Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interview with Sally Dryer, the voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas #Giveaway


Have you ever wanted to ask one of your favorite characters a question? How about a character you grew up watching, and was a classic cartoon character? Well when I think of my favorite characters I loved as a child, one that stands out the most for me is, Peanuts Lucy. And having the best job in the world gave me the chance to speak to the voice of Lucy (In one of my favorite TV specials, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown) Sally Dryer! Sally was also the voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas. 

 I remember getting mad at Violet as a child, when she laughed at the little tree, the poor little tree….  Of course the tree was one of my favorite parts of the special. Yes we have a little tree, and it is a an adorable decoration I love to use each year. I even have a miniature tree to decorate my desk at work.
I was very fortunate to be able to chat with Sally Dryer, the voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Sally also played Lucy in other specials, including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas and Lucy in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Sally Dryer played her first Peanuts role at age 8: Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas. 
She got the job because her older sister worked for producer Lee Mendelson—first as a babysitter, and then as an assistant—and included her little sister Sally when they were casting the roles for the first Peanuts special. Raised in Burlingame, California (where Mendelson ran his production company), south of San Francisco, Dryer was later cast as Lucy in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, “because my voice had a crabbiness to it it”! 
She also provided the voice of Lucy in Charlie Brown’s All Stars (1966), You’re in Love, Charlie Brown (1967), and He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968), and, “after my voice changed,” played Patty in A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969). Today she lives in the historic former mining town of Jerome, Arizona, where she co-owns Nellie Bly, the largest bricks-and-mortar kaleidoscope store in the world.

There were so many great questions asked by myself and my fellow ambassadors. Here is some of the fun interview with Sally Dryer: 

What was it like for you to do this as your first job? - Yes, my first job at age 8! It was unknown at that point, an experiment. Lee Mendelson had approached Charles Schulz for years to do an animated special, and Schulz always said no. Finally, he said, “I’ll do it, but it has to be real kids’ voices.” For me, it was a fun way to get out of school. We didn’t know what it become, for sure! 
Can you describe the process of how they recorded your voices? - There were a group of kids in Southern California: the boy who played Linus, Peter Robbins [Charlie Brown], and the original Lucy were in Los Angeles, where they recorded with Bill Melendez. Lee Mendelson recorded with us in San Francisco at a studio on Van Ness Ave.

They’d record us one at a time: Lee Mendelson would say a line to us, and we’d repeat it. We’d try to repeat with inflections he gave us. Sometimes we’d hit it on the first try, and other times we'd have to go over and over and over again. I remember when we were recording the Great Pumpkin, the girl who played Sally spent hours trying to say “You owe me restitution!” The miracle was done with editing. They’d use the lines they wanted and assemble it all.
I think we went to studio 3 or 4 times. There were some group lines, like “You blockhead, Charlie Brown,” that we did as a group. We’d have to make 3 or 4 attempts.
                  
(Were you excited to be cast as Lucy?) - It was a good thing. I had no idea how bratty my voice was, but all my neighbors were like, “Oh yeah, she’s Lucy all right!”  The neighborhood knew before I did! Lucy was more fun to play. You get to say what you think!  She’s such a smart aleck. You get to really embrace that crabby person within you and it’s okay.

What did you think of finished shows? - It was pretty abstract. I remember my sister worked so hard in helping to produce them, I think we critiqued them more based on that.  Hearing your voice, you think, “I don’t sound like that.” I was disconnected to it, really. 

What did you get paid? - I got paid a whopping $100 per show!  It was the 60s and an unknown thing. My mother’s philosophy was, “Whatever—just have fun.” That’s what it was about. I occasionally get residuals, sometimes 9 dollars and 33 cents, sometimes a couple hundred dollars.  I had to put it in a college fund. Fortunately, I went to a state school in California!
Were you a celebrity among your friends? - I think so, but it was so short-lived. As teens, we didn’t watch it at all. I was kind of mortified to be that cranky girl. But I don’t have that problem anymore.  Now I love it.

Did you ever meet Sparky? - Yes, I met him at least 4 times. We went up to Santa Rosa to do a photo shoot for a book called Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz. He was working on a strip at his drafting table, and he explained to me that he felt he had to do a term paper every day. He was a kind and gentle and soft-spoken, very impressive guy.
Do you watch the specials? - I watch occasionally if I happen to be home when they air.  It is funny – several years ago there were “Get Met” commercials, and I heard Lucy’s voice and thought, “That sounds a lot like me.” There was a period after our voices changed that the cast didn’t sound like the originals, and they had to get new actors to correct that.
Were you a fan of Peanuts before doing the series? - No, I didn’t know very much about it at all.  My mother read the comic strip in the San Francisco Chronicle, but I wasn’t familiar with it at all.

 Is Lucy your favorite character? - Snoopy’s got to be my favorite character, really. I love Lucy’s frankness and willingness to say anything, but Snoopy’s the most entertaining thing ever. 

