We never did make it to the Sunrise Service. Truth be-known, we never have. But we did make it out for a delightful morning walk in time to observe some jolly neighborhood Easter egg hunts-in-the-making, just waiting for the kids/grandkids to arrive. Gotta’ admit, I miss those years.
Looking for the perfect melody for such a day, I figured there must have been a Vince Guaraldi-themed Peanuts Easter special, and I was right, “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” was first broadcast in 1974. But the problem with Peanuts specials from the ‘70s is that none of Guaraldi’s music is readily available. The best I could come up with was a 2008 release, “Vince Guaraldi and the Lost Cues from Charlie Brown Television Specials, Volume 2” but the two Easter tracks just don’t fit the bill.
Born in (“zow”) San Francisco’s North Beach in 1928 and having served as an Army cook in the Korean War, Jazz pianist, guitarist, singer-song writer Vincent Anthony Guaraldi had already released a dozen albums when, in 1964, the producer of the upcoming (and very first) Peanuts special (“A Charlie Brown Christmas”) was riding over the Golden Gate Bridge in a taxicab and heard the Vince Guaraldi Trio on the radio …a few weeks later Guaraldi was performing his first “Peanuts” composition, “Linus and Lucy” over the telephone for that same producer, and the die was cast.
Guaraldi went on to compose the scores for 15 Peanuts television specials, including those for Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Election Day, Summer and (of course) Halloween, and had just finished recording “It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown” in 1976 when he died at the age of 47 from an aortic aneurism.
If nothing else, this is a day about resurrection and surely Vince Guaraldi’s music will continue to do just that with our childhood memories for ages to come. Here’s wishing a Joyous Easter to “Linuses and Lucies” everywhere.