Interview: John “Doc” Anello (Disneyland band leader and educator)

John "Doc" Anello leads his band "Doc Anello and the Swing Machine" at Carnation Plaza Gardens in Disneyland
John “Doc” Anello leads his band “Doc Anello and the Swing Machine” at Carnation Plaza Gardens in Disneyland

John “Doc” Anello started working at Disneyland in 1975. After a brief stint filling in for talent booker Sonny Anderson, John became the park’s production manager, ensuring Disney quality at all entertainment venues. He later became the manager of Disneyland entertainment’s education department.  For several years after retiring he would conduct his own big band, “Doc Anello and the Swing Machine” at at Carnation Plaza Gardens in Disneyland.  (See below for more photos and audio index)

Larry Billman (also hear my interview with Larry) and John Anello work on the Disneyland "Fun with Music" show
Larry Billman (also hear my interview with Larry) and John Anello work on the Disneyland “Fun with Music” show
Doc Anello and the Swing Machine
Doc Anello and the Swing Machine

AUDIO INDEX

3:07 John had a band before working for Disney; He started working for Disney in 1975 as production manager for entertainment; Took over the All-American College Program from 1976 until 1980; Taught at College of the Desert in Palm Desert from 1980 until 1988; He had a performing group that traveled all over the United States; He started his band again in 1989; Stan Freese was working at Disneyland and hired him in 1991 to play at least once a month at Disneyland; Moved to Florida to help write a book with Ron Logan (who headed Disney live entertainment for the whole company)

4:48 Working on a Disney intern program which would have been similar to “Dancing with the Stars,” but years before that show was created

6:48 Started his band again and played at Disneyland, but first played in a band at the age of 15 in New Jersey; Also had a trio and quartet he performed with outside of Disney; About John’s band, the Doc Anello and the Swing Machine, and some of the band members;

8:27 John was discovered by Disney talent booker Sonny Anderson when he was performing at the Disneyland Hotel with bandleader, Bernie Bernard, who often performed there and Sonny, who was playing the drums; Director of entertainment Bob Jani hired John as a temporary talent booker when Sonny Anderson was ill; Went on leave of absence from where he was teaching to work for Disney; About Bob Jani

11:47 John became in charge of the All American College Program, which original was the All American College Band and the All American Singers and Dancers for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World; From 1977 through 1980 he would travel the country auditioning talent for the program

16:02 John went back to teaching college and leading a group of talented students

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