Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pearl Bailey At Disneyland!

Pearl's Here! Showcased on Disneyland's all new "Rivers of America" floating stage! This was before the hideous and permanent Fantasmic stage existed. The floating stage was smaller and floated out in front of the Old Mill on Tom Sawyer Island. This ad ran in the L.A. Times on Wednesday, November 24th, 1976 and was advertising the park's entertainment for Thanksgiving weekend.

In addition to Pearl Bailey, we have the big band sounds led by Louie Bellson, Les Brown and Teddy Buckner. Over in Tomorrowland, there's Papa Doo Run Run and Sunshine Balloon! And this is all at regular admission prices! Don't forget that Disneyland is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays!

Let's flash forward now to 1981. Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" is released that year and Pearl Bailey provides the voice of the character Big Mama. And THEN, that summer...she's back! Back at Disneyland and back on the Rivers of America floating stage! I saw her at Disneyland that summer. She came out and did a set of songs including "The Best Of Friends," from "The Fox and the Hound." She was wonderful. I have a whole series of photos from that day (looks like I will have to do another vintage trip report!) but out of all the photos I took, I wish I had taken just one photo of Pearl Bailey performing on that stage, but alas I did not!

And in case you were wondering what's on the reverse side of this vintage Disneyland's an ad for another Southern California attraction!

I loved Busch Gardens in Van Nuys and still miss it to this very day!

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!!!


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I remember the floating stage. My friends try to convince me the "fantasmic stage" was always there, but I think this is what they are thinking of.

Looking forward to your 1981 Pearl Bailey trip report, even minus a Pearl Photo (Maybe we can find one one the net somewhere?)...

Happy Thanksgiving TokyoMagic, I hope you have a great holiday.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yeah, the floating stage was there sometimes and gone other times. It was attached to the island, but it could be moved. Towards the end of the eighties, I think it just sort of stayed there all the time.

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, VDT!

Unknown said...

Pearle Bailey! Now that's a name I haven't heard for quite some time! Awesome post!!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Saw Pearl twice at DL. Just Awesome. Nice post.

Dan Alexander said...

Very cool!

I loved Pearl as "Big Mama" in "The Fox and the Hound" and I know she was thrilled to be a part of that.

Bill Weinberger said...

Thanks for this. I realize this is an old post. But I was so happy to get confirmation of a memory that I couldn't quite place. I was working at DL that year and signed myself into the park for this event. I had better memories (and a photo!) of Count Basie w/ his orchestra and Glenn Miller's Orchestra at Carnation Plaza Gardens (probably in 1977).

TokyoMagic! said...

Bill, that is pretty cool that you were able to see Pearl Bailey perform, as well as Count Basie, and Glenn Miller's orchestra. Those were the days! I'm glad I could provide some confirmation for you, of Pearl's appearance at the park. Thank you for commenting!

Oh, and just in case you are interested, here are some pics of Count Basie performing at Carnation Plaza Gardens, in 1974:

And here's a series of Harry James performing there in 1972: