Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

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yeodoug
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Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by yeodoug » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:53 am

Hello all,

I am looking to identify the trombone player who was the voice of Miss Othmar, teacher of Charlie Brown and his friends that first made an appearance on the TV special, "You're in Love, Charlie Brown" (1967). The now famous "Wah-wah" trombone/plunger voice.

You can hear it here:



Lee Mendelson, a collaborator of Charles Schultz, is on record as saying he does not remember the player's name but I recall reading somewhere the name of the player but I cannot remember where I saw this. I know that Troy Andrews (aka "Trombone Shorty") was the voice of Miss Othmar in the 2015 The Peanuts Movie but I'm looking for the name of the original player who created this sound for the television show in 1967.

I'm hoping this might ring a bell with someone. Any help would be appreciated.

-Douglas Yeo
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Douglas Yeo
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1985-2012 (retired)
www.yeodoug.com
www.thelasttrombone.com
Slideorama
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by Slideorama » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:31 am

Not surprisingly, it could be Frank Rosolino.

http://www.fivecentsplease.org/dpb/Vinc ... .html#1967
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yeodoug
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by yeodoug » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:07 am

Thanks for this. Given this timeline, it looks quite possible, if not probable.
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Douglas Yeo
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Chiptingle
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by Chiptingle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:13 am

In most episodes I’m aware of, the late great Dean Hubbard was this voice on our horn, a SF Bay Area stalwart for decades, and one of the nicest, funniest human beings you could possibly meet.

Cheers to Deano!
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yeodoug
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by yeodoug » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:25 am

Do you have any documentation about Hubbard's involvement with the "Peanuts" television shows? Is he still alive; do you know how I might be able to contact him?

Thanks very much.
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Douglas Yeo
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www.yeodoug.com
www.thelasttrombone.com
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by mwpfoot » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:01 pm

There are some references here, including Dean's obituary:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Hubbard

:idea:
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yeodoug
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by yeodoug » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:17 pm

Thanks so much for this. You've given me something more to go on. I have found a post Hubbard made to the Trombone-L in 1998. His post is below. From what he says, he was the "voice" of Miss Othmar from "the mid seventies until about 1990." But the first appearance of the "wah-wah" trombone voice was from 1967, "You're in Love, Charlie Brown." Which still leaves me searching for definitive information about who that player was at that time. Dean Hubbard certainly did it for many years.

If you take 1975 as "mid seventies," that means there were nine - NINE! - Charlie Brown TV specials from "You're in Love, Charlie Brown," until that time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanuts_filmography

Some interesting things are coming together: Here's the lineup of trombone players that played the soundtracks of the Charlie Brown TV specials (for which there are records) that used trombones in the soundtrack from 1967 (when "You're in Love, Charlie Brown" was made) until the death of Vince Guaraldi (who wrote the scores and played piano for them) in 1976:

May 17, 1967 - "You're In Love, Charlie Brown" - Frank Rosolino
September 11, 1969 - "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" - Frank Rosolino
December 14, 1969 - "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (feature film) - Milt Bernhart
July 17-18, August 6, October 1, 1973 - "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" - Chuck Bennett

This is a small thing, amounting to two sentences in one of the books I'm working on. But I really appreciate all who have chimed in on this. I'm grateful for your help.


>From: Dean Hubbard <-----@email.msn.com>
>To: <trombone-l@lists.missouri.edu>
>Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 1998 8:53 AM
>Subject: Chas. Brown trombonist.


> Friends,
> I was the teacher's voice on the Charlie Brown cartoons, specials, and
> commercials from the mid seventies until about 1990. I used my trusty Conn
> 6H and a Shastock wooden solotone mute I purchased from a pawn shop to do the sound. It was
> and is amazing to me that the noises that got me thrown out of many high
> school rehearsals allowed me to buy our first home. Ed Bogas and D. Goyette
> were the composers and also did the music for Garfield and Friends as did I.
> It was a real ball getting paid to watch cartoons and playing with some of
> San Francisco's finest musicians. On these projects Mary Fettig played
> woodwinds, Dave Bendigkeit trumpet, Rich Girard bass, Bogas keyboards and
> violin, Steve Eriquiga guitar, Norton Buffalo harmonica and Steve Mitchell
> drums.
> When a french horn was needed (remember the charge for Odie?) Bob Ward of
> the Symphony was used. One by one we were all "let go" in favor of synths
> and a divice called a Emulator which we dubbed the Eliminator. Most of the
> shows were done without arrangements, Ed would write the themes and we would
> wing the take. Gary Clayton was the engineer, without him we'd still be in
> the studio!
>
> Truly,
>Dean Hubbard
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Douglas Yeo
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1985-2012 (retired)
www.yeodoug.com
www.thelasttrombone.com
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by yeodoug » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:49 pm

