Category Archives: Interview

Interview: Larry Billman (Pioneer of Disney live entertainment)

Larry Billman wrote and/or director hundreds of Disney live productions worldwide
Larry Billman wrote and/or director hundreds of Disney live productions worldwide

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)

 

Larry Billman, (top left) with the cast of the Disneyland version of the Mickey Mouse Club, which led to the 1977 revised television edition
Larry Billman, (top left) with the cast of the Disneyland version of the Mickey Mouse Club, which led to the 1977 revised television edition

 

Larry Billman, as he appeared in the 1963 Disney movie, "Miracle of the White Stallions"
Larry Billman, as he appeared in the 1963 Disney movie, “Miracle of the White Stallions”
Larry Billman (left) and John Anello (right) working on the unique "Fun with Music" educational Disneyland show
Larry Billman (left) and John Anello (right) working on the unique “Fun with Music” educational Disneyland show

AUDIO INDEX

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

Interview: X Atencio (Working in animation and writing for Disneyland and Disney World)

X Atencio with a replica of the Jolly Roger that he provides the voice for and wrote the dialogue for
X Atencio with a replica of the Jolly Roger that he provides the voice for and wrote the dialogue for

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.)

 

X Atencio stands by the tombstone tribute to him that used to reside outside the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, but is now in his home backyard
X Atencio stands by the tombstone tribute to him that used to reside outside the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, but is now in his home backyard
Disneyland vice president Norm Doerges, a boy from the audience, Pirates designers Marc Davis and X Atencio for the 25th anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in 1992
Disneyland vice president Norm Doerges, a boy from the audience, Pirates designers Marc Davis and X Atencio for the 25th anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in 1992

AUDIO INDEX
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

Interview: Stan Jolley (Art director of Disneyland, Disney films and TV)

Stan Jolley at his "Ichpa-Mayapan," which means "exclusive estate"
Stan Jolley at his “Ichpa-Mayapan,” which means “exclusive estate”

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.

This clapboard is from one of the films that Stan directed, "Today's FBI"
This clapboard is from one of the films that Stan directed, “Today’s FBI”
The 7.7 million dollar estate was built and designed in the early '70s by Modernist Howard Lapham for socialite-sportswoman Maxine Cook. An admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, Lapham focused on blending ancient Maya and modern design.
The 7.7 million dollar estate was built and designed in the early ’70s by Modernist Howard Lapham for socialite-sportswoman Maxine Cook. An admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright, Lapham focused on blending ancient Maya and modern design.

 

This view is the entrance of Stan's house
This view is the entrance of Stan’s house
This pathway which leads to the front door features beautifully aligned stonework columns. From this angle, it seemed like a perfect residence for the man who was the art director of Donald in Mathmagic Land. Just look at all the geometric shapes that can be recognized from this one angle! At the left, on the other side of the greenery is a tennis court nestled into the surrounding mountain scenery.
This pathway which leads to the front door features beautifully aligned stonework columns. From this angle, it seemed like a perfect residence for the man who was the art director of Donald in Mathmagic Land. Just look at all the geometric shapes that can be recognized from this one angle! At the left, on the other side of the greenery is a tennis court nestled into the surrounding mountain scenery.
Mayan calendar carved out of redwood
Mayan calendar carved out of redwood. Be sure to listen to the audio of Stan describing this artwork and the front doors to his house as pictured below.
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The front doors are 14 feet high, four inches thick, weigh 400 pounds apiece and are carved out of redwood
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The arrowhead-shaped pool offers a stunning view overlooking the Coachella Valley
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Stan sits on his couch, surrounded by the mountains. He would often bring a blanket outside and sleep on the couch to enjoy all the natural beauty
Stan stands beside a beautiful portrait of Natalie Wood as she appeared in the movie "Gypsy." Listen to the audio below for a fun story about it.
Stan stands beside a beautiful portrait of Natalie Wood as she appeared in the movie “Gypsy.” Listen to the audio below for a fun story about it.

