Harriet Burns worked on some of Disney’s most classic movies, television shows and theme parks, having started on the earliest days of Disneyland and retiring after working on Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Harriet often worked on props for Disney movies such as “Babes in Toyland” and “Mary Poppins.” Primarily a scenic designer/model maker, Harriet ended up involved in much more than what her job typically entailed, and often appeared on television with Walt Disney. (See more photos below)
1:16 Working on “Babes in Toyland”; Working on the big cake for the “Babes in Toyland” cast party, which was a televised as an episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” entitled “Backstage Party”; performing the goose puppet for Mother Goose in the movie and television show
4:26 Working on the robin for the “Spoonful of Sugar” scene in “Mary Poppins”; Obtaining a robin skin from 1893 from the Natural History Museum for authenticity – trading it for Disneyland tickets; Julie Andrews wore a ring that went from the robin to the controls of the mechanical bird; Walt Disney liked to “show off” the bird
Jack Gladish started his Disney career as a precision camera machinist, working on classic animated films, and he later became an engineer working on attractions for Disneyland and Disney’s exhibits at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and eventually for the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Some of the projects Jack was involved with throughout the years include Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, Adventure Thru Inner Space and much more.
1:11 The process for creating the Jungle Cruise animals, particularly an elephant; Creating a master mold; How to cure the animals in an oven; Creating the vinyl skins and ensuring they won’t wear from rubbing against the fiberglass shell
As a singer, Jay Meyer has appeared in countless performances on television, movies and stage. He was a regular singer with the Ray Conniff singers, in the “Top Twenty” choir on the Tennessee Ernie Ford television show, and with the Sportsmen Quartet in the Phil Silvers and Alice Faye show and the Jack Benny show, first on radio, then on television. Jay sang in the chorus on such movies as “Mary Poppins,” “The Sound of Music,” “Annie get your Gun,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad,Mad World” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” He’s appeared in concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with people such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Ray Charles, and in radio and television commercials for companies such as Post cereals, Mattel, Knotts Berry Farm and was seen singing “You Deserve a Break Today” for McDonalds. Jay is also seen and heard as a singing statue in the Disney “Haunted Mansion” attractions around the world. For fourteen years, Jay also appeared live in Disneyland entertaining audiences with Irish tunes in the historical Golden Horseshoe Revue.
HEAR JAY’S INTERVIEW:
SEE JAY IN VARIOUS PERFORMANCES:
ENJOY THESE PHOTOS:
1:19 Jay sings “It’s a Great Day for the Irish”
1:30 Jay’s start as a singer; Played trumpet and was the sole cheerleader at school; Jay joined the Marine Corps; Performed in the Marines
4:37 Jay moved to Los Angeles; Sang with Spike Jones, when Jones’ singer wife was pregnant; Joined the Jack Benny show as part of the Sportsmen
Quartet, including the Lucky Strike commercials
5:47 Jay sings one of the Lucky Strike songs plus clips of the original Lucky Strike commercials
8:29 Working on the Jack Benny Show and the Phil Harris/Alice Faye show; Went to New York and did Summer Stock; His wife, Tommy Meyer was a writer; Came back to California and did films and television
11:14 Jay was called to become a singing statue in the Haunted Mansion; Also did the Golden Horseshoe Revue as Fulton Burley’s substitute; Agreed to do the Horseshoe for six weeks in 1972 and stayed for 14 years
13:20 Jay sings “Too Ra Loo Ral” in a Golden Horseshoe Revue performance at Disneyland
Enjoy these Electrical Parade facts and other Disney entertainment history!
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Don Dorsey is a musician, director, producer, and audio engineer whose work for Disney includes everything from musical performances and arrangements to sound design to complete show design and direction for several Disney parks.
Don started his long-lasting relationship with Disney in 1975 and for the first 17 years served as the main audio recording and post-production engineer for the Entertainment Division of the Disneyland Park.
