Interview: Page Cavanaugh

Page CavanaughBorn on this day in 1922, Jazz pianist Page Cavanaugh was the special guest in a concert I went to at the Greek Theater back in the 1980s. They mentioned that he performs at a club in Burbank, and that began a wonderful friendship. Every week I would go see Page, listen to him play and talk with him about music, learning about the great composers and performers of American music.

Page worked with everybody! Frank Sinatra, Chico Marx, Louis Armstrong and on and on. I miss Page and I miss his stories.

I had known Page for awhile before I learned that he provided his musical talents for a Disney cartoon short entitled “The Truth About Mother Goose.”

Page Cavanaugh - The Truth About Mother Goose

This animated short, featured segments explaining the story behind Mother Goose stories. Page and his trio introduced each segment in song. Here’s a clip from the opening of the film:

Although “The Truth About Mother Goose” was the only animated film Page appeared in, he was in a number of other movies including “A Song is Born,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” and “Romance on the High Seas.” In the latter, he accompanied Doris Day on piano and in voice for the song, “Put ‘Em in a Box.”

The big song “Romance on the High Seas” was “It’s Magic,” written by Jule Styne, with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. That song was nominated for an Oscar that year.

One of the last times I saw Page, I recorded him singing this parody, “It’s Tragic.”

Page Cavanaugh - Romance on the High Seas

 

Interview: Kathryn Beaumont (How the Disney staff involved her in the film process; working with other voice actors)

 

Kathryn Beaumont interview

Kathryn Beaumont was a child actress at MGM and went on to voice Alice and Wendy in Walt Disney’s animated versions of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” respectively

AUDIO INDEX

:56 Working for MGM and then Disney

1:39 Already familiar with Alice in Wonderland

2:34 The audition for Alice, betting a contract with Disney

3:25 Remembering Walt Disney, the atmosphere at the Walt Disney Studios

6:05 Storyboard conferences with artists, writers and Winston Hibler; Ink and Paint and other departments sharing the progress of the film

9:05 Involvement in Peter Pan vs. Alice in Wonderland

11:55 Working with other actors such as Hans Conreid

Interview: Stan Freese (Career overview)

Stan Freese - Disneyland

Stan is the talent booking director for Disneyland and tuba soloist extraordinaire. He was the longtime conductor of the Disneyland band and the first full-time conductor of the Walt Disney World band.

AUDIO INDEX
1:43 Performing tuba solos on the TV series Hee Haw

4:40 His start with music and choosing the tuba

7:01 Entertaining for Lawrence Welk and performing on his show

Stan Freese meets President Nixon8:30 Tuba soloist for the government cultural exchange program including Soviet Union and Siberia; Command performance at the White House for President Nixon

9:25 Starting with Disney; the first leader of the Walt Disney World band; problems with the first band

12:45 Moving to Disneyland

14:11 Involvement with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

15:40 Auditions and benefits of entertaining at Disneyland; Disney entertainment; the Trash Can Trio and the Mariachi Divas

20:28 Big bands at Disneyland

Interview: Carole Tully (Miss Disneyland 1964; Tivoli Gardens tour guide exchange; Walt Disney)

Carole Tully with Hanne Plath, Walt and Lillian Disney Carole Tully in Lappland as Miss Disneyland 1964

Carole was a ticket seller and tour guide at Disneyland, beginning in 1962, and was Miss Disneyland 1964, representing Disneyland and Walt Disney himself

AUDIO INDEX

:52 Her start with Disneyland; Donald Novis in Guest Relations; Becoming a Disney tour guide; Becoming Miss Disneyland, 1964

4:54 Miss Disneyland and the Tivoli Gardens tour guide exchange; Tivoli Gardens tour guide Hanne Plath; touring internationally as a goodwill ambassador

11:23 Visiting Lappland as Miss Disneyland

15:47 Walt Disney

Disney at the Hollywood Christmas Parade 1993

Disney at the Hollywood Christmas Parade 1993

Long before there was Anna & Elsa, I took this photo at the Hollywood Christmas Parade, 1993.  Along with this Disneyland float, Disney had a float for Bill Nye the Science Guy, Sister Act 2, the Disney Afternoon (featuring “Bonkers,” “Goof Troop,” “Darkwing Duck” and “TaleSpin”) and the opening of the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin attraction at Disneyland.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Jay Meyer in upcoming “Maude” DVD

Jay Meyer in "Maude"

Jay Meyer can be seen in the upcoming Maude: Complete Series DVD set from Shout! Factory. He is in the episode “Tuckahoe Bicentennial,” and in beautiful voice, singing a short solo. Jay is one of the singing ghosts in the “Haunted Mansion” attractions and performed as the Irish tenor for more than 14 years in Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Revue.”

“Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom” radio show

"Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom" radio show - Donald Novis and Wally Boag

Did you know that there was a radio show called “Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom” back in 1955? It was broadcast out of Disneyland and hosted by two of the stars of Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Revue,” singer Donald Novis and comedian Wally Boag. Don was a popular singer before working at the park. Among his many credits, he sang “Love is a Song” for Disney’s “Bambi.” Wally was a comedian dating back to vaudeville before the “Golden Horseshoe Revue.” Here’s a newspaper article announcing the show, and a wonderful photo of Don and Wally. Special thanks to Wally’s family for this photo.

The website of Disney historian/photographer Scott Wolf

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