Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cowboy Weekend at Disneyland!


Thirty years ago, Disneyland was having "Cowboy Weekend." Yep, the Magic Kingdom was "goin' country" for a weekend that featured "the hottest talent this side of Texas!" Donna Fargo was the "Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A." (that song was a top 10 country hit for her in 1972), Johnny Lee was "Lookin' for Love" in all the wrong places (his song was used in the movie, "Urban Cowboy" and went to the number three spot on the Billboard Country Charts and number five on the Pop Charts) and Johnny Paycheck said, "Take This Job and Shove It" (his song went to number one on the Billboard Country Charts in 1978.)

I did not go to the park for Cowboy Weekend, but I do remember seeing the Bear Country Hoedown many times throughout the early eighties. I believe this show was done as an attempt to try and draw guests back into that corner of the park in the late evenings. I remember guests had to sit on the ground for the show. Square dancers would come out and dance a few numbers and then they would grab guests from the crowd and teach them some of the steps. Then they would do a dance routine using those guests as their partners. I wish I had taken photos of one of the shows! I remember being picked quite a few times because I had been in "Fantasy On Parade" with some of the performers. Check out this post to see a 1981 Disneyland entertainment schedule listing the Bear Country Hoedown.

This ad was from a September 1980 edition of the L.A. Times. The park had been celebrating it's 25th birthday in 1980 with the yearlong "Family Reunion" campaign, but that would be winding down completely by Thanksgiving Weekend.

5 comments:

Connie Moreno said...

Oh my gosh, I had no idea that show ever exsisted. Where was I???? Oh wait, I didn't have a pass then, LOL. And I was a "closet" Country fan - I didn't come out until the 80's lol!! Gee how cool would it be for Disneyland to do something like that now? Thanks for this great post!

Major Pepperidge said...

I know that back in those days I had a pretty negative response to anything even remotely related to country music. So this event would have kept me away! Nowadays I do have an appreciation for the classic country musicians (i.e. dead), anyway...

Dan Alexander said...

Wow, never knew about this! Disneyland has had a wide range of special events over the years, which is pretty cool. I got to see "Blast To The Past" in 1989, and thought that was great fun.

TokyoMagic! said...

Connie and Major, I go through my phases of liking country music. I definitely did not like it back then, so I wouldn't have gone to see any of those performers even if I had been there that weekend. The Bear Country Hoedown was different for some reason....maybe that was only because I knew some of the people in it.

Dan, I wish I had gotten to see "Blast to the Past." I was tied up with school at that time and didn't get to the park very often in the late eighties, so I missed it. Unfortunately, I also missed "State Fair" and "Totally Minnie."

Darrin.. said...

HA!! I had to peruse your posts after the whole Debbie Boone/Donna Fargo phenomenon. I swear that us retro fold channel eachother at times! LOL!