The Bear Necesseties???


I was recently listening to the Original Country Bear Jamboree Show. Towards the end I heard, in one of the verses, a reference to the Bear Necesseties. Which came first? The Country Bear Jamboree or the Jungle Book? Did one get the idea from the other or is this a coincidence?

There are dozens of people who could answer this, but it looks like I happened to get here first.

"Jungle Book" was released in October 1967. The Country Bear Jamboree premiered when Walt Disney World opened in October 1971, so the "Bare Necessities" reference in the closing song was a throwback to the Jungle Book... or maybe even not, since that phrase was already a standard part of the English language long before Disney applied it to bears... either the jungle or hillbilly breed.

Danny Love

New Member
I'm pretty sure most of the members here are aware of this, but in case it isn't widely known:

The Country Bear Jamboree was intended for a new development in California called the Mineral King Ski Resort in the mid-1960's. This was a pet project for Walt, set further north of Anaheim. Had this concept met completion, it would have likely set the standard for ski resorts in the same way Disneyland did for theme parks.

ANYWAY... the inital recording demos created featured none other than "Baloo" himself: Phil Harris in the role of Henry, the Emcee bear! Perhaps you can find a copy of the track around somewhere, it is an interesting variation on the bears we know today. Of course, Mineral King never came to be, but the Country Bear Jamboree finally found it's way to WDW's Magic Kingdom in 1971 (the version we are familiar with). Only by this time, the multi-talented Pete Reneday was cast as Henry. Phil Harris was still involved with Disney at the time, though: he voiced O'Malley for "The Aristocats" (released 1971), and Little John in "Robin Hood" (released 1973). I don't know the reson for Henry's re-casting, but we got the best of both actors, in my opinion.

So there you have it: another Country Bears/Jungle Book connection!