 

Stan admires artwork from his friend, legendary Disney artist Herb Ryman. Be sure to listen to the audio below of Stan's start with Disney, thanks to Herb.
Stan admires artwork from his friend, legendary Disney artist Herb Ryman. Be sure to listen to the audio below of Stan’s start with Disney, thanks to Herb.
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Concept art of Tomorrowland for the opening of Disneyland
artwork reads "Restaurant between Main Street & True Life Adventure Land"
Concept art for what would become the Plaza Pavilion for the opening of Disneyland. Note the artwork reads “Restaurant between Main Street & True Life Adventure Land”
Concept art of Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland shows the "World's Longest Little Bar" next to the Golden Horseshoe. The Mile Long Bar would open in Bear Country in Disneyland in 1972, with mirrors on each side of the bar interior for the illusion of length
Concept art of Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland shows the “World’s Longest Little Bar” next to the Golden Horseshoe. The Mile Long Bar would open in Bear Country in Disneyland in 1972, with mirrors on each side of the bar interior for the illusion of length
Concept art of a South Western Street in Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland
Concept art of a South Western Street in Frontierland for the opening of Disneyland
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Stan had this and the following two images created to potentially adorn Donald Duck’s “office” in an episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful of Color. Stan added various captions to each just for fun.

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Photos of Stan on the sets of various movies he worked on decorated one of his rooms, including this image. Henry Fonda (left), Stan Jolley (middle), and Fred MacMurray (right) on the set of the “The Swarm,” 1978
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This piece of original concept art for Disney’s “Elfego Baca” was created under the guidance of Stan, who was the art director.
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Construction on the $125,000 permanent Western Street took over three months to complete, and was the combined plans of three of Disney’s art directors, Stan Jolley, Marvin Davis, and Carroll Clark.
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As Stan’s caption reads, this was the “first shot of filming the new Western Street built for Elfego Baca.” Since Stan was the art director for the show, he was there on the set, seen at the bottom left of the photo. Later, when he was the art director of the feature film Toby Tyler, he was the first one to modify the street.
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Stan converted his six garages at the house into art galleries!
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This former garage featured props and artwork with a western theme, and images of Stan’s father, I. Stanford Jolley, who was a character actor, primarily in westerns, for over 43 years.
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This collage features Stan’s dad in many of his film roles. In 1948, the Milwaukee Journal wrote that “I. Stanford Jolley, veteran villain, has died 77 times in 109 movies by 40 different and ingenious methods.” He went on to appear in nearly 400 different films and television shows.
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This artwork was given to Stan for his birthday. It was drawn by legendary Disney artist T. Hee, accompanied by the signatures of many of Disney’s artists (image below). Marc Davis, Dick Humer, Ward Kimball, Bill Peet and Ken Anderson were amongst the group. Yes, the happy names T.Hee, Huemer and Jolley were all working together.

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Stan’s 1955 “Disneyland, Inc.” ID
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Cast & crew party for Zorro with art director Marvin Davis, actor Henry Calvin, Stan and actor Armor Goetten
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Stan with Robert Loggia, star of Elfego Baca
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Here is a Martian Wheat Field concept for Tomorrowland in Disneyland
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Concept art for Tomorrowland in Disneyland, this Metallic Screen Mural would feature fused colored plastic and special night lighting effects.
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Concept for the entrance to Tomorrowland in Disneyland, the rocket would actually be a giant sundial!
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Interestingly, this Disneyland Tomorrowland Entrance concept art is quite similar to Innoventions in the “new Tomorrowland” of 1998.
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This Disneyland concept artwork features the Tomorrowland entrance as it would appear with the iconic “Clock of the World.”
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Stan worked with Fred Joerger and Wathel Rogers of the Disney model shop, to develop the Storybook Land canal attraction. When the attraction first opened, there was no miniature scenery or buildings as there is now. In this image, they are determining the best scale and location for the new scenes.
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Stan stands with a cut out of Snow White’s cottage to determine the best scaling for the miniature building that still appears in the Storybook Land attraction.
Stan's ticket to the opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Click below to hear why Stan did not attend the grand opening
Stan’s ticket to the opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Click below to hear why Stan did not attend the grand opening
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This is the only photo Stan had on display of him with Walt Disney. Stan added his caption of what the conversation might have sounded like.

