Linus and Lucy

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"Linus and Lucy"
Linuslucy64single.jpg
US 7" single
Single by Vince Guaraldi
from the album Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas
A-side"Oh, Good Grief"
ReleasedDecember 1964 (1964-12) (U.S.)
Recorded1964
Genre
Length3:06
LabelFantasy 593X
Songwriter(s)Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi singles chronology
"Treat Street"
(1964)
"Linus and Lucy"
(1964)
"Theme to Grace"
(1965)

"Linus and Lucy" is a popular instrumental jazz standard written by American jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, appearing in many Peanuts animated specials. Named for the two fictional siblings Linus and Lucy van Pelt, it was originally released on Guaraldi's album Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown. However, it gained its greatest exposure as part of the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack the following year.[1] It is one of the most recognizable pieces by Guaraldi, and has gained status as the signature melody of the Peanuts franchise.[2]

Composition[edit]

The genesis of "Linus and Lucy" began when Peanuts producer Lee Mendelson heard Guaraldi's recent hit, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind", on the radio while driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. Mendelson then contacted San Francisco Chronicle jazz critic Ralph J. Gleason, who put him in touch with Guaraldi. Mendelson believed Guaraldi would be a good fit for a documentary he was working on entitled A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Guaraldi gladly accepted the offer to compose several jazz tunes for the documentary.[3]

Within several weeks, Mendelson received a call from an excited Guaraldi who wanted to play a piece of music he had just written. Mendelson, not wanting his first exposure to the new music to be marred by the poor audio qualities of a telephone, suggested coming over to Guaraldi's studio. Guaraldi enthusiastically refused, saying "I’ve got to play this for someone right now or I’ll explode!" He then begun playing the yet-untitled "Linus and Lucy" for Mendelson, who agreed the song was perfect for Schulz's Peanuts characters.[3]

Reflecting on the song in 2008, Mendelson said, "it just blew me away. It was so right, and so perfect, for Charlie Brown and the other characters. I have no idea why, but I knew that song would affect my entire life. There was a sense, even before it was put to animation, that there was something very, very special about that music."[4]

Releases[edit]

"Linus and Lucy" was originally featured on Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1964) and was also released as the B-side for the single "Oh, Good Grief". However, it gained its greatest exposure as part of the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack the following year. Since then, it has been reissued multiple times over the last 55 years. To date, it has been included on the following soundtracks and compilations:[5]

Guaraldi included variations of his signature tune in most subsequent Peanuts television specials he worked on after A Charlie Brown Christmas through You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown in 1975. Some of these alternate renditions have been made available on the following releases:[5]

Legacy[edit]

"Linus and Lucy" receives considerable airplay on radio stations in the United States and Canada that flip to Christmas music for the holiday season due to its inclusion on the soundtrack album of A Charlie Brown Christmas.[1]

The first 24 bars of the song's sheet music were adopted as startup sound while subsequent 8 bars of which were adopted as shutdown sound in the desktop theme Peanuts from Microsoft Plus! 98.

The song has been used as background music for The Weather Channel's local forecasts since 1999.[9]

On May 10, 2019, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the single gold for sales.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zollo, Patul. "How the Vince Guaraldi Trio Tune "Linus & Lucy" Became an American Standard". American Songwriter.
  2. ^ Robbins, Patrick. "Five Good Covers: Linus and Lucy (Vince Guaraldi)". Cover Me Songs.
  3. ^ a b Bang, Derrick. Liner notes for A Boy Named Charlie Brown: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2017); Kritzerland, Inc. Retrieved 7 May 2020
  4. ^ Bang, Derrick (2012). Vince Guaraldi at the Piano. Jefferson, North Carolina (U.S.): McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-5902-5. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi on LP and CD". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. The Charlie Brown Suite & Other Favorites at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  7. ^ Live on the Air at AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  8. ^ "A Boy Named Charlie Brown - Guaraldi - McKuen". www.kritzerland.com.
  9. ^ The Weather Channel Archived 2008-04-05 at the Wayback Machine Local Forecast Music Play List Holiday Season 1999
  10. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved December 31, 2019.