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This is a novelty song about the imaginary World War I antics of Charlie Brown's pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts
. It spawned three sequels: "The Return of the Red Baron," "Snoopy's Christmas," and "Snoopy for President." Of the three, only "Snoopy's Christmas" matched the success of this song. Learn more about Snoopy and the real Red Baron in the Song Images
. (thanks, Charles - Charlotte, NC)
There really was a Red Baron. His name was Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (Baron Von Richthofen), and just like the lyrics state, he had 80 confirmed kills as a fighter pilot in World War I. In the song, he meets his demise when Snoopy shoots him down in a dogfight, but in real life, he died when his plane crashed in France.
Other songs by the Royal Guardsmen include "Snoopy for President," "The Return of the Red Baron" and "Kinda looks like Christmas." (thanks, Pikya - Whanganui, New Zealand)
A 1966 Christmas hit in the US, the lighthearted song hit the British charts early in the following year. Vocalist Chris Nunley admitted to Mojo magazine June 2011: "No way did we think it would be a hit. We were a small, local band from Ocala, Florida. 'Snoopy' was a collaboration between our producer, Phil Gernhard, and a friend of his songwriter Dick Holler."
Originally known as The Posmen, The Royal Guardsmen changed name, Chris explained to Mojo, because, "the British invasion was in full swing and anything from across the pond was ultra cool."
In 1975 Charles Schultz told author David Manning White, "We threatened to put a stop to (the record) until we were included in the success." The band never met Snoopy's creator, though Chris says, "We heard through our label (Laurie) and producer that Charles Schultz liked our songs."
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