Thurl Ravenscroft on the 50th CDs

Rich T

Listening to the new boxed set, I was struck by just how great a part Thurl Ravenscroft played in the park's music. I knew he sang in the Mansion, Pirates and the Bear shows, but he's all *over* these tracks! :)

Here's the contributions I can definitely identify - Have I missed any?

Meet Me Down on Main St. - Bass for the Mellowmen
Tiki Room Garden Show - Tangaroa
The Tiki Room - Fritz and Chanting Tiki
Pirates of the Carribean - Lead Singer Pirate & Drunk Pirate on Barrel
Mark Twain - Foreman
Haunted Mansion - Lead Singing Bust
All 3 Country Bear Shows - Buff the Buffalo
Pinocchio's Daring Journey - Bass in Chorus
Peter Pan's Flight - Bass in Chorus and Pirate Chorus
Alice In Wonderland - Dandelion and Card Painter

And, though not on this set, he has been one of the voices for the Disneyland Railroad.

What a great voice *and* a great actor. With his passing, the world has lost a real treasure.


Re:Thurl Ravenscroft on the 50th CDs & Disneyland Railroad Dream CD

I think his loss will be felt for a long time - but thanks to his manyfold contributions especially to the Disney theme parks many future generations will still be able to enjoy his work.

As you mentioned the railroad soundtrack: I am still hoping for a CD-release of the railroad soundtrack. In an IDEAL case it would be a full length CD combining music and a CD-Rom part. On the music side I would opt for at least two tracks:

1. music only
2. music with announcements & narration

If there is enough room left, some historic elements could be included as additional tracks, as e.g. no longer used announcements, narrations, music elements no longer used, sound fx (e.g. of the different locomotives).

But I think the space for that would be very limited due to the CD-Rom part I would love to see. To make the CD more interesting for all the railroad fans out there (and there are quite a few which are also spending money on special products as e.g. books), there should be some special CD-Rom tracks. Right away I could imagine photos (current and historic), a track layout (several technical drawings), some technical drawings of the locomotives, coaches and also the stations, the roundhouse etc., maybe some short movie clips (current and historical), ...

Combining the music of the ride with these material for the railroad fans I think would widen the potential customer base for the CD immensly and therefore make it way more interesting for the company to produce. Also if sucessful the CD could span a whole series, with one CD also for WDW's Magic Kingdom (which could include as a bonus material also about the train in Animal Kingdom), DLRP's Disneyland Park and Tokyo Disney's Disneyland (plus as a bonus maybe something about the elevated tram in Tokyo Disney Seas). Sigh, I fear this will be a dream only for a looooong time.


Rich T

I think a Railroad CD like that would be awesome! Michael Broggie should be involved with the research.

BTW - Found another Thurl appearance - He can be heard near the very end of Heffalumps and Woozles! :)
It's just amazing how Thurl was everywhere in Disney recordings from the 50's and 60's! We just heard him yesterday throughout the songs in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" DVD.

I knew he was in most of what you mentioned, Rich, but I hadn't heard him in Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Alice, or Winnie the Pooh--I'll have to listen again--are you sure it's actually him? Sometimes it's hard to definitely say.


Rich T

The book mentions his work for the Alice, Pan and Pinocchio rides. On Alice, it's a great exact recreation of his 2 characters from the film (minor but memorable! :)) I wouldn't have noticed his part in the chorus work on Pan and Pinocchio if the book hadn't mentioned it, but then I listened again, and it does sound like him, although the bass isn't very prominent in the mixes.

On Pooh, there's a lot of bass vocals, but it doesn't sound like Thurl Ravenscroft (If it doesn't sound like Tony the Tiger could be singing it, it ain't Thurl :)) Then, suddenly outta nowhere, there's one word - the last exclamation of the word "prize" in Heffalumps and Woozles. The book doesn't mention his participation, so I'm just guessing, but I'm pretty sure it's him. Just one word in the entire ride? Funny but kind of cool.

BTW, you're not kidding about his work in the movies! We were watching the American Legends DVD yesterday - I'd completely forgotten he was the voice of Paul Bunyan!
Thanks so much for the reference, Rich! I'm almost through all 6 of the CD's, but I've really only glanced at the book--I'll have to go through it more carefully--didn't realize in went into that kind of detail!

You're definitely right--Thurl's bass is very distinctive; I'll have to see what I think about "prize" on the Pooh track.

Funny that you mentioned him on the Paul Bunyan film short; one of my prized records from my childhood(still ongoing......) is a 45 with Thurl narrating the story of Paul--come to think of it, it's overdue for a listen: "He's 63 ax handles high, with his feet on the ground and his head in the sky.....hey Paul, Paul Bunyan!"(great catchy tune by Tom Adair and George Bruns).