Saturday, March 21, 2009

Walt Disney's Three Little Pigs

I recently picked up this cool looking 33 1/3 Long Playing Record of Walt Disney's story of the Three Little Pigs with the song: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" complete with record and 24 page book. This edition is copyright 1965 Walt Disney Productions and printed in the USA. Side one of the record is the audio story to go along with the book and side two of the record has the Disney classic "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf". The song was probably the most famous song to come out of a short cartoon. The original song composed by Frank Churchill was a best-selling single, mirroring the people's resolve against the "big bad wolf" of The Great Depression; the song actually became something of an anthem of the Great Depression. When the Nazis began expanding the boundaries of Germany in the years preceding World War II, the song was used to represent the complacency of the Western world in allowing Hitler to make considerable acquisitions of territory without going to war, and was notably used in Disney animations for the Canadian war effort. The song was further used as the inspiration for the title of the 1963 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The World is a Circle

Here is an LP I picked up recently at a local thrift shop. I immediately assumed this was a record from Disney's "It's A Small World", as it had the Disneyland Records label in the top right hand corner and the artwork on the front was very similar to that of the artwork on the albums I had from IASW. As per usual I pulled all the albums I liked and took them up to the counter to purchase them without spending too much time looking them over. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that this one had nothing to do with IASW. The album is from 1973 and is distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Co. Inc. The music it turns out is is music based on Lost Horizon.
Here is what it says on the back of the album: The Lost Horizon Story. James Hilton's best selling novel "Lost Horizon" was first released as a motion picture by Columbia on February 27, 1937. The film was produced and directed by Frank Capra and the cast included Ronald Coleman, Name Wyatt, John Howard, Edward Everett Horton, H. B. Warner, Isabel Jewell, Thomas Mitchell, Sam Jaffe and Margo. The film was an enormous success and the idea of Shangri-La became all the world's dream.
Now Ross Hunter has produced a musical version of "Lost Horizon" with music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David. This version is also released by Columbia Pictures and contains another great cast; Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, Sally Kellerman, George Kennedy, Michael York, Olivia Hussey, Bobby Van, James Shigeta and Charles Boyer as the High Lama and John Gielgud as Chang.
Several months ago the president of Disneyland Records and the national sales manager each driving their separate ways to work on the Los Angeles Freeway heard on their car radios two songs from "Lost Horizon." The president heard "The World Is A Circle" and came excitedly into the office exclaiming, "The World Is A Circle" from "Lost Horizon" has got to be a hit and it's a children's song. The national sales manager had heard "Question Me An Answer" and has the same comment. SO it was immediately decided to record three songs from "Lost Horizon," the third being "Living Together, Growing Together" which in the meantime has become a big hit with the 5th Dimensions. We decided to combine these three songs with four other wonderful songs for children out of big shows. "Dites Moi" from the wonderful Broadway show and motion picture "South Pacific," the fabulous "Inch Worm" from "Hans Christian Andersen" probably one of the most beautiful children's songs ever written, and two songs from the Broadway show and motion picture "Fanny." "Be Kind To Your Parents" and "I Like You."
Sadly I have no idea what the music sounds like, as instead of the correct album, there was a copy of a RCA Victor Red Seal Record with song titles such as "Serenade 3 - Golden Days", "Summertime in Heidelberg" and "Drink, Drink, Drink".

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disney Sing Along Songbook

Here is a neat item I found among the books at a local thrift shop. Its a 1987 Disney Sing Along Songbook. I am not a big fan of songs books, but I love the cover on this one, and the fact that it has a Disneyland Records logo on the back made it an instant sale for me. And the fact that it was 25 cents didn't hurt either.
This particular song book is a "Holiday Favorites" version, covering all the Christmas favorites; Frosty the Snow Man, Good King Wenceslas, The first Noel, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, Silver Bells, Deck the Halls, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night, Here We Come A-Caroling, I Wish It Could Be Christmas All Year Long, and From All Of Us To All Of You.
Apparently this song book came with a cassette tape of the songs, but unfortunately I didn't find the cassette with the book.
Here are a bunch of the pages from the book.