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The Singing Harp Has Returned to Happy Valley (Long)

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Randy Thornton, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Randy Thornton

    Randy Thornton Member

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    And Happy Valley is really happy again!!


    Though I haven?t posted on this wonderful web site of Mr. Schwartz?s for a while, I have been reading and keeping track of what you guys talk about. It?s been killing me, especially regarding several of your recent posts, trying to keep the lid on an incredible project until it was finalized and definitely going forward. Well, that time has come.

    I?ve been calling it The Wonderland Music Store project. Though the final name has not yet been decided, this is what has replaced the Forever System. (The Wonderland Music Store is a tribute to the original music store on Main Street). The new system is in it?s testing phase at the moment and offers 40 titles available for purchase.

    The new system works similar to the Forever system, however you will be purchasing entire albums ? complete with reproductions of the original album covers with CDs featuring reproductions of the original labels printed right on the disc.

    To get this system up and running quickly, I chose 32 recently discontinued titles ? like all five Archive Series albums, The Sherman Brothers, Annette ? A Musical Reunion with America?s Girl Next Door Volumes 1 & 2, Mickey Mouse Disco, The Disney Afternoon, and Instrumental Impressions just to name a few. The reason there are so many recent titles is that I am restoring the older material myself and I don?t want to rush the restorations. The 8 older titles that are now on the system are: "Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland", "The Golden Horseshoe Revue", "The Enchanted Tiki Room and The Adventurous Jungle Cruise", "It?s a Small World" 1964 Souvenir Album, "The Country Bear Jamboree", "America Sings", "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", and "Mary Martin ? Hi Ho". All of these masters have been fully restored.

    For the old recordings, each analog master is transferred to digital with 24 bit resolution at a 192kHz sampling rate (the finished product will still be 16bit 44.1kHz). This gives us the best analog to digital transfer possible ? preserving the original warmth of the analog recording. To give you and idea of the quality ? back in the day when a vinyl was cut, a copy of the master was sent to the lacquer cutter. That meant that the recording was already 2 or even 3 generations removed from the original before it was even cut. Here, I?m going directly to the original master so the recording you will receive is much clearer and with better dynamic range than it was in it?s original release. The results are amazing! Though the cleaner technology is incredible, it also brings out some flaws that were not apparent before ? but honestly, it adds to the charm of these great old recordings.

    More and more of the Walt Disney Records catalog will make it?s way to the system including some things from that Professor Von Drake guy, possibly Mouseketeer stuff, and a few soundtracks that haven?t been available for nearly 30 years. This is The Archive Series to the 10th power.

    After the system has been running for a while, more titles will be added (approx. 20 by February) and soon after that, a whole new category ? The Sounds of Disneyland (I?m sure you can figure out what that will be). Again all restored and mastered as complete albums defined by land, attraction, or event.

    All in all, well over 200 recordings are on their way to be heard by you once again. Though, initially this will only be available in Disneyland at the 20th Century Music Company, the plan, if successful, is to extend this to all the Disney Parks. We are also looking into the possibility of you being able to order Wonderland CDs over the phone via DelivEARS, but that is not available at the time of this writing. I will try to keep you folks up to date on that and what new titles will be added in the upcoming phases.

    I am so happy to be able to share this with you folks! I also want to take this time to thank each of you for your support in my efforts over the years as well as your seemingly undying patience!! I hope that this new outlet brings back those fond memories of why we love this stuff to begin with! To quote Sam the Eagle ?

    "Yankee Doodle always says, ?The past is just a start.
    Tomorrow [we?ll] bring songs to you,
    That come straight from the heart!?"
    (Pop Goes the Weasel)

    Randy Thornton


    THE FIRST 40

    Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland
    The Enchanted Tiki Room and the Adventurous Jungle Cruise
    The Counrty Bear Jamboree
    The Golden Horseshoe Revue
    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
    America Sings
    It?s a Small World
    Mary Martin Hi Ho
    Louis Prima ? Let?s Fly with Mary Poppins
    Ukulele Ike Sings Again
    Rex Allen ? 16 Golden Hits
    Burl Ives ? Chim Chim Cher-ee and Other Children?s Choices
    Mickey Mouse Disco
    Mousercise
    Rock Around the Mouse
    Goin? Quackers
    Totally Minnie
    Pardners
    Splashdance
    The Disney Afternoon
    The Sherman Brothers
    Instrumental Impressions
    House of Mouse
    Alice In Wonderland (Restored Soundtrack)
    Bambi (Restored Soundtrack)
    Peter Pan (Restored Soundtrack)
    Annette: A Musical Reunion with America?s Girl Next Door Volume 1
    Annette: A Musical Reunion with America?s Girl Next Door Volume 2
    Pooh?s Grand Adventure
    Sebastain and Friends
    Sebastian?s Party Gras
    Songs from the Sea
    Splash Hits
    Small World Holiday
    A Goofy Movie
    Mouse House
    Tigger Mania
     
