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Vince Guaraldi
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    (July 17, 1928-February 6, 1976)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Pianist for the Vince Guaraldi Trio
    Best known for recording music for the Charlie Brown TV specials
    Also recorded 'Cast Your Fate to the Wind'
    Died of a heart attack in Menlo Park, CA at age 47
    The self described 'reformed boogie-woogie piano player' had to work 12 years before becoming an 'overnight success.'
    One of his early nicknames was Dr. Funk.
    He played two stints with Latin jazz musician Cal Tjader, but after a successful 1958 gig at the Monterey Jazz Festival, he showed his appreciation by leaving for good.
    'Cast Your Fate to the Wind' was a 1963 B-side song that only got airplay because DJs were non-plussed with the A-side of the record.
    He said he never tired of repeatedly playing 'Cast Your Fate to the Wind' at gigs because 'It's like signing the back of a check.'
    The night before his death, he told a colleague he had 'not been feeling well,' yet did not seek medical treatment.
    In the late '50s, he taught up and coming jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich his style, and the two remained friends until his death.
    'Cast Your Fate to the Wind' won him a Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition.
    A cover version of the song by Sounds Orchestral in 1965 hit #10 on Billboard's Singles chart in the U.S, and #1 on Adult Contemporary chart.
    It was this song that convinced 'Peanuts' TV special producer Lee Mendelson to sign him to score 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' (with Charles M. Schulz's approval).
    The soundtrack was an immediate hit, with the song 'Linus and Lucy' becoming an instantly recognizable standard for the 'Peanuts' franchise.
    He scored 15 soundtracks for Charlie Brown TV specials (plus one movie soundtrack), and just finished 'It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown' in the afternoon before his death.
    Doing what he did best, he died resting between jazz sets at Butterfield's Nightclub.
    Famous musicians who have covered his work include Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, David Benoit and Sarah McLachlan singing 'Christmas Time Is Here.'

Credit: Scar Tactics

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