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Trivia / Vince Guaraldi

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  • Author Existence Failure: After hiring The Sherman Brothers to compose the music for Snoopy, Come Home, Charles Schulz hoped to bring Guaraldi back to work on the music for Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown. Unfortunately, Guaraldi died shortly before the movie went into production.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Cast Your Fate to the Wind", inspired by the film Black Orpheus, became a massive hit in the early '60s. The jazz scene at large, not entirely enamored with the concept of jazz becoming "hit music", didn't like that at all, leading some to refuse to take him seriously as an artist. Some jazz critics maintain this opinion even today, though to much lesser extent than in Guaraldi's day.
  • Development Hell:
    • The biographical documentary The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi has been screened at various festivals a good few times, but has still not been released to home video.
    • A full music-only soundtrack album for the 1969 Peanuts movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, featuring Guaraldi's music, other incidental cues by arranger John Scott Trotter and Rod McKuen's songs, was assembled in the early 2000s and very nearly got released, but rights issues wound up scuttling it. Read more about it here.note 
  • Doing It for the Art: The jazz mass he performed and recorded at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in 1965.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Vince died (reports vary on whether it was from a heart attack or an aortic aneurysm) during an intermission at a gig.
  • He Also Did:
    • Guaraldi did the music for Bicycles Are Beautiful, an educational short film hosted and narrated by Bill Cosby about bicyclenote  safety.
    • He played guitar on some of his work, notably on the funky theme for It's a Mystery..., as well as on a few cues from It's the Easter Beagle.... "Uno y Uno" on Alma-Ville is also a showcase for his guitar playing.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Considering how much he actually composed for Peanuts, a lamentably small part of his body of work has actually seen release. This leaves fans little choice but to rip and circulate recordings from the specials themselves.
    • His Fantasy Records material is readily available, but the only album released between his 1967 departure from Fantasy and his death that's constantly remained in print is Oh, Good Grief!. San Francisco Boys' Chorus, The Eclectic Vince Guaraldi and Alma-Ville all had CD reissues in the 2000s, but copies have become scarce and have been known to command triple-digit figures online. The last two of those finally got reissued in 2018 along with Oh, Good Grief! and a few bonus tracks as part of the Complete Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Recordings set.
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  • Post-Release Retitle: Vince Guaraldi's third album was Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, featuring the song "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" which became Guaraldi's breakthrough hit single. Sometime after the song caught on, the label redesigned the album cover to add the blurb, "Featuring: Cast Your Fate to the Wind". Even later, they outright swapped the position of the blurb and the actual album title, leading a lot of people to refer to the album as Cast Your Fate to the Wind even though it wasn't ever officially retitled.
  • Screwed by the Network: A constant theme in his career with record labels. An audit showed that Fantasy was only giving him around 5% of his royalties, so he sued them, eventually winning a higher percentage and a release from his contract. Then he moved to Warner (Bros.) Records, but after Oh, Good Grief! got some sales, they did absolutely nothing to promote his next two albums and unceremoniously dropped him after that.
  • Scully Box: The cover of The Latin Side... features Vince cozying up to his comparatively Statuesque Stunner girlfriend of the time, standing on nothing less than a box of Brazilian coffee to make up for the height difference.


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