  2. Jessica L

    Jessica L Member

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    Yay Randy!! It's great to hear from you again! Thank you so much for the official update - this is fantastic news!! Though I doubt I'll be ever getting to DL any time soon, this is such an amazing advancement for Disney music. You rock!

    I hope this project can be expanded to include WDW as well - but for now I am quite content and practically giddy just thinking about the potential of this new system!

    YAY!!

    Jessica
     
  3. s8ntmark

    s8ntmark Member

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    Oh Randy this is GREAT news :D

    If you guys bring Paul Frees' Ludwig Von Drake album to the system, I will be a HAPPY boy :)

    and PLUS the Sounds of Disneyland, Ooooo :D

    Im wondering why the Forever system was removed, and why was it decided to bring it back? I hope it sticks around for a long time this time around :)

    Thank you! :D
     
  4. wedroy1923

    wedroy1923 Moderator Premium Member Playlist Author

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    Randy:

    I am so glad to see you on the board again and want to extend my great appreciation for your work on restoring these incredible albums. Your dedication to Disney music and your tremendous respect for those who created it shines through yet again!

    Thanks,
    wedroy1923
     
  5. xfkirsten

    xfkirsten Member

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    Wow, I already see a bunch on that list that I'd love to have! I think I'll be making a trip up to DL in the next couple of weeks!! Thank you so much for putting in the effort to bring those back to us, and I can't wait to see what else is coming back!!!!

    -Kirsten
     
  6. Epcot Bill

    Epcot Bill New Member

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    Oh boy, better start saving money. ;)
    This is great news Randy. Thanks.
     
  7. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member

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    Way to go, Randy! ;D
     
  8. Michael Zielski

    Michael Zielski Member

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    The Archive Series rides again! Unbelievable!

    I've(we've) been wondering where you've been hiding; everyone involved is certainly amazingly good at keeping secrets! This is the biggest news to hit this site in a while!

    I feel so left out, though, being a WDW frequenter; I can only hope that phone ordering will be made available, or better yet, just send some machines back east! I always look longingly at where they used to be at WDW.

    We've all thanked you so many times before, but thank you's are certainly in order once again(even the original album covers and the original record labels!)--for your supreme, meticulous efforts to preserve musical history--and for always listening.

    Only two questions remain:
    --Do we still need the original vinyl recordings to be truly complete???
    --The Mellowmen's "Meet Me Down on Main Street" LP--when???

    Mike

    P. S. Great choices for the LP's, several of which--Walt Disney, Tiki Room, Golden Horseshoe Review, America Sings--can be only occasional finds on ebay, and even then potentially pricey for records of sometimes dubious quality.
     
  9. adimike

    adimike Member

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    You may not post often, but you thrill us everytime.

    Thanks,

    Adrian
     
  10. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Shoot. I was so hoping that I would be the first one to break the good news on this board. Oh well if Randy Thornton beat me to it I guess I can't be too disappointed. I bought 2 of the new CD's tonight, Tiki Room and Mr Lincoln. Installation was still going on but they were available and the system should be live by Friday the 17th. It's great to hear that there is more on the way especially the Sounds of Disneyland though if you can't mix your own CD I wonder if I'll end up paying full price for only one or two things that haven't been previously available. Oh well. As it is the Cd's only cost $15.99, still steep for a short run time but not as bad as before. Nice to have the original cover art too though the America Sings cover is not the one I remember. The one they used has Sam in front of an outline of the US with all the song titles contained within. Anyway.....
    Looks like it's gonna be an expensive couple of months ;D
     
  11. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    A question for Randy

    Can we expect a similar system at WDW anytime soon? I'd love to have some of their Albums rereleased.
     
  12. derekdaze

    derekdaze Member

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    I REALLY hope that this project gets the success (and longevity) it deserves.

    Congratulations, and thanks, Randy.
     
  13. ispace

    ispace Member

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    Just wanted to add my excitement at hearing this news. Thanks Randy & congratulations. I will have to look at booking a trip up from Down Under hopefully next year.

    Best regards,
    Brett.
     
  14. "We are also looking into the possibility of you being able to order Wonderland CDs over the phone via DelivEARS..."

    Any chance that the CDs would be available for purchase online anywhere? (After all, this is the 21st century now) ;)
     
  15. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

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    Have any of the old LP's been converted to stereo? Like the Tiki Room and Country Bear Jamboree? I'm very curious.

    Boy this will be an expensive couple of months!!
     
  16. mmouse

    mmouse New Member

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    ;D This is absolutely wonderful! Thank you, Randy, and congratulations!! :D
     
  17. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    The albums haven't had anything extra added-they are simply reissues of the original LP's. So while I'm very excited about this program there will be some that I simply don't need. Like America Sings for example. I think I have that twice from different DLForever CD's I put together. The album art is nice but as far as I could tell from the listening stations, there's no major differences except that each song is it's own track. Even has the politically incorrect version of "Who shot the hole in my sombrero?".
     
  18. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

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    Wow! The return of Custom Disneyland CD's to Disneyland and the departure of Cynthia Harriss. Allright everyone together now:

    "Happy Days Are Here Again......"
     
  19. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

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    You know, I honestly prefer that the Disneyland attraction tracks be pre-selected for you. It was a huge chore to put together a list, and then create the CD's at the parks. It will be nice to just touch a button and the whole CD will be printed. I know there may be duplicate tracks, but it certainly makes it easier on the guests. The original system could be daunting for a first time user. I know the friends I went with were complaining that it was too time consuming and they wanted to spend that time going on rides.
     
  20. Randy Thornton

    Randy Thornton Member

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    A Few Answers

    A Few Answers

    "Do we still need the original vinyl?"
    If you have it, keep it. It is the original. The audio quality on the remastered CDs will be better than the vinyl, but the vinyl is the original. This is what I?m doing here at WDR ? though the original analog master has had a high quality transfer to digital, and that digital source has been completely restored, I?ve insisted that the original analog master still be kept and stored in our Master Tape Vault. Both the master tape and the vinyl are history, I?d keep ?em.

    "Will ?Meet Me Down On Main Street? by the Mellomen be available?"
    Youbetcha! I hesitate to say exactly when, but it?s on the ?short list?.

    "Will the Wonderland system make it to WDW?"
    If this test phase is successful, the plan is to set up systems in all the parks.

    "Will the albums be available On-Line?"
    We are currently looking at several possibilities to make these albums available On-Line either by purchase or actual download. This may be a ways off, but it is being seriously considered.

    "Have the albums been added to or remixed in stereo?"
    As a general rule, I believe that these albums should be released with the exact same content as it was originally released. The only time that I will add to the original Producers work is if I discover during research that something was omitted due to the time limitations on vinyl (as will be the case with The Disneyland Band Concert album coming soon). There has already been a situation where I had to completely rebuild an old master. In this first wave, two of the older masters were in terrible shape ? The Enchanted Tiki Room and The Country Bear Jamboree. For the Tiki Room, the entire show was remixed and rebuilt and is now in stereo (though the original vinyl release was mono) and does indeed included the Offenbach sequence (as well as a special surprise). The Adventurous Jungle Cruise (Tiki?s B Side) was in real good condition and only needed a little De-Noising. For The Country Bear Jamboree, the only elements available were mono (the original vinyl was also mono). However, the show portion of the new master has been completely remixed and restored. The B side, the Mile Long Bar, was also in great shape and only needed a little de-noising as well. Though some changes are made, I really want to remain true to the intention of the original Producers as well as provide the highest quality versions of their work.

    Somone also mentioned somewhere that the cover for "America Sings" is not the cover they remember. Well, there were two versions of this soundtrack ? 1 (ST3812) was the entire show on side A with some Burl Ives songs on the B side. Seeing that most of those songs are on the Archive Series Burl Ives album (also available now) I didn?t want to double up the Burl Ives material. Also, all of his albums for us will be on the system soon. The 2nd version of the album (DQ 1366) had the entire show split over side A and B and was the original show (nudge, nudge, wink wink). So I opted for the latter version ? keeping true to the original album cover and content. FYI though there are two indexes on America Sings to show the original side breaks, there are no breaks in the audio (same is true for The Golden Horseshoe Revue).

    Hope that helps,
    Randy Thornton
     

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