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Book on Walt Disney Records to be published October 2005

Discussion in 'Archive' started by FRAN?OIS, May 24, 2003.

  1. FRAN?OIS

    FRAN?OIS Member

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    Thought you'd like to read this info i just discovered on Laughingplace.com.... ( I've met and talked to Greg Ehrbar many times when we both were members of NFFC World Chapter in Florida.... back in the 80's! )

    Writers uncover Disney?s recorded history for the first time

    They?re among the most popular forms of Disney entertainment. They?ve sold millions, won numerous awards and influenced the entertainment industry. They?ve been the soundtracks of childhood for generations. But strangely enough, the story of the Disney-produced recordings we welcomed into our homes for over half a century ? in the form of LP?s, 45?s, 78?s, cassettes and compact discs ? has never been fully told.

    Two American pop culture writers, both avid Disney record collectors, have taken on this massive task. In their forthcoming book, The Walt Disney Records Story, to be published by University of Mississippi Press in 2005, authors Tim Hollis and Gregory Ehrbar provide a feast of untold tales and behind the scenes lore from an often overlook Disney genre.

    Hollis and Ehrbar explain why Walt and Roy Disney resisted going into the record business for over three decades, until the success of ?The Ballad of Davy Crockett? convinced Roy to take the plunge. Under the guidance of its first president, Jimmy Johnson, the record company experienced both feast and famine in the retail marketplace. Detailed in the book are the teen-pop success of Annette Funicello, the Mary Poppins phenomenon, a Disney-style ?British invasion,? and even a low period when sagging sales forced Walt to suggest closing the division down.

    Virtually every musical style is represented, from rock, disco and rap to jazz, folk and classical. Complimenting each chapter are performer biographies, some well-known and many who should be.

    ?There?s a whole world of talented people involved with these recordings, then and now,? Ehrbar says. ?It?s time for them to be recognized.?

    Two-time Grammy nominee Ehrbar served as writer for Disney recordings, books, network TV specials and advertising, also producing compilation CD?s for children. Writer/journalist Hollis? name is well-known to pop-culture fans as the author such best sellers as Hi There, Boys and Girls! America?s Local Children?s TV Programs, Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun, and the upcoming Florida?s Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast, all published by the University Press of Mississippi.

    ?There aren?t many areas of Disney left to be chronicled, and this is a subject that means a lot to us,? Hollis says. ?So many folks grew up with these records, and most kids have a bunch of CD?s now. Now there?ll be a way to learn how they all came about.?

    The Walt Disney Records Story is scheduled for publication in October 2005. The authors welcome the assistance of anyone involved in Disney recordings over the years to contact them to share stories.

    Contact Tim Hollis at Hollis1963@aol.com, or Gregory Ehrbar at wondergreg@hotmail.com.

    --Posted May 23, 2003
     
  2. Tim Hollis

    Tim Hollis Member

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    This book truly is going to have the kind of Disney information unavailable anywhere else, as the press release indicates. Most of the people who performed for Disneyland Records have never been interviewed about their careers at all, and they have much to tell that has never been documented.

    For example, just yesterday I finished interviewing Laura Olsher. Don't know the name? She is the narrator you hear on the 1964 CHILLING, THRILLING SOUNDS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE sound effects record, plus about a half dozen other LP's from that same period. She has some great stories about doing those recordings, including how one of them was Walt Disney's own idea (and he usually had very little to do with the record division, so that made it quite notable).

    Stay tuned for further progress reports!
     
  3. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    Tim, it sounds like the book is going to be fabulous! I just picked up "The Cartoon Music Book" yesterday, and noticed that your associate for the Disney Records book, Greg Ehrbar, was involved in the book--looks like some interesting material here as well!

    Interesting tid-bit about Walt and the record division; who, then, were the "masterminds" who dreamed up the concepts for such a diverse catalogue of records, from classical music to western songs to Pirates of the Caribbean(but maybe you want to wait until the book is published!)?

    Mike.
     
  4. Tim Hollis

    Tim Hollis Member

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    You are right, we don't want to give away the whole story right now... but Disneyland/Buena Vista Records was essentially a partnership between Jimmy Johnson (who wrote the scripts and produced the dialogue segments) and Tutti Camarata, who was responsible for securing the talent and producing the music. (You will notice several songs on the records for which the composers are listed as "Camarata-Johnson," meaning they collaborated on music & lyrics.)

    The BIG mytery is a pair of composers listed as "Turnbull-Campbell." Turnbull wrote the music and Campbell wrote the lyrics, but we have no idea who they were. Does anyone out there have any information?!
     
  5. JeffNOrangeCounty

    JeffNOrangeCounty Member

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    Great project Tim. I'll look forward to reading it. We all hope it flys.

    Turnbull-Campbell culd not be found in appendix c of "The Golden Age of WDR 1933 -1988". What did they score?

    Mr Murray credits the below for helping hom with his price guide;

    Has the Library of Congress any chronicles?

    or could you try Dave Smith?

    Happy digging, a true history will be fascinating.

    Jeff
     
  6. Tim Hollis

    Tim Hollis Member

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    The composer appendix in Mike Murray's book apparently only takes in those who composed for Disney movies, and not those who wrote for the record division only. The mysterious Turnbull-Campbell team wrote the songs for a 1966 LP called "A Happy Birthday Party with Winnie the Pooh." I suppose somewhere there should be copyright records on those songs, which would at least tell us what the composers' first names were.

    Co-author Greg Ehrbar has done research in Dave Smith's archives before, and will no doubt do so again, but he reports that the archives have surprisingly little on the record division. It just confirms our theory that this is a much negelcted part of the Disney story.
     
  7. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Member

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    [attachment deleted by admin]
     
  8. Tim Hollis

    Tim Hollis Member

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    Robie Lester just called me yesterday to update me on things. She is undergoing some rather drastic chemotherapy treatments right now, but is keeping her spirits up. Everyone should remember her in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time...

    Incidentally, Robie's only on-screen appearance for Disney was in the TV episode "Holiday Time at Disneyland." In the opening scene, where Walt is leading the group of Christmas carolers, Robie is the shortest of the four carolers. She remembers how miserably hot it was to film that scene on a sweltering sound stage while dressed in full Dickensian winter regalia!
     
  9. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Member

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  10. Tim Hollis

    Tim Hollis Member

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    UPDATE TIME: Co-author Greg Ehrbar reports that he just completed a valuable interview with Roberta Shore. A very nice lady, says he.

    We also finally got some definitive answers as to the identities of the mysterious "Jungle V.I.P's" who did the off-model second cast songs from THE JUNGLE BOOK. When that information appears in the book, it will be the first time those performers have ever been credited for their work.
     

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