The Mystery of the 1955 Charlie Brown

AAUGH Blog reader Caren (of ) knows I like chronicling non-Peanuts uses of the name “Charlie Brown”, so when she saw an eBay listing for a 1955 Charlie Brown record, she knew that she should sic me on it.

Clearly, this is not Schulz’s Charlie Brown. The immediate thought is that it’s a kiddie cover of the Coasters hit “Charlie Brown”, about an unrelated Charlie who calls the teacher Daddy-O, but that’s a 1958 song. It was written for the Coasters. (It certainly couldn’t have be written before 1955, as the “Daddy-O” bit is a reference to the 1955 film¬†Blackboard Jungle, in which a teacher named Dadier is referred to as “Daddy-O” by the sort of disrespectful young punks who attend schools.) And I found other websites referencing it as a 1955 recording. There were at least two releases of it, the 78 RPM recording you see here, and a 45 RPM version which came later.

So I put in a few-cents-above-asking bid for it, and my low bid turned out to be the high bid, and a copy of it came my way… where it would sit for several weeks until I got up the energy to figure out where the portable record player was hiding. Sure, I investigated a little — the disk itself does not have a date on it, but there’s a copyright date on the back cover of the record sleeve. 1955, just like it said.

Finally today I found the Victrola, pumped it up to 78 RPM, dropped the needle on it, and… it’s a cover of the Coasters song, rather than some interesting new discovery. The copyright date o the sleeve must be for the art on the sleeve. This recording by The Peter Pan Players with the Peter Pan Orchestra, manufactured by the Synthetic Plastics Co. of Newark, NJ, is less of a discovery than I had hoped. Ah, well.

Not That Charlie Brown
Those Other Charles Schulzes

Okay, so I search newspaper archives for unimportant things out of curiosity. And checking for pre-Sparky people named “Charles Schulz”, I found a fair amount, but the one which struck me was this obituary from 1900: It’s just the fact that this Charles Schulz had a son, Charles Schulz, who …

Not That Charlie Brown
Charlie Browns of the Cs

Digging through newspaper archives, I decided to delve into earlier Charlie Browns. These are just the ones that start with C from the 19th century: Crook (1822): Cricketeer (1860): Cairo-bound steamer (1862): Confederate prisoner (1862): Congressional candidate (1863): Concerning choice of spouse (1863): Coat borrower (1866): Captain (1867):   40 …

Not That Charlie Brown
General Charlie Brown

I posted recently about that other Charlie Brown, the one who is about to be the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. Here he is, showing what kind of a person he is. (If you get the AAUGH Blog by email, you may need to click through to …