Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tencennial Summertime Entertainment

It's hard to believe everything going on at Disneyland in 1965. As the New York World's Fair entered its second season, Disneyland made plans to open Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in the Opera House and the renovated Plaza Inn in the Central Plaza--in addition to New Orleans Square and "it's a small world" construction and planning for the New Tomorrowland of 1967. But Disneyland is more than just the built environment; live entertainment had played a large role in the Park since Opening Day. The hugely successful Date Nites had been built around live performances! Dixieland at Disneyland, an annual separate ticket party, started in 1960 and brought together popular and legendary jazz artists.

My focus today is on the Guest Talent who performed throughout that Tencennial summer. Disneyland featured not only famous big band names, but also folk artists, young recording stars, and the already impressive amount of day- and nighttime Atmosphere Talent. During the day, Disneyland Guests could expect to find the Disneyland Band, the Dapper Dans, the Gonzales Trio, Bud and Scott (who might have only performed at Disneyland 1964-1966), Indian Village dancers, and the Golden Horseshoe Revue. At night, the following groups performed: Bill Elliott and the Date Niters (at the Plaza Gardens Stage), the (Original) Clara Ward Singers, Kay Bell and Her Humdingers, the Yachtsmen Quartet, the Royal Tahitians dancers (at the Tahitian Terrace), the Young Men from New Orleans (on the Mark Twain), the Disneyland Mustangs, and the Firehouse Five Plus Two. The Park had nightly fireworks, of course; "Fantasy in the Sky" lit off each night at 9 PM.

The Park's summer season ran from June 19 through September 11. It operated every day from 9 AM to midnight, with an additional hour each Friday and Saturday night. A Disneyland Holiday Swing over Memorial Day weekend and Dixieland at Disneyland in late September bookended this summertime entertainment.

On Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, Disneyland was open from 9 AM to midnight and featured The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, directed by Sam Donahue, from 8 PM to midnight. Frank Sinatra, Jr. (who made his public singing debut with the Elliott Brothers band at Plaza Gardens on July 28, 1962), Helen Forrest, The Pied Pipers, Charlie Shavers on trumpet and Larry O'Brien on trombone accompanied the orchestra. Sinatra, Forrest and The Pied Pipers previously performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in Tomorrowland August 4th through 6th, 1963. Like the big bands that followed in 1965, the Dorsey Orchestra performed at the 20,000 Leagues Bandstand.

The big bands mostly played for eight night engagements, from 8 PM to midnight on days the Park closed at midnight and 9 PM to 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The schedule of big bands is below. The big bands took Monday night off (see below):

June 19-June 26: Si Zentner and his Orchestra
June 29-July 4: Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
July 9-July 17: Wayne King and his Orchestra
July 23-July 31: Harry James and his Orchestra (with drummer Buddy Rich and vocalists Ernie Andrews and Cathy Carter)
August 6-August 14: Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
August 20-August 28: Woody Herman and his Herd
September 3-September 11: "Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller" with Tex Beneke and his Orchestra and Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

On Mondays, the Park featured a Hootenanny: "Disneyland's salute to folk music the world over. Featuring top names in the folk field, brought to Disneyland for your enjoyment!" The Yachtsmen Quartet acted as Disneyland hosts. Tuesdays had a Humdinger: "A 'Humdinger' of an event! Every week you can enjoy the sounds of swingin' young America. A young people's show to end them all!" The Humdinger took place in the Fantasyland Theatre and was also described as a "musical variety show" featuring "teenage recording stars and the Humdinger dancers."

June 19, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 20, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 21, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Back Porch Majority; Danny Cox; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

June 22, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra
Humdinger: Gary Lewis and the Playboys; Kelly Garrett; The Christian Brothers; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

June 23, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 24, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 25, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 26, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Si Zentner and his Orchestra

June 27, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

June 28, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Modern Folk Quartet; David Troy; Casey Anderson; Yachtsmen Quartet

June 29, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
Humdinger: Don Grady; Jerry Wallace; Jan Rado; The Pair Extraordinaire; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

June 30, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

July 1, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

July 2, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

July 3, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

July 4, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 2 AM
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

July 5, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Greenwood County Singers; The Legendaires; John Denver; Yachtsmen Quartet

July 6, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Sir Douglas Quintet; Dobie Gray; Tina Edmundson; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

July 7, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 8, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 9, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 10, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 11, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 12, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Dillards; Steve Gillette; The Roadrunners; Yachtsmen Quartet

July 13, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra
Humdinger: The Dixie Cups; Gayle Harris; The Turtles; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

July 14, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 15, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 16, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 17, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Wayne King and his Orchestra

July 18, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 19, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Hoyt Axton; The Young Folks; Stewart Clay; Yachtsmen Quartet

July 20, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Jody Miller; Paul Revere and the Raiders; Curtis Brothers; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

July 21, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 22, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 23, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 24, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 25, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 26, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Glen Yarborough; Phil Campos; The Roadrunners; Yachtsmen Quartet

July 27, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra
Humdinger: Ray Peterson; The Rivingtons; The Edmundson; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

July 28, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 29, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 30, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

July 31, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Harry James and his Orchestra

August 1, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 2, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Greenwood County Singers; Stoneman Family; Cathy Taylor; David Troy; Do Stuffers; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

August 3, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: The Olympics; Jackie and Gayle; The Edmundson; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

August 4, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 5, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 6, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 7, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 8, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 9, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Back Porch Majority; Baytown Singers; Aquamen; Katie Hartman; Stewart Clay; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

August 10, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Humdinger: Barbara Lewis; The Spats; The Round Robins; The Mustangs; The Humdinger Dancers

August 11, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 12, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 13, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 14, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra

August 15, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 16, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Joe & Eddie; The Irish Rovers; Richard and Jim; Mickey Elley; Steve Gillette; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

August 17, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: April Stevens & Nino Tempo; The Bobby Fuller Four; The Swinging Apollas; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers

August 18, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 19, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 20, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 21, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 22, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 23, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Mitchell Trio; The Survivors; Phil Campos; Fred Thompson; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

August 24, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd
Humdinger: Joey Paige; The Young Men; The Mustangs; Special Guest Star Jackie de Shannon

August 25, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 26, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 27, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 28, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Woody Herman and his Herd

August 29, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 30, 1965 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Lou Gottlieb; Jose Feliciano; Cathy Taylor; Sam Hinton; Aquamen; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

August 31, 1965 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Jewel Akens; The Bobby Sox & The Blue Jeans; The Association; The Edmundson; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers

September 1, 1965 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM

September 2, 1965 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM

September 3, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 4, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 5, 1965 (Sunday)
9 AM - 1 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 6, 1965 (Monday)
10 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Josh White; Steve Gillette; Young Folk; The Hilltop Singers; The Aggies; Dapper Dans; Clara Ward Singers; Yachtsmen Quartet

September 7, 1965 (Tuesday)
10 AM - 12 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires
Humdinger: Dick and Deedee; Mary Wells; H. B. Barnum; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers

September 8, 1965 (Wednesday)
10 AM - 12 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 9, 1965 (Thursday)
10 AM - 12 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 10, 1965 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

September 11, 1965 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
"Music Made Famous by Glenn Miller": Tex Beneke and his Orchestra with Ray Eberle and the Modernaires

The sixth annual Dixieland at Disneyland took place on September 24 and 25 from 8 PM to 2 AM. Tickets cost $4.95 in advance or $5.95 on the night of the event. The event actually began at 6:30 PM with a Tailgate Ramble down Main Street, U.S.A. in "old-time Dixie freight wagons." Louis Armstrong led the parade, which featured the the night's performing stars: Sweet Emma Barrett, Turk Murphy and his Band, Bob Havens and the Dixieland All-Stars, including Matty Matlock, Eddie Miller, Nick Fatool, Stan Wrightsman and Ed Garland, The Firehouse Five Plus Two, Johnny St. Cyr, and the Young Men from New Orleans featuring trombonist Kid Ory. Starting at 8 PM, the artists played at 6 bandstands around the park until 2 AM. Admission included all rides and attractions except the arcades, but... come on! Was anybody really there for the attractions? One preview of the event said it promised to be "one of the biggest musical events in Disneyland's ten-year history," which is quite amazing considering the summer entertainment schedule!

I'd sure love a time machine to go back and experience some of those Hootenannies! Does anybody out there have memories of attending any of these performances? CoxPilot or ViewlinerLtd., perhaps?

12 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

Amazing. It's hard to even imagine an amusement park providing that much musical entertainment, which you could watch all day for the price of admission (which was what, a couple of bucks?).

Nice work! :-)

mydisneycollection said...

I remember my first trip to Disneyland (June 69) and Buddy Rich was performing at the Carnation Plaza. Of course, I was way too young (9 years old) to appreciate what was going on. I also remember Tex Beneke performing during the 80s underneath Space Mtn (that was before Capt EO moved and the stage was removed.)

outsidetheberm said...

Great work! Thank you.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

From 1963 trough 1965, Disneyland was all about the music for me. Paying just general admission, I visited many Friday & Saturday Nites during these years to see my favorite band the "Mustangs" play at the Space Bar. Just to let you know, they were very, very good. I saw Gary Lewis in concert, not at Disneyland, but across the street at Melodyland. "Entertainment in the Round". Many of the groups or individuals on this list, I would see in different clubs in and around the O.C. Hoyt Axton, Kelly Garrett, The Dillards, Baytown Singers, Fred Thompson and Jose Feliciano. One thing though, I don't think many of these folks would get up early enough to play at 9AM it should be PM right?. Thanks for a great post

Progressland said...

Viewliner, thanks for sharing your memories. I could have made it more clear that the hours listed under each date were the Park operating hours. The Guest Talent usually performed 8 PM - 12 AM Sun-Thu and 9 PM - 1 AM Fri and Sat.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Opening & closing hours, that makes sense, I guess I should have figured that out myself. But sometimes the mind reacts a tad slow. Thanks again for a great post.

Matterhorn1959 said...

It would have been a blast to see the Sir Douglas Quintet at Disneyland. And the Doors played one of the Hootenanies.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jason, I just received a large batch of slides from the mid to late 60's, and there are LOTS of photos of various musical acts. It's going to take me a while to get to them, but they are a lot of fun! There's also a great photo of the "hole in the ground" where Pirates would go.

Anonymous said...

I recall a band named "The Americana Brass" (a tribute band to Herb Alpert's "Tijuana Brass") that played in Frontierland outside of the Mexican restaurant in the mid to late 60's. I cannot find any mention of them on the internet at all.

David said...

I met a visitor from Wales in 1965, who had a summer job with Greyhound in S.F. She most of all wanted to see Duke Ellington at Disneyland. We went and had a wonderful time.

Kevin said...

I'm Kevin Shipman from the The Yachtsmen at Disneyland. It's great to read these recollections from you all. If you would like to see a retrospective of our group, I just posted a video to YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxUTCp5rtBo
I hope you enjoy the sights and sounds. Cheers!

Roger Quesnell said...

Thanks to your post , I figured out the exact week in 1965 that I was in Disneyland as a young boy of 13. I know because Duke Ellington was playing , I wish I would have been older to appreciate who I was seeing. Thanks.