Peanuts fans, rejoice because the soundtrack for It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is set to be reissued on vinyl this fall. And the best part? The record will be in the shape of an orange pumpkin to get you in the mood to enjoy some of Vince Guaraldi’s delightful tunes.
Great Pumpkin was released on television in 1966 and has become one of the most beloved Peanuts specials. The short film features the gang going trick-or-treating, Snoopy flying his doghouse to battle the Red Baron, and, most famously, Linus waiting for the mythical Great Pumpkin to appear.
Guaraldi’s score is as essential to the Peanuts legacy as Charlie Brown falling for Lucy’s football trick or Linus’ security blanket and his Great Pumpkin music is among his most iconic work in the franchise, including “Linus and Lucy,” “The Great Pumpkin Waltz,” and the spooktacular “Graveyard Theme.” Great Pumpkin also served as conductor John Scott Trotter’s introduction to the franchise, as he went on to arrange and direct music scores for 11 Peanuts television specials.
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“By this point, Guaraldi had a strong sense of how music could—and should—be employed to maximize the viewing audience’s emotional response,” explains Peanuts historian Derrick Bang. “Guaraldi emphatically established the Peanuts ‘musical personality’ with this third outing, and all subsequent prime-time specials owed much to the groovin’ atmosphere that is so prevalent in Great Pumpkin.”
The Great Pumpkin record will be available in stores on September 17 but you can pre-order it now. The re-issue will also feature liner notes from Bang and a 2018 introduction from the late producer Lee Mendelson, who was the executive producer on the project.
“Vince’s score carries the gang with the autumn leaves, through the scary and cold Halloween night,” Mendelson wrote. “This music comforts the indomitable faith of Linus, still waiting for his hero since 1966—forever in our ears, hearts, and memories.”