Do you have any Peanuts memorabilia that’s special to you? - I have a whole display case of things that people have given me over the years and some cels that Charles Schulz signed to me.
Do you ever find yourself using the dialogue in your real life?- Oh, absolutely—all the time! I work as a volunteer dog technician in an animal clinic, and I always say “Dog lips are not poison! No iodine! No ‘blecch’!”  I’ll find myself saying, “I got a rock!”  It’s always right there.


Taking to Violet/Lucy was like taking a trip back to my childhood. I am sure it must have been an amazing thing for 8 year old Sally, to be part of a legacy like this is something that is very special.

One of Susan’s Disney Family readers will win A Charlie Brown Christmas prize pack! Prize pack will include a Peanuts goodies to enjoy! Would you like to win?  Please let me know what you love about the A Charlie Brown Christmas special. Do you have a favorite scene, or character? My most favorite scene is with the little Christmas tree, when they add the ornament and the tree sags, it just makes me feel for that tree! There are also other ways to enter, please enter below.
 
Win it:

One winner will win A Charlie Brown Christmas prize pack!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 



Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .



76 comments:

  1. I never really thought a bout a favorite character. It might be Charlie Brown one day and then Linus or Lucy or Sally or even Pig pen another. I do not necessarily have a favorite.

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  2. My favorite Peanuts character is Charlie Brown. He is always the underdog, and I always root for him.

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  3. I have always loved Linus. Through years of being teased he never gave up on his beliefs

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  4. I always like Snoopy and PigPen. My favorite show was Charlie Brown and the pumpkin patch.

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  5. Oh gosh, I don't know! They are all great. I do love Linus though.

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  6. Sally was always one of my favorite Peanuts characters.

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  7. Woodstock is my favorite Peanuts character

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  8. I think my favorite is Woodstock and then Snoopy.

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  9. My favorite Peanuts moment is Lucy and Schroeder playing Jingle Bells on the piano.

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  10. My favorite is Linus!

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  11. i love snoopy....livivua on rafflecopter

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  12. Would have to be Snoopy! Thanks.

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  13. my husband is a huge Charlie Brown fan

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  14. I love the little guy Linus, he is my favorite

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  15. Lucy is my favorite!!!!! olivia41393@yahoo.com

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  16. I always liked Charlie Brown - there is something relatable about him and without him the show would just not be the same

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  17. My favorite character was Lucy. I always wanted to be bossy like she was.

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  18. My favorite Peanut's moment is when they all are singing around Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

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  19. My favorite characters are Linus and Snoopy. I love when they fight over Linus's blanket.

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  20. My favorite character is Woodstock. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  21. My favorite Peanuts character is Snoopy. He is too adorable.

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  22. I loved all the Peanut Characters when I was young. But Charlie Brown was always my favorite.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

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  23. My favorite peanuts character is always poor little Charlie Brown.

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  24. My favorite character is Peppermint Patty

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  25. My favorite character is PigPen

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  26. Snoopy is my favorite character.

    rtrexel@gmail.com

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  27. My favorite Peanuts character is Linus. Thanks.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  28. I always loved Linus because I used to suck my thumb too :)

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  29. I love Snoopy. He is so cool.

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  30. snoopy is my fav character - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  31. My favorite character is Snoopy!

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  32. My favorite character is Snoopy

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  33. I love them all!! My favorite would be Snoopy!!!

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  34. My favorite character is Peppermint Patty 'cause she makes me laugh. She's her own person and I think sometimes she's just 'clueless"! Love it. :)
    sweepster49 at comcast dot net

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  35. DEFINITELY SNOOPY

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  36. I love Snoopy and Linus.

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  37. My favorite character is Pig Pen!
    ptavernie at yahoo dot com

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  38. I heart the dance sequence to the Vince G. music!

    theyyyguy@yahoo.com

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  39. My favorite character is Peppermint Patty. I love how she invites herself to Thanksgiving and expects the royal treatment. We have a Peanuts Christmas Village and every year it takes me back to my childhood.
    timothyj228@gmail.com

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  40. I like Sally and Lucy.

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  41. My favorite Peanuts characters are Snoopy and Lucy.

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  42. Charlie Brown--the ordinary boy with dreams!

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  43. My favorite Peanut's character has always been Linus :)

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  44. I loved Linus. (CoreyOlomon at gmail dot com)

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  45. Snoopy is my fave. He's cunning, cute, and cuddly. :)

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  46. I love the Christmas tree, I have had one or two over the years that have reminded me of it.

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  47. Woodstock is my favorite Peanuts character. He is so funny!

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  48. I liked when they made toast and popcorn for thanksgiving dinner
    Julie Hawkins

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  49. Woodstock is my favorite character!

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  50. Snoopy as the WWI flying ace. And Woodstock all of the time. sleveene@hotmail.com

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  51. I like woodstock. Thank you

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. My favorite has always been that old crazy Snoopy Beagle Dog-

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.

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