Skating**/Blue Puck†/Skating** (Snoopy on Ice)
18. Linus and Lucy (Found Blanket)**/Champion Charlie Brown (Spelling Bee)*
19. A Boy Named Charlie Brown*/Bus Wheel Blues†
20. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (I’m Never Going to School Again)*
21. Charlie Brown and His All-Stars**
22. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Vocal: Rod McKuen)*
23. Champion Charlie Brown (Logo) (alternate)*
24. The Star-Spangled Banner (arr. Trotter)†††
25. Air Music (Snoopy Theme)**/The Red Baron Strikes Again (alternate)†
26. Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 (3rd movement) (Ludwig Von Beethoven)†††
27. Bus Wheel Blues (alternate)†
28. Champion Charlie Brown (Transition)*
29. Skating**/Blue Puck†/Skating** (Snoopy on Ice alternate)
30. Linus and Lucy (Found Blanket) (alternate)**
31. Champion Charlie Brown (unused jazz combo)*
32. Dialogue (Linus, Charlie Brown)
[Linus: Glenn Gilger, Charlie Brown: Peter Robbins]
*Music and lyrics by Rod McKuen, Published by Editions Chanson Music (ASCAP).
**Music by Vince Guaraldi, Published by Lee Mendelsohn Film Productions Inc. (BMI).
†Music by John Scott Trotter, Published by Aspenfair Music Inc. (ASCAP).
††Music by John Scott Trotter, Lyrics by Bill Melendez and Al Shean, Published by EMI April Music Inc. (ASCAP).