Couldn’t really find a verbal quote for today’s birthday honoree, but, please, isn’t this musical clip better?
Vince Anthony Guaraldi was born today in San Francisco in 1928. He he would have been 84.
Guaraldi, aka “Dr. Funk,” began playing piano gigs in college. His first record was with the Cal Tjader Trio in 1953, entitled “Vibratharpe.” in 1955 he started his own trio with guitarist Eddie Duran and bass player Dean Reilly. The trio released “The Vince Guaraldi Trio” in 56 and “A Flower is a Lonesome Thing” in ’57. Guaraldi continued to do album work with other musicians throughout the late 1950s.
He picked up on the Latin vibe with a reformed trio (Bassist Monte Budwig and drummer Colin Bailey) and put out “Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus.” The track “Cast Your Fate to the Wind“ became his first Gold Record and earned him a Jazz Grammy.
He was chosen by Reverend Charles Gompertz of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral to compose a “modern setting for the choral Eucharist.” The 40 minute piece, for jazz trio and 68-voice choir, took him a year an half to write, and includes an 11 minute instrumental “Holy Communion Blues” and a syncopated “Kyrie Eleison.” Performed in May of 1965, the recording went on critical and popular success.
He became a household name when he penned “Linus and Lucy“ and other songs for A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Heres another version of the Linus and Lucy Theme that I really liked (it takes a bit of time to start, but it’s nice).