With the opening of Epcot in 1982, Don began creating and directing nighttime spectaculars for the World Showcase Lagoon beginning with A New World Fantasy and moving on to Laserphonic Fantasy, IllumiNations, and most recently Reflections of Earth. Other nighttime shows created and directed by Don include “Sorcery in the Sky” for Disney Studios Florida, and “Starlight Magic” for Tokyo Disneyland.
As of 2015, Don is in his 41st year of consulting to Disney and works mostly behind the scenes coordinating sound and music for Creative Entertainment at the Disneyland Resort.
I sat down with Don in 2009 to find out more about the creation of “Reflections of Earth.” I hope you enjoy hearing his interview! And don’t miss the photos below. As always, I’ve also included the Audio Index below. (Transcription available here)
1:36 Jack Wagner, the “voice of Disneyland,” and audio producer, and Don’s mentor; Bob Jani, the vice president of entertainment at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, creator of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Electrical Water Pageant and America on Parade among others
2:42 America on Parade, one of Disney’s largest parades, produced for America’s bicentennial; the Sherman Brothers’ song “The Glorious Fourth” was the overture for America on Parade; Sadie Mae, the band organ used for the America on Parade soundtrack
3:48 Don’s musical beginnings
8:12 Meeting Jack Wagner, and getting a one time for Disneyland; Being rediscovered by Jack Wagner while performing on his synthesizer for a concert; Being asked to do synthesizer work on the America on Parade soundtrack and performing banjo and various sound effects in Jack’s home dining room studio
13:33 The unique soundtrack of America on Parade, deemed “the Great American Music Box” by Bob Jani and the music of the Sadie Mae band organ; recording “The Glorious Fourth” parade overture
19:04 Following America on Parade, going to Florida and becoming Jack Wagner’s assistant; Working with Jack at his house each day; A funny Bob Jani memory when Bob gets cherry pie on his white suit
22:38 Learning from Jack Wagner
24:50 The Electrical Water Pageant; the E-MU synthesizer; the Main Street Electrical Parade returns after a hiatus during America on Parade; Don creates new music for the Electrical Parade; the beginning of Disneyland parade introductions – the opening window; the opening fanfare for the Main Street Electrical Parade
28:33 Updates to the Main Street Electrical Parade, including soundtrack and more dimensional units and new units; the parade became more efficient in terms of battery power and less cables; the history of the closing music of the Electrical Parade, which originated at the Orange Bowl halftime show in 1978; how Battlestar Gallactica inspired the original introduction dialogue sound
Larry Billman began his career as a performer on stage, screen and television before becoming a Writer/Director of Disney Resort live entertainment worldwide. For over 40 years he was involved in the production of hundreds of live shows at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Among those shows, Larry wrote the Hoop de Doo Revue, one of the longest running dinner shows in American history. That show debuted in 1974, and as of 2016, the show continues to delight audiences at the Fort Wilderness Resort in Walt Disney World. A few of his other credits include the Disney Character Director of Disney on Ice, Director of Entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, and VP of Entertainment at Walt Disney World, to name a few. (See more photos and Audio Index below)
2:14 Larry Billman appeared in the 1963 Disney film “Miracle of the White Stallions”
6:13 After being a choreographer on the traveling Disney on Parade, Larry was hired by Bob Jani at Disneyland Entertainment; More on the history the 1969 Disney on Parade; Larry was assigned to work with the circus performers; Working with circus legend Barbette; A Disney on Parade mishap with a dancer
14:56 Became a writer/director for a Disneyland revue in Tomorrowland, originally called “See America First,” which included original Mouseketeer Sherry Alberoni and Teri Garr. Music was written by Tom Adair and Paul Suter; The show’s title was changed to “Show Me America”; “Show Me America” was updated for Walt Disney World
20:26 Big name stars returned to Disneyland after “Show Me America” and Larry Billman and Barnette Ricci developed an opening number called “The Great American Music Machine” which featured a giant jukebox; There was later an opening with a pinball machine and later another show called “The Great Rock Circus”
23:20 Disneyland director of entertainment Bob Jani’s philosophy on Disneyland parades
25:30 The little-known “Fun with Music” educational show at Disneyland
26:47 Wrote and directed the All American College Singers shows which led to writing the Hoop de Doo Revue; The college program was supposed to run for six weeks
