Baseball Theme by Vince Guaraldi Trio – Dutch Baseball Hangout
In this episode of “Baseball Related Songs” we pay attention to “Baseball Theme” performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. This piece of music is purely instrumental and was part of the cartoon movie “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.”
Vince Guaraldi was born in 1928 in San Francisco. He was a composer and played piano and was very well known for his music for the Peanuts TV series.
During his studies at San Francisco State University, he started to play boogie woogie and jazz in local clubs and performed with artists like Sonny Criss, Chubby Jackson en Bill Harris. His first official recording was made in November 1951 with Cal Tjader‘s Mambo Trio.By summer 1954, Guaraldi had formed his first trio, with Eddie Duran (guitar) and Dean Reilly (double bass), and regularly performed in the house band at the hungry i jazz club in San Francisco, backing the singer Faith Winthrop.
During an extensive career, Guaraldi decided to experiment with combining Latin jazz and orchestral instrumentation on his next release, The Latin Side of Vince Guaraldi (1964).
Guaraldi was approached by producer Lee Mendelsohn to write music for the movie “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.” The latter heard Guaraldi’s music on the radio while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Mendelson offered Guaraldi the job of composing the score for the documentary, which Guaraldi gladly accepted. 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 began playing the yet-untitled “Linus and Lucy” for Mendelson, who agreed the song was perfect for Charles Schulz‘s Peanuts characters.] 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.” (quote of wikipedia)
A “Baseball Theme” is a free interpretation of “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.”
In the following years, Guaraldi composed a lot of music for the Charlie Brown TV cartoons.
If you like jazz music, you may like this “song.”