Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California (June 3 & June 4, 2017) includes new Star Wars LEGO displays, activities such as the LEGO Star Wars™ Family Build Challenge, LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Scavenger Hunt, Jedi™ Trivia, costume contests more.
Special thanks to LEGOLAND California for inviting me to your annual Star Wars Days!
I’m so sad to report that Larry Billman has passed away. Larry was not only a very important of Disney live entertainment history, but a HUGE supporter of my Mouse Clubhouse. He was responsible for my interviews with people such as Chuck Corson (early Disneyland/Disney World director of entertainment), Miriam Nelson (Disneyland’s opening day choreographer) and Alyja Kalinich (Disney costume designer extraordinaire). As a historian of American Dance on Film, Larry was more than once there for me when I felt that my Mouse Clubhouse work was too overwhelming with little gratification, and he inspired me to keep going.
After I posted an interview with a friend of Larry’s who passed away, Larry wrote me the following, “…I am gratified that you have captured some of his memories for eternity. In my life now I find that most of my energies are spent writing about the dancers and choreographers of the Hollywood musicals. I write for a newsletter which is distributed by the Professional Dancers Society in California. I am currently writing 12 obituaries for the next issue – including Marc Breaux. As painful as it can be when I am writing about people I know well, I am happy that their accomplishments are being documented. After my theme park career ended, I became a “Dance Archivist” with books and articles about them and that may be my finest hour. My mission is that they (and the art they created) are remembered.”
It’s been nearly 30 years since I had the honor of being the assistant producer on a bunch of TaleSpin episodes! Thanks to those of you who write me about your memories of the show! It means a lot! Hope you enjoy the artwork below!!
Here’s some pages from the TaleSpin comic books, given to me by my friend and neighbor, the late Joe Messerli, who inked the art! What a coincidence that the man who lived just two doors down from me for my childhood ended up working on the comic books for the TV series I worked on!
Shani didn’t want to post this because she didn’t want to “brag,” so I’m bragging for her. I’m very proud of her, and I’m thrilled that a publication as reputable as Reader’s Digest realized that Shani’s Disney background is far more than just the intense training they give her to be certified as a vacation planner specializing in Disney vacations, but also her years working for Disneyland, the Walt Disney Studios and The Disney University. She was also responsible for training thousands of new Disneyland employees in their orientation.
Shani’s clients know that they not only benefit from her great knowledge of Disney and Disney travel, but she truly cares about them, and you can’t beat her Disney-style customer service.
Although he’s skilled in the media, having had his own television shown and movie appearances, he has no political experience, zero knowledge of foreign polices, he’s not up on the latest technology, and, well, he’s got very-little brains. Yet, I believe this candidate could actually have a chance if he ran today. Of course, I’m talking about Winnie the Pooh. Back in 1968 (above, left), Sears stores launched a Pooh-litical marketing campaign, as it was the main headquarters of Winnie the Pooh merchandise. In 1972 (above, right), Disney took “Pooh for President” to a whole new level, with Disneyland events and even a national tour! (See images below)
Come join our Mouse Clubhouse Facebook group page! https://www.facebook.com/groups/mouseclubhouse/
I want to let you know about this cool event! The La Mirada Symphony will present the first annual Golden Clef Awards Gala Saturday, August
20, 2016 in California at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The event honors individuals and organizations that have made a significant and lasting impact on concert music and the musical arts. Honored include performer Shirley Jones and composer Paul Williams. Roy Disney will be honored posthumously, represented by the Disney family with special guest, Dave Bossert and a special screening of the animated short “Destino.” Supervisor Don Knabe will also be honored for his lifetime support of the arts over the course of his public service career.
Broadway performers Rex Smith and James Mulligan along with Carly Bracco, Impressionist, Paul Boland, and Richard Allen at the piano will provide a musical tribute to the honorees. An after show reception will be held for patrons to meet the honorees.
Hostess for the evening will be actress, speaker, Morgan Brittany.
All proceeds support the admission free concerts during the La Mirada Symphony season. Since 1963 the La Mirada Symphony has been providing classical music and arts education to the Southern California community.
I want to let you know that I changed servers for my podcasts and as a result you may not be seeing all of the interviewss. Although it may still show that you are subscribed, be sure to go to the iTunes Store and resubscribe. You will see all the interviews I’ve already posted and a couple new ones, too! And I’ve got plenty more to come as well!
I thank you so much for your support and allowing me to share the wonderful stories of these fantastic people with you!
Thought I’d share my newest treasure. This button that reads “I’ve had Fun with Music” was given to elementary and middle school students in the mid-1970s, who attended a very special private show in Disneyland in the original Fantasyland Theatre (previously the Mickey Mouse Club Theater – about where the Pinocchio attraction and Village Haus reside now.)
The theater was open to the public, and was used to show Disney short animated films, guest performers, and also for private company events. With the title borrowed from one of the days of the “Mickey Mouse Club” television series, “Fun with Music” was exclusively for students on an exciting field trip and, with the help of characters Father Time and Melody, Harmony,Rhythm and Boogie Man, it formed an appreciation of music by teaching the basics. The show was written by Larry Billman, who wrote, directed and produced hundreds of live shows for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the international Disney resorts.
The band was led by Bruce Healey, who would become the Senior Music Producer/Director, Disneyland Entertainment and is responsible for much of the music you hear in Disneyland’s parades and shows.
Father Music was portrayed by Jim Adams. Although Jim wore a number of hats (literally, as an entertainer, and figuratively) during his time as a performer in Disneyland, he is best known as Pecos Bill from the Golden Horseshoe Revue from 1970 to 1982, alternating performances with the legendary Wally Boag.
Besides the show, students got to learn more about music by attending a concert performance of the Disneyland Band and visiting the attractions “America the Beautiful,” “Country Bear Jamboree,” “America Sings,” “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room” and “It’s a Small World,” which is pictured on the button.
Although most Disneyland park Guests are not aware this program existed, the cast and crew were comprised of Disneyland’s greatest! (In addition to the names above, some of you might be familiar with some of the other participants such as Jim Christensen, Dick Cook, John Anello, Judy Nuzum, Reid Shibata, Greg Killingsworth, Terry Robinson, Joyce Hodges, and Chellie Campbell!)
I hope to bring you much more about the very unique, but little known “Fun with Music” show in the future, but I just had to share this photo of my newest treasure.