Radio Free Disneyland Episode 4: Oscar Night: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
Act 1: Hooray For Hollywood
Casablanca/Wizard of Oz (Audio Montage)
Rick And Renault
Recording: Rick And Renault
Artist: Original Cast
Album: Music From The Original Motion Picture
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Recording: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Artist: Judy Garland
Album: The Wizard of Oz Original Soundtrack
California Here I Come
Recording: California Here I Come
Artist: Al Jolson
Album: 20th Century Masters
City Of Stars
Recording: City Of Stars
Artist: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Album: La La Land Original Soundtrack
Academy Award Winners for Best Original Song (2017). Wait… Yes!
Mae Jean Goes to Hollywood
Recording: May Jean Goes To Hollywood
Artist: The Byrds
Album: Ballad of Easy Rider
Written by a 21-year-old Jackson Browne. Played by the Clarence White Byrds. What could be better?
Recording: Blue Money
Artist: Van Morrison
Album: His Band & The Street Choir
An Irish sage visits the San Fernando Valley.
Tara’s Theme (Act One Recap)
Recording: Tara’s Theme
Artist: John Williams & The Boston Pops
Album: A Celebration
Act 2 – An Actors’ Life For Me
Look At Me
Recording: Look At Me
Artist: Bobbie Darin
Album: Bless You California
Recording: Act Naturally
Artist: Dwight Yoakam
Album: 21st Century Hits
Artist: Dweezil Zappa
Album: Via Zammata
Son of Mr Green Jeans? Son of Frank Zappa meets Malkovich.
Recording: The Raven
Artist: Jeff Bridges
Album: Sleeping Tapes
Visit Jeff’s Squarespace “Sleeping Tapes” site HERE:
New Kid In Town
Recording: New Kid In Town
Artist: JD Souther
Album: Natural History
The four most dreaded words in Hollywood.
Theme From “A Summer Place”
Recording: Theme From “A Summer Place”
Artist: Percy Faith
Album: Percy Faith Plays Movie Themes
Composer Max Steiner strikes again!
Act 3: The Wayfaring Stranger, The Wizard of Whimsey & Recessional Hollywood Hymns
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Recording: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Artist: Burl Ives
Album: Greatest Hits
Which Side Are You On?
Recording: Which Side Are You On?
Artist: The Almanac Singers
Album: Troubadours: Folk and the Roots of American Music
How a confluence of economical and political conditions made two very different men “fellow travelers…”
Two disparate show business figures seemed to fall into a concentric orbit during a unique period of Hollywood history.
One, was a man of the dusty road who brought the sensibility of depression era America to the mainstream.
The other, became thought of as one of the country’s homegrown geniuses. His name began to embody a brand of American commercial artistic creativity.
One man was Burl Ives, the other was Walt Disney.
Both exuded Americana. Both made personal political decisions that somewhat singed their historical images. The choices they made involved their testimony before The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Each individual that was called had a difficult decision to made. These two men made essentially the same choice.
Burl Ives began as an itinerant singer and banjo player. By 1940, he had his own radio show where he performed the versions “of record” of hobo and road songs.
He popularized the Irish war ballad ’Foggy Dew”, the minstrel tune ”The Blue Tail Fly” and “Big Rock Candy Mountain” a song celebrating an idealized version of the Hobo life.
Ives also performed with the Almanac Singers a folk group which at different times included Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.
By most measures, his biggest hit over time is version of the 17th-century English song “Lavender Blue.” The song became a hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its use in the 1949 Disney film So Dear To My Heart. The film is thought to be Walt Disney’s most personal films, and a point where he came into his own as a producer of live action films. The remains well known today due to its’ inclusion on various Disney music anthologies.
Just after the song’s initial success, Ives was identified as an entertainer with Communist ties by HUAC. Despite the pain of naming “fellow travelers” it was the path Ives took, thus allowing him to continue film and music work.
It also led to a rift between Ives and many folk singers.
Disney’s appearance before HUAC had come earlier in 1947. It centered on his belief that the Disney Studio strike in 1941 was a communist inspired event.
HUAC ripped apart many Hollywood friendships and working relationships. Walt continued to support Ives career with a later feature role in “Summer Magic” and an ongoing record deal with the fledgling Disneyland Records label. Like his former folkie friend, Woody Guthrie, Burl made Children’s Folk Music for the Burbank based label.
Ives motion picture path took him pretty far from his folksy early typing. He played Big Daddy in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and won a a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in A Big Country.
In later years, after Walt’s death, Ives voiced attraction host Sam the Eagle for Disneyland’s America Sings attraction.
Were they kindred spirits. Fellow Travelers of a different sort? Or, were they indeed friends?
It sure seemed that way, from the time they both “sang” at the HUAC hearings.
Recording: So Dear My Heart: Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)
Artist: Voices of Ascension Chorus
Album: Bibbidi Bobbidi Bach
The Ugly Bug Ball
Recording: The Ugly Bug Ball
Artist: Los Lobos
Album: Los Lobos Goes Disney
Los Lobos rocks the Sherman Bros. tune that Burl Ives made famous in Walt Disney’s Summer Magic.
Recording: Celluloid Heros
Artist: Ray Davies and the Crouch End Festival Chorus
Album: The Kinks Choral Collection
Hooray For Hollywood (Cha Cha)
Recording: Hooray For Hollywood (Cha Cha)
Artist: Don Swan
Album: Ultra Lounge/Mambo Fever Vol. 2
We’ll Meet Again
Recording: We’ll Meet Again
Artist: She & Him
Zooey Deschanel and M Ward bid us a fond farewell.