Vince Guaraldi in 1963 (public domain photo)
People refer to it as "Charlie Brown music". But the amazing piano tunes heard in the old Charlie Brown cartoons represent some of the best jazz music ever produced. The genius behind such tunes as "Linus and Lucy" was Vince Guaraldi, a jazz pianist from San Francisco. Vince would go on to write and perform other great songs for the Peanuts cartoons and was credited to giving jazz a much needed boost in the arm throughout the late 1960s. He was nicknamed "Dr Funk" because of the energetic "funky" style in much of his music, but also because of the way he performed (once falling on the floor after madly playing the piano to the end of the keyboard). Sadly, his success would be short lived. Vince Guaraldi died suddenly of a heart attack in 1976 at the young age of 47. But his music can be heard today on Easy Jazz FM Radio.