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Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Musical Tribute To Disneyland's 62nd Anniversary

By Chris Lyndon




We all know the story of Walt one day sitting on a park bench watching his daughters delight in riding a merry-go-round. Legend says this was the first time he imagined a place where kids and their parents could have fun together. It's no secret that 62 years ago—as a result of his musings that fateful day—Walt opened the gates to a whole new world of entertainment, a place where the cares of the world melt away in lands of adventure, fantasy, and tomorrow. In celebration of Disneyland's 62nd anniversary, we are pleased to present a collection of songs in tribute to the most beloved theme park in the world. Join us today on this musical tribute tour as we celebrate the opening of Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom...








In celebration of Disneyland's birthday, July 17th 1955, we are pleased to present this collection of songs in tribute to the most beloved theme park in the world. These songs come courtesy of DisneyChris.com and on this site you will find a "Disney Song of the Day" posted every day of the year. We are pleased to present them here for Disney Avenue readers and hope you enjoy...

(For your listening pleasure, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player at the top, left-hand corner of the page prior to playing the songs below if you are on a desktop computer.)




1) Disneyland Song Parade (1956)









These 4 selections from the 1956 Disneyland Song Parade album are the theme songs for the four major realms of Disneyland (Adventureland / Frontierland / Fantasyland/ Tomorrowland). The tracks were featured on a Long Playing 1956 children's album produced by Golden Records that took listeners on a musical tour of Disneyland through many classic songs and stories in the Disney library. Each individual song would later be released as a 45'' single.




2) "Disneyland" from the Broadway musical "Smile" (1986)









The short lived 1986 Broadway musical "Smile" was based on a film released in 1975 about the trials and tribulations of a Beauty Pageant competition. Jody Benson sings this song written by legendary composer Marvin Hamlish, and lyrics by Disney legend Howard Ashman.




3) "I Want to Go to Disneyland" from the promotional film "Take Me to Disneyland" (1963)









This very rare song comes from a very unusual short film from Italy, presumably meant to promote tourism to Disneyland. After you listen to the cleaned up and re-edited music, be sure to check it out below...








4) "If You Believe in Magic" from "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" (2005)









To honor Disneyland's 50th anniversary, a special new documentary starring Steve Martin and Donald Duck was presented in Disneyland's Opera House. The memorable score from "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" was written and arranged  by legendary film composer John Debney. Heard here is the main title theme from this presentation.




5) "Once Upon a Time in Anaheim" from the "Disneyland 25th Anniversary" TV special (1980)









This song was written and performed by legendary Hollywood star Danny Kaye for a prime-time TV special celebrating Disneyland's 25th anniversary in 1980. Not only did he write several original songs but he also served as the special host of this presentation.




6) "Disneyland Theme" from the "Disneyland" TV series (1954)









This instrumental piece was written as recurring background music used for Walt Disney's weekly anthology TV series whenever Disneyland park was being showcased on the program, and it would continue to be used well into the 1960's as the quintessential theme song for the park. In 1955, a 45'' album was released with a version of the song featuring lyrics. Here is both the instrumental version and the very rare version of the song with the lyrics.




7) "Remember Dreams Come True" from Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Fireworks Spectacular (2005)









Here is the entire soundtrack to one of the most beloved Disneyland firework's presentations of all time, which celebrated Disneyland's 50th anniversary. The show was hosted by Disney legend Julie Andrews, and included a musical tour of the park through a montage of many favorite songs from famous Disneyland attractions.




8) Disneyland is Your Land (1980)









In honor of Disneyland's 25th anniversary, a special theme song was written that was used for both the 25th Anniversary Parade and a live stage show presented at Tomorrowland's Space Stage, featuring the Disney characters and the Kids of the Kingdom.




9) Vintage Disneyland Radio Ads









In order to attract Southern California residents, Disneyland began running ads on local radio stations in the 1950's. Voice over artist Dick Wesson, the announcer of the Disney TV series for over three decades, would often record these commercials, as well as local talent such as singer Kay Bell, who was a regular park guest performer.




10) "Disneyland Symphony" from the Disneyland Record "Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland" (1956)









The music in this track was originally featured as tour of Disneyland on a long playing record hosted by Walt Disney. Each cut on the album was a medley of music, representing the theme of all 5 lands in the Happiest Place on Earth. Heard here are all the musical segments from this album, without the sound effects and narration, in a complete mix.






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Chris Lyndon grew up in Southern California, near Disneyland. He formed a lifelong fascination with all things Disney from a very early age, especially Disney music, and has studied the history of the Walt Disney organization for decades. His very first summer job was at Disneyland at age 16, and he also worked at the Florida parks during his college years, as part of the Walt Disney World College Internship Program. His lifelong passion for Disney music has evolved into his website, DisneyChris.com. All manner of Disney music can be enjoyed there including the Disney Song of the Day, but the main focus is audio from the original Disneyland theme park in a collection he calls the "Disneyland Magical Audio Tour," with over 1200 audio tracks, full color imagery and historical information for every track posted. Chris also provided archival Disneyland audio for the September 2015 PBS Walt Disney American Experience documentary. In 2014 he joined the Sideshow Sound Theatre podcast group as a co-host on the MouseMusic podcast, and in December 2015 he began his own weekly podcast covering all things Disney, called Jiminy Crickets! He is now also co-host of Magical Day Radio program, where he interviews notable people within the Disney community.

You can find all of Chris's articles here.

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