Interview: Lee Fugal (Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Revue” entertainer)

Lee Fugal in the same 1965 Mustang he drove each day to Disneyland
Lee Fugal in the same 1965 Mustang he drove each day to Disneyland

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.)

AUDIO INDEX
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”

Lee Fugal in front of Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe
Lee Fugal in front of Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe
Lee Fugal on banjo
Lee Fugal on banjo
Lee Fugal with the Gonzalez Trio at Disneyland (Roberto, Carmelita, Lee and Arturo)
Lee Fugal with the Gonzalez Trio at Disneyland
(Roberto, Carmelita, Lee and Arturo)

Don’t forget to visit Lee’s website www.leefugal.com!

Interview: Jack Lindquist (Opening of Disney World and more)

1994 Disney Legends Ceremony, after putting his handprints in cement
1994 Disney Legends Ceremony, after putting his handprints in cement

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

AUDIO INDEX
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?

 

Interview: Jack Lindquist (Creation of the Walt Disney Travel Company)

During the Disney employee Christmas parties, you never knew who might be working or where they'd be. I took this photo in 1993 when Jack Lindquist was driving passengers on a Main Street vehicle. The party hadn't started and Jack was just sitting in the vehicle waiting. I was in, since I was also going to work on an attraction and I asked him for a ride. This was the first time I got to talk with Jack, being driven by him up and down Main Street in Disneyland.
During the Disney employee Christmas parties which were held at Disneyland, you never knew who might be working or where they’d be. I took this photo in 1993 when Jack Lindquist was driving passengers on a Main Street vehicle. The party hadn’t started and Jack was just sitting in the vehicle waiting. I was in, since I was also going to work on an attraction and I asked him for a ride. This was the first time I got to talk with Jack, being driven by him up and down Main Street in Disneyland.

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

AUDIO INDEX
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

 

1994 Disney Legends Ceremony, after putting his handprints in cement
1994 Disney Legends Ceremony, after putting his handprints in cement

Interview: Sonny Anderson (His career as Disney’s longtime talent booker)

Disneyland/Disney world talent booker Sonny Anderson on Main Street
Disneyland/Disney world talent booker Sonny Anderson on Main Street

Sonny Anderson was a legendary award-winning talent booker in the music industry, and was much loved as the director of talent booking for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. He began his career with Disneyland playing drums in the Disneyland band in 1956.

AUDIO INDEX
1:07 Director of talent booking for Disneyland, Stan Freese, describes Sonny Anderson and recalls working with him

4:15 Sonny Anderson’s start with Disney; Played in band in Long Beach and was teaching percussion; He was asked to play on the Disneyland Band record album, and was offered a job; Starting performing at the Disneyland Hotel at night

7:32 Sonny was writing musical arrangements for the band; Disneyland director of entertainment Tommy Walker made Sonny a full-time arranger at Disneyland; His secretary, singer Kay Bell; Sonny’s started a rock band and performed with that band; The band was called the Spacemen and also the Mustangs; Dress code at Disneyland; Walt Disney said he wanted to build a new stage in Tomorrowland12:56 Stan Freese talks about the Tomorrowland Terrace stage, that Walt Disney told Sonny he would have built; Sonny had a talent at discovering up and coming bands; More about the Tomorrowland Terrace, the stage that rose up from the ground; Stan’s sons Josh Freese and Jason Freese performed at Tomorrowland Terrace

16:09 Stan talks about the Night of Joy at Disneyland; Sonny talks about coming up with the idea for Night of Joy; Dick Nunis was skeptical about it

18:03 Stan remembers The World Symphony Orchestra which was put together for and performed at the grand opening of Walt Disney World; Sonny talks about Bob Jani; Bob had unique ideas and came up with the idea for the World Symphony Orchestra

22:06 Bob Jani promoted Sonny to talent booker; Sonny sat in with a band and Bob told him he could not do that; Sonny grew a moustache, which was not allowed at Disneyland

25:20 Stan discuss Sonny Anderson’s musical arrangements; Bob Jani was a genius in live entertainment; Stan remembers his first Disneyland Band concert and a warning he received from Bob Jani about some out of place jewelry he was wearing

30:17 Sonny discusses the authentic talent for the World Showcase at Epcot; Had to go twice a year to each country; Was working at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and the moved back to Florida full-time; Sonny wanted authentic talent; Hired authentic singers and dancers from Hawaii for the Walt Disney World show at the Polynesian; Sonny also hired authentic talent for Disneyland; Hired famous jazz musicians to perform on the Mark Twain Riverboat; Stan Freese continues talking about some of the musicians Sonny hired such as Teddy Buchner and Jewel Hall; Jack McVea and Ernie McLean became two of Disneyland’s Royal Street Bachelors jazz group

Disneyland Band Concert record album that Sonny was first hired for
Disneyland Band Concert record album that Sonny was first hired for
Sonny Anderson with Johnny Schmidt and Kay Bell
Sonny Anderson with Johnny Schmidt and Kay Bell
This ad for Disneyland Date Nites mentions Sonny's group Kay Bell and the Spacemen
This ad for Disneyland Date Nites mentions Sonny’s group Kay Bell and the Spacemen

Interview: Peter Marshall (Career and music; Hollywood Squares; Big Bands at Disneyland)

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Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall is a big band singer, television and radio host including “Hollywood Squares” and “Big Bands at Disneyland.” As an actor he’s appeared in both television and film, and in the feature film, “Annie,” he sings, “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile.” He’s appeared in a number of stage musicals, such as The Music Man, La Cage aux Folles, and Skyscraper on Broadway. (Be sure to see all the photos below.)

AUDIO INDEX

1:56 Peter was an usher at the world famous Paramount at the age of 14. At the age of 15, Peter became a pageboy at NBC in the days of radio.

3:10 Peter wanted to be a singer and got a job in the early 1940s singing with Bob Chester and his orchestra at the Adams Theatre in Newark, New Jersey.

4:16 At 16 years old Peter went back to high school at his home in Huntington, West Virginia. Moved to California and was drafted and served in Italy during World War II, from 1944 to 1946. In the military, Peter became a disc jockey and program director of AES Naples (American Expeditionary Station). Peter would play “V discs” (victory discs).

9:45 After the war, Peter went to Florida and got a job in radio, had a 15 minute radio show where he talked and sang. It was called “Peter and the Wolf” with pianist Wolf Catlett. Peter mentions that he also sang in the military.

11:15 Peter went to New York and then California. Had a group called the Upstarts. He got a role in a show called “Tongue in Cheek.” Paired up with Tommy Noonan in a successful comedy act because Peter’s sister, actress Joanne Dru was dating Tommy Noonan’s brother. Peter teamed with Tommy Noonan to pay a dental bill. Opened at the Zambawanga and later at Billy Gray’s Band Box comedy club. Performed with Tommy Farrell for about four years. He then teamed back up with Tommy Noonan for two more years.

14:29 In 1961, Peter performed in Bye Bye Birdie with Chita Rivera, kicking off a string of theatrical performances including High Button Shoes, Anything Goes, Panama Hattie and Bye Bye Birdie in Las Vegas. He performed in New York in Skyscraper with Julie Harris and Charles Nelson Reilly.

14:50 Got his job doing Hollywood Squares, he thought it was a 13 week job and he hosted for 16 years. He needed a “straight man” who could work with comics. Continued to have an act in Las Vegas, opening for acts like the Mills Brothers, Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis. He hosted the Peter Marshall Variety Show for two years. Peter did 35 commercials for Kelloggs, which led to hosting the Hollywood Squares.