30:04 Bob Jani wanted Mickey Mouse Club-style kids at Disneyland; The Mickey Mouse Club stage show at Disneyland which led to the 1977 television version; The performers from the new television version performed at Disneyland
33:16 Japan Airlines worked with Disney to do a show called “Come to America” to encourage Japanese people to visit America, particularly Disneyland; The 1978 show toured to audiences of as many as 3,000; Did a second Japan Airlines tour in 1981 to announce the upcoming Tokyo Disneyland; Moved to Japan until 1985 and was the creative producer
35:40 Returning to America Larry’s job at Disney was not waiting for him; Prior to being in Japan, Larry worked with Irvin and Kenneth Feld on Disney on Ice; A little bit about Irvin; Larry helped shape Disney on Ice as it is today, rather than just having ice skaters and then a Disney act; Approached Kenneth about doing the Circus Fantasy marketing promotion at Disneyland; Larry went to work for Kenneth Feld on Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey circus, writing many of the shows
39:29 Invited to work on Tokyo DisneySea, what Larry enjoyed the most, working with Walt Disney Imagineering on the design of the park; Became the director of entertainment for Tokyo DisneySea
X Atencio began his Disney career in 1938 in animation, working as an assistant animator on “Pinocchio.” He went on to write dialogue for attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Submarine Voyage in Disneyland and El Rio del Tiempo in Epcot, among others. X also wrote songs for many of the attractions he worked on including “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for the Haunted Mansion and “Yo Ho (A Pirates Life for Me)” for Pirates of the Caribbean. (Also, see more photos below.)
3:30 X’s start in Disney animation; attended Chouinard Art Institute; got a job at Disney in 1938 as an assistant animation to Woolie Reitherman, working on the Monstro scenes for “Pinocchio;” Worked on “Bongo” and then was drafted and went into the Signal Corps
14:01 Returning to the Disney Studios; Worked with Wooly Reitherman again, as an assistant animator on various shorts; did story sketch, storyboards on films; Working with Bill Justice on the “I’m No Fool” animated series of shorts, featuring Jiminy Cricket; Worked with Ward Kimball on the “pointy nose character” films, including the Academy Award-winning “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom”
16:51 Returning to work with Bill Justice working on stop-motion films such as “Noah’s Ark,” and a “Symposium on Popular Songs” and opening titles for films like “The Parent Trap” and “The Shaggy Dog” and the “Spoonful of Sugar” nursery scene in “Mary Poppins”; About stop-motion animation, a very tedious job
19:12 Working on the never-completed animated short on doodles with storyman Larry Clemmons; Called into Walt’s office to move over to WED (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering); Worked in the model shop with Claude Coats on the Primeval World diorama for the Disneyland Railroad;
21:29 Was asked by Walt to write the script for “Pirates of the Caribbean”; Walt had an uncanny ability to find talent in people; Worked on the auction scene first, and read books and the “Treasure Island” film to get inspiration for the pirate jargon
23:20 Becoming the voice of the Jolly Roger talking skull and crossbones; Also had a line in the auction scene on the bridge saying “Six bottles of rum!”; Writing “Yo Ho (A Pirates Life For Me)”; People perceiving graphic lyrics in the song; Used a thesaurus to come up with lyrics
26:55 Writing for rides is different than a fixed audience; Writing the script for Submarine Voyage attraction; The Haunted Mansion lobby dialogue; No storyline in the attractions, stories didn’t lend themselves to rides; The raven in the “Haunted Mansion” was going to be the original attraction narrator; X is heard in the spiel when the “Haunted Mansion” ride stops and in the coffin saying “Let me out of here?”
31:01 Adding Captain Jack Sparrow to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction and other changes; Translating the dialogue for Tokyo Disneyland
33:45 Writing the dialogue and song for El Rio del Tiempo in Epcot, “It’s Fun to Be Free” for World of Motion in Epcot, and “If You Had Wings” for the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
35:57 Remembering the day Walt Disney died, the type of person Walt was, and the first time X met Walt
Stan Jolley was a Hollywood producer, director, art director, production designer who had a lot to do not only with Disney, but with the very beginnings of Disneyland! His Disney film work included everything from “Zorro” to “Old Yeller” to “Elfego Baco” and “Toby Tyler.” He was the art director of the Academy-Award nominated animated featurette “Donald in Mathmagic Land.”