An additional thought on all of this:

I spent the afternoon and evening viewing all of the Charlie Brown TV shows from 1967 to 2011. Thirteen of them have scenes where adults - mostly Miss Othmar but also a physician, school principal, and a couple of other adults - "speak" through the voice of a trombone. See the list below, along with links to the shows and some of the spots where you can hear the trombone "voice."

Like most people, I had always assumed - without listening very carefully - that the trombone player used a plunger to create the effect. But the post from Dean Hubbard, where he said he used a wooden Shastock solotone mute - got my attention. As I listened to all of these moments of a trombone player's "voice," it became very clear that it was, in fact, a solo tone mute with a left hand plunger type wah-wah effect that was employed. Not a toilet plunger like Wycliffe Gordon or Trick Sam Nanton.

With this in mind, I dug out my Humes and Berg bass trombone solotone mute - it is something that was made for me a few years ago out of various mutes, a real "Frankenmute." And, sure enough, I could make the sound. The mystery of HOW the sound was made solved - it was hiding in plain sight. A big thank you to Dean Hubbard. He is no longer with us but his email that he wrote 20 years ago unlocked something that I've been wondering about for a long time.

=====

Charlie Brown TV specials with trombone solotone mute as a human "voice."

June 12, 1967
You’re in Love, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3gliuh
3:04
7:10
20:48

September 27, 1969
It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6u4l8v
2:03

March 11, 1973
There’s No Time For Love, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6u4l8v
2:54
3:49
6:07

January 28, 1975
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6a2ksa
1:44

March 16, 1976
It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4icq0c
1:45

October 31, 1981
Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4jws99
6:33

May 24, 1982
A Charlie Brown Celebration
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4sbczf
5:18
6:46
8:44

May 16, 1983
It’s An Adventure, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4jzxxf
2:42
3:26

April 16, 1984
It’s a Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4icq0g
2:00
4:01

January 1, 1986
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4icq0g
0:11

January 29, 1988
Snoopy: The Musical
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4mhxvs
9:38
10:15
11:53

March 16, 1990
Why, Charlie Brown, Why?
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5im65n
3:33
4:00

August 5, 1997
It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6hrn2s
13:48

December 8, 2002
Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xyupna
4:56

March 29, 2011
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Broan
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x45n3op
3:35
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Douglas Yeo
Bass Trombonist, Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1985-2012 (retired)
www.yeodoug.com
www.thelasttrombone.com
timothy42b
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by timothy42b » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:02 pm

A little off topic, but thanks for an interesting subject, and for bringing back memories of the -l. That listserv was inspirational to me in my comeback from an almost 20 year layoff (education, career, children) and exposed me to so many concepts of technique and musicality that were new to me. It was indeed an awesome resource. Alas (IMO) it derived from the tradition of letter writing rather than conversation, so it is now outdated.

I remember well when Dean first posted his experiences on the Charlie Brown show, and that 6H and solotone has stuck in my mind since.
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Re: Question: The trombone player as Charlie Brown's teacher, Miss Othmar

Post by Leanit » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:46 pm

Dean's resume was 100 miles long. He played with everybody you can name in the business from Sinatra to Lady Gaga, from commercial to jazz to symphonic. Best player I ever met, and my best friend. For all his accomplishments, he laughed at the fact that those silly cartoons paid most of his bills. Somewhere there's a recording of a session where the director reads him the spoken line and he plays it back. He had the guys in the booth cracking up.

R.I.P., my brother.
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