18:15 At the start of the Disney Channel, Peter and Steve Allen did interviews with people who had done Disney films for Disney Channel interstitials. He then hosted “Big Bands at Disneyland,” which featured the great big bands and their leaders such as Count Basie, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Les Brown, Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton.

 

Peter Marshall, singing
Peter Marshall, singing

 

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Peter hosting the television series “Big Bands at Disneyland” at Carnation Plaza Gardens

 

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Peter with the legendary Lionel Hampton in “Big Bands at Disneyland”

 

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1978 article announces Peter’s appearance in Walt Disney’s World’s “Top of the World” club

Interview: Orlando Ferrante (Coordinating Disney parks and classic attractions)

Walt Disney Imagineer of 40 years, Orlando Ferrante
Walt Disney Imagineer of 40 years, Orlando Ferrante

Orlando Ferrante started working at Disneyland in 1962, and for the next 40 years continued in the planning of Disneyland projects, as well as Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and the Disney Cruise Line. (See photos and audio index below)

Orlando Ferrante football card from his days with the San Diego Chargers
Orlando Ferrante football card from his days with the San Diego Chargers
Four Disney Legends, all of whom have been interviewed for Mouse Clubhouse. Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, Harriet Burns, Orlando Ferrante
Four Disney Legends, all of whom have been interviewed for Mouse Clubhouse. Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, Harriet Burns, Orlando Ferrante
Orlando Ferrante's window on Main Street in Disneyland
Orlando Ferrante’s window on Main Street in Disneyland
Orlando Ferrante's window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Orlando Ferrante’s window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

AUDIO INDEX

1:33 Orlando met Ron Miller and Dick Nunis; He became a professional football player for the San Diego Chargers; Ron helped get him a job at WED (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering); Orlando was the 50th person hired by Walt Disney Imagineering

3:03 Working on Disney’s shows for the New York World’s Fair, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, his first project; Mapo was developed, the building for Imagineering’s animation; Attending the World’s Fair and visiting attractions with the public; Bringing the World’s Fair shows back to Disneyland

8:06 What his work as coordinator entailed; PICO, Project Installation Coordinating Office for Disneyland and Walt Disney World; Project engineers; During EPCOT Center creation, they changed to a project management system

11:26 What Imagineering was like while Walt Disney was alive; All levels of employees were treated great; About WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering); About Admiral Joe Fowler; Quality was most important with Walt, more than cost; Transporting pirates on the freeway for “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” television series;

17:17 More about working at Imagineering and the coordinating process; Coordinating from the start of design through installation: Orlando some of his fellow Imagineers and the model shop, which was like the hub of Imagineering

21:05 The grand opening of Walt Disney World and other Disney parks; Worked on EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland at the same time; Working on the production end of the show, working with operations and maintenance; Show/ride elements of Walt Disney Imagineering; Lived in Paris for 2 ½ years and then worked on Tokyo DisneySeas

26:49 Working on the Disney Cruise Line, helping with coordination on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder ships in Italy; Working on a Wedway system for the Houston airport

30:29 Retiring in 2002 and becoming an official Disney Legends Award recipient; Orlando was originally offered a job working at the Celebrity Sports Center in Denver that Walt Disney bought with a number of Hollywood celebrities; A picnic at Disneyland months before its opening; Grand opening of EPCOT Center

Interview: Jack Lindquist (His pre-Disney Hollywood days)

Jack Lindquist in the 1943 film "Best Foot Forward"
Jack in the 1943 film “Best Foot Forward”

Jack Lindquist appeared in the Our Gang comedies and movies such as “Best Foot Forward” before becoming 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.

JACK LINDQUIST’S EARLY HOLLYWOOD DAYS

AUDIO INDEX
1:11 An extra in the Our Gang comedies (aka The Little Rascals) making $5.10 a day; The first movie Jack was in called “Midget Millionaires; Took dancing lessons at the school Shirley Temple attended; Worked in movies from 7 years old until he came out of the service; was in “Best Foot Forward” with Lucille Ball
7:40 Jack never wanted to be an actor; Learning to take rejection; Lived two block from RKO