Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Golden Horseshoe Revue, 1960

I will always regret the fact that I never saw the original Golden Horseshoe Revue with Wally Boag, Betty Taylor, and Fulton Burly. So, when I find nice photos of that legendary show, I'm a happy gorilla!

Here's a great shot of Betty, aka Slue Foot Sue; I wish I knew what she was singing here... my guess is that it is some sort of ballad. Partially hidden to our right is a polka dotted sleeve. Could that belong to one of the other performers? Maybe a member of the Firehouse Five (plus two)?

Whoo-hoo, the cancan! Kind of racy for Disneyland, don't you think? But that was the point, giving the flavor of an authentic stage show from the old west. And you just know that Americans would be anxious to import this scandalous French dance for all those dusty ranchers and gold miners. Top it off with an ice cold Pepsi, and there is no doubt that life is good.


The Blue Parrot said...

Looks like hearts on the sleeve, not polka dots. Probably just an audience member.

Great views!

Katella Gate said...

"There's a place in France
where the naked ladies dance
With a hole in the wall
where the men can see it all..."

A sample of playground poetry ca. 1966. There's more, but I'd get in trouble for it.

Matterhorn1959 said...

An amazing shot of Betty on stage. And I have strong memories of the Can-can girls along with Wally Boag spitting his teeth out.

Jim said...

I just love GHR shots. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up about one quarter mile from the Harbor entrance (broken record... I know). Our home was on Tiller, just east of Haster between Chapman and Orangewood from 1964-71. In that period, my family made scores of visits and we never missed the Revue, even though we saw essentially the same show dozens of times. We always tried to go to the earliest show of the day because our neighbors (cast members) told us it was the least crowded and offered the best chance at prime seats. I even got to sit in one of the stage boxes a couple of times. Those seats were the prized because they offered you not only a primo view of the stage, but a great vantage point to watch the audience reactions and the hustle and bustle taking place in the wings. The entire cast was fantastic, but top banana Wally Boag was, and always will be one of my favorite performers of all time. Thanks.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Nice photos! Racy Indeed, I can just imagine the smile on Walt's face while watching this show. I'ts billed as wholesome 1800's entertainment, but there sure is some "leg" showing!

TokyoMagic! said...

They still do the can-can at Tokyo Disneyland! I wonder if Walt Disney World still has their show?

Chiana said...

Jim - thanks for sharing the memories. Like the pics here it's a "you are there"-ness that makes this hobby interest a lot more interesting. Boy I'd love to have lived that close!

Maj - went ape again eh? Colorful and fun shots of a fun show with fun music and fun performers in a fun place. Plus lace underwear on pwetty gals. Ain't we got fun!

mr wiggins said...

Great memories! I tell ya, if you were a kid who'd ever come across a drawing in Mad Magazine that struck you as so hilarious you couldn't stop laughing... if you ever laughed until you cried at the timing of a gag in a classic Road Runner cartoon... then you would have screamed at Wally Boag's routine. The timing was literally perfect, right down to the frame and perf. The shtick he'd do with the phony teeth... his interaction with the musicians... his reactions to the audience... man, it was a cross between Friz Freleng and Harold Lloyd. Incredible.

I saw the Golden Horseshoe Revue show maybe two dozen times when I was a kid, and it was funnier every time. Always the same routine but always different energy, different timing. After one show where my Grandma was laughing louder than I was, I asked her if that's what vaudeville had been like when she was a kid (she was born in 1901). She said "that Pecos Bill guy" was great, but the top vaudeville comics were a hundred times funnier. She remember audiences of a thousand people in the big houses in Chicago, who would laugh so loud and so long at the timing of a sight gag that it would stop the show for minutes, after which the whole house was coughing so much from laughter that you couldn't hear the rest of the act.

For us Baby Boomers who missed vaudeville, Wally Boag was the link to a time when extremely and I mean extremely funny sketch comedy was something everyone was used to seeing. But for us kids in the 50's, no matter how much funny stuff we'd seen on TV, no matter how much classic animation we'd seen, watching a talent like Boag do it live in front of you was something completely different. It just took you away.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jim and Mr. Wiggins, thanks for your personal memories of this show! It kills me that I never saw it - and COULD have. As a kid I wasn't really aware of what went on inside the Golden Horseshoe building, and my family didn't seem to be big on that kind of thing anyway. But I know my dad would have loved it - not so sure about my mom!

Anyway, I love hearing from folks who got to experience some of these classic attractions that I never did.

Anonymous said...

I saw this show only once, when I was in the park with my high school class in senior year. It was a riot. The road runner parallel is apropos.

When I came back years later, it was gone, everybody was too old and had retired.

I never saw it as a kid, because..(wait for it...) the show WAS too racy for my parents. They refused to go into ANYTHING called a saloon, even in Disneyland...and the can-can. Aaack...immoral...AND French...two strikes, right there.

Oh well, they were my parents, and I loved them. And they took me to Disneyland every year. That makes up for a lot.

Thanks, I enjoyed this.

Gene Sands said...

For those of you who loved The Golden Horseshoe Revue and Wally Boag, his biography, "Wally Boag, Clown Prince of Disneyland" has just been published.

The book is beautifully designed, chock full of photographs and Wally's personal account of his life and career -- especially his 27 years at Disneyland.

It can be ordered at