His large list of non-Disney movie credits include “Caddyshack,” “Witness” and “Superman” and television credits include “Mr. Ed,” “MacGyver” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” As the art director for the pilot episode of “Get Smart,” Stan designed the classic title sequence with the doors and phone booth, as well as iconic props such as the “cone of silence.”
In 2009, for my Mouse Clubhouse, Stan invited me to photograph his 22,000 square foot estate. It is part home, part museum. Beyond every corner was not only a part of either Hollywood or Disney history, but with remarkable views in every room. In fact most rooms had at least one mirror in it so that you’d be able to see the gorgeous surrounding scenery no matter what direction you are facing.
Please enjoy the photographic tour below of the home of Stan Jolley and be sure to listen to the audio of that is beneath some of the photos.
Lee Fugal was the preshow entertainment for Disneyland’s historical “Golden Horseshoe Revue. ” He would play the piano, banjo, trumpet and trombone and even play some of those simultaneously. You can see Lee in action at his website athttp://www.leefugal.com (See more photos below.)
1:27 Lee’s start at Disneyland; Driving to California and used trumpet and trombone oil to fix the car; His Disneyland audition playing “Mary Poppins” music in 1965; Played banjo
3:10 Performing as the preshow for Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Revue,” and then sitting in with the band for the show; Staying after a two-week trial; Tommy Walker, Disneyland’s director of entertainment
5:08 Lee’s preshow act, playing piano, two and three trumpets at once, banjo; About Wally Boag, Fulton Burley and Betty Taylor; Lee’s final performance festivities; The “Golden Horseshoe Revue” band Vince Rossi (piano), Sam Conti (trumpet) and Jerry King (drums); The “Calypso” sandwich at the Golden Horseshoe and Pepsi Cola; The singing waitresses
13:21 Performing for and meeting Liberace; Playing trumpet for Al Hirt; Mishaps during the show including when the power went out inside the Horseshoe
17:37 Lee playing the banjo in “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” in an episode entitled “Disneyland Around the Seasons”
Jack Lindquist was involved in the opening of Walt Disney World, but he started as Disneyland’s first advertising manager, beginning in 1955. He continued with the company in marketing for Disneyland. Walt Disney World and international Disney resorts. His many accomplishments include the creation of the Disneyland Ambassador program, the creation of the Walt Disney Travel Company, the international waters ceremony for the opening of the it’s a small world attraction, Disney Dollars, and in 1990 Jack became the first president of Disneyland.
THE OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD
1:34 The start of World Showcase at Epcot; Traveling around the world for World Showcase, meeting people like Imelda Marcos and the Shah of Iran
3:44 The opening of Walt Disney World; Contemporary Resort did not have landscaping yet; People did whatever it took – at Disney it didn’t matter if it was their job or not
5:22 “Opening a theme park is like an invasion”; Disney is a great “dangling carrot” – there’s always something else to sign on for
6:26 Jack’s work philosophies, never took the company or the job too seriously because the core of the business is making people happy… if you can’t have fun how can your guests have fun?
Jack Lindquist came up with the idea for a Walt Disney Travel Company. He was Disneyland’s first advertising manager, beginning in 1955. He continued with the company in marketing for Disneyland. Walt Disney World and international Disney resorts. His many accomplishments include the creation of the Disneyland Ambassador program, the international waters ceremony for the opening of the it’s a small world attraction, Disney Dollars, and in 1990 Jack became the first president of Disneyland.
THE CREATION OF THE WALT DISNEY TRAVEL COMPANY
1:32 The beginning of the Walt Disney Travel Company; Didn’t realize what was involved in a travel company, just moved forward
3:24 Finding a location for the new travel company at the Disneyland Hotel; Getting the offices ready
4:59 The success of the travel company