A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This first premiered on November 20, 1973, on CBS and won an Emmy Award. Great Thanksgiving special as always with the earlier Peanuts.

The Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Peanuts specials I always looked forward to. The way their world was only for kids where grownups were heard but only as noise in the background.

It starts off with Lucy tempting Charlie Brown with that football. Just one time I wanted to see Charlie kick the football…or Lucy.

It’s Thanksgiving and Peppermint Patty invites herself and Marcie over to Charlie Brown’s house but Charlie and Sally are ready to go to their grandmothers. Charlie talks to Linus and he suggests having two Thanksgiving dinners.

The only thing Charlie can come up with is feeding his friends toast and cold cereal which does not make Peppermint Patty happy whatsoever. She lets Charlie have it really bad until Marcie reminds her that she invited herself over.

Not going to give it away for those who have not seen this wonderful holiday cartoon. The music by Vince Guaraldi is excellent and makes every Peanuts cartoon special.

The Peanuts

The Peanuts lived in a world where adults didn’t matter as much. The world was for kids only and anytime an adult came around and talked… all you heard was a wah, wah, wah wah… no words. All the kids owned their day to day activities. The Peanuts didn’t talk down to us…no they talked to us. They were also clever enough for adults to like.

Nobody ever wins every time in this life. Everyone loses sometimes…therefore everyone is Charlie Brown to an extent. Every person has failed at a big moments or at small moments. We felt for Charlie Brown because we felt for ourselves.

When my son was born…I thought oh great…Now I’m a grown up and I’m a wah, wah, wah, wah adult…My son will live his life and sometimes I will be just noise in the background.

Growing up, there was no other cartoon I looked forward to more than the Peanuts. Every holiday and any time one of the networks decided to show one… I was there. I would also read the occasional Sunday paper to see the Peanuts strip.

Everything from Linus telling us the true meaning of Christmas, Sally and Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Lucy pulling that football from Charlie Brown, Snoopy being cool and taking care of Woodstock, Lucy being a Psychiatrist and Charlie Brown getting that sad looking Christmas tree…we got to peek into that world and listen to the wisdom that was going on while propped up on that brick wall.

Charlie Brown and Linus wall

Charlie Brown, one day when you grow up… I hope you end up with the little red head girl that you like so much and win just for once…for all of us.

Little Red-Haired Girl | Charlie brown characters, Charlie brown and  snoopy, Charlie brown cartoon

Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy

It’s hard to resist this song. It automatically makes me happy when I hear it. I see Snoopy dancing on Schroeder’s computer.

Ironically, just about everyone would call this “the Charlie Brown song” even though it’s actually titled after Linus and Lucy Van Pelt, brother and sister in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip universe.

The song is most famous for its use in the yearly favorite A Charlie Brown Christmas, which first aired in 1965, but it was written two years earlier for a documentary about Schulz and the Peanuts gang called A Boy Named Charlie Brown, which never aired.

Songfacts

 The San Francisco-based producer Lee Mendelson was in charge of the documentary and asked Vince Guaraldi to compose music for it.

Guaraldi was big in the jazz world and won the 1962 Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition for “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” which reached #22 US in February 1963 for his group, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and went to #10 in 1965 when it was recorded by Sounds Orchestral. Mendelson was fretting over what kind of music to play for the documentary when he took a taxi cab and “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” was playing as he crossed the Golden Gate bridge. That was the sound he was going for: adult-oriented but with a child-like whimsy.

Guaraldi wrote a series of songs for the project, including “Linus and Lucy,” that he recorded with his group, the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Even though A Boy Named Charlie Brown was shelved, the soundtrack was released in 1964, which is where “Linus and Lucy” first appeared.

In 1965, Mendelson put together the first Peanuts TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, using many of the same people who worked on the documentary. “Linus and Lucy” formed the score, and a song he wrote with Guaraldi called “Christmas Time Is Here” was included in a key scene.

A Charlie Brown Christmas aired on CBS and was a huge hit. It bucked convention, with actual children providing the voices, no laugh track, and an anti-materialism message. The jazz stylings of the music – something that had never been done in a high-profile animated children’s special – went over very well with viewers of all generations, and this song quickly became associated with the Peanuts.

With the exception of a limited 2013 release, this song was never released as a single, although thanks to steady airplay every December, it remains a holiday favorite, eliciting fond memories of the TV special.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio worked on more Peanuts projects and did a reworking of this song on a 1968 album called Oh Good Grief!. In 1976, Guaraldi died from a heart attack at age 47.

Amongst the many honors this tune has enjoyed over the years, it was the wake-up alarm music for the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s March 2008 mission “STS-123.” That was played on Day 2 of the mission. Since Day 2 is traditionally the day on which the crew does an inspection for launch damage to the ship – a precaution looking back to the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia’s disaster – the crew could probably appreciate some lighten-up music that day.

 

No words…just imagine Snoopy Dancing.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Peanuts were my favorite cartoon growing up and I would never miss their Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas specials. Everyone can relate to Charlie Brown because we lose more than we win in life. He doesn’t get to kick that football, his dog has more things than he does and he is forever trying to get the elusive little redhead girl to notice him.

The Peanuts inhabit a kids world where grownups are felt but not heard. At least not in English.

This 1965 special has everything good about them in one show.

The gang is skating and Charlie Brown is telling Linus that despite Christmas being a happy time he is depressed. Linus tells Charlie that is normal and Lucy pipes in with “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” That sums it all up.

Charlie gets to direct the Christmas play and his main job was to get a spectacular Christmas tree under Lucy’s orders. …He picks the only real tree there…more like a branch but he is sure it will do the job. Most of the gang do not agree when he comes back with the tree but Charlie persists. Linus gets up and reads from the Bible and the inflection he lends to the reading is great.

After that, you will need to watch because it will be worth it.

Aluminum Christmas trees were marketed beginning in 1958 and enjoyed fairly strong sales by eliminating pesky needles and tree sap. But the annual airings of A Charlie Brown Christmas swayed public thinking: In the special, Charlie Brown refuses to get a fake tree. Viewers began to do the same, and the product was virtually phased out by 1969. The leftovers are now collector’s items.

Actors and Actresses The early Peanuts specials made use of both untrained kids and professional actors: Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus) were working child performers, while the rest of the cast consisted of “regular” kids coached by Melendez in the studio. When Schulz told Melendez that Snoopy couldn’t have any lines in the show—he’s a dog, and Schulz’s dogs didn’t talk—the animator decided to bark and chuff into a microphone himself, then speed up the recording to give it a more emotive quality.

Love the Christmas Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This first premiered on November 20, 1973, on CBS and won an Emmy Award. Great Thanksgiving special as always with the earlier Peanuts.

The Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Peanuts specials I always looked forward to. The way their world was only for kids where grownups were heard but only as noise in the background.

It starts off with Lucy tempting Charlie Brown with that football. Just one time I wanted to see Charlie kick the football…or Lucy at times.

It’s Thanksgiving and Peppermint Patty invites herself and Marcie over to Charlie Brown’s house but Charlie and Sally are ready to go to their grandmothers. Charlie talks to Linus and he suggests having two Thanksgiving dinners.

The only thing Charlie can come up with is feeding his friends toast and cold cereal which does not make Peppermint Patty happy whatsoever. She lets Charlie have it bad until Marcie remind her that she invited herself over.

Not going to give it away for those who have not seen this wonderful holiday cartoon. The music by Vince Guaraldi is excellent and makes every Peanuts cartoon special.