Wednesday, August 07, 2013

America Squawks, August 1982

"America Sings" is one of those fondly-remembered attractions from way back when; it replaced the Carousel of Progress in 1974, and the show celebrated the history of American music from the colonial days up to rock and roll!

Here's a shot of the "Geese Quartet", which performed a number of songs during several musical eras. This one is clearly an "old west" theme.

Here's a slightly closer look; they were probably in the middle of their medley of three songs, "Drill, Ye Texas Terriers, Drill", "I've Been Working on the Railroad", and "Fireball Mail". Before the attraction closed in 1988, two of the geese were removed, stripped of their polyvinyl skins, and turned into robots for Star Tours (which debuted in 1987). 

This is a fun photo from the "Gay '90's" portion of the show. There's a pig, a fox, a bird in a gilded cage, storks on penny-farthing bicycles, and four geese performing "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay". I still remember the arthritic can-can dancers!


Nanook said...

Yes, "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay" is an oft-quoted line amongst us fans of America Sings. It's hard not to feel bad that it did replace The Carousel of Progress, but them's sometimes the breaks; especially when you consider what followed-!

The attraction was sort of equal parts charm and hokum, Disney-Style. Now it all seems wonderful..

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

America Sings was one those attractions that just stuck to me like glue. I went on it every time I visited the Park, always anticipating each and every song and the audience clapping to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" as the theater rotated to the next scene. I never grew tired of this attraction during it's run. I'm definitely a fan of America Sings.

Ironically I didn't see Carousel of Progress until shortly after it was relocated to Walt Disney World.

Melissa said...

Hokum and schmaltz are things that one is conditioned to automatically think of as inherently bad and inferior, until one experiences the bona fide, vintage Disney version firsthand.

If the Disney brothers had gone to school with P.T. Barnum, Charles Dickens, and Al Jolson, they would have regularly taken them out behind the woodshed and given them sound outhokummings that would have left them in tears. And then Walt and Roy would have winked behind their backs, given them a big smile and a chummy slap on the shoulders so apparently sincere that their teacher, W.C. Fields, would go home and immediately start a huge brood of children with his wife, Margaret Dumont. Then, of course, the brothers would go on to whip their classmates’ puny hinders in the All-State Regional Hokum and Schmaltz Championships. They’d even convince the judges, all of whom had voted to have the collected works of Horatio Alger banned from the public library due to their generally positive portrayal of young human males, to create two first prizes in the name of brotherly love (the crowning touch was how they each managed to wear half of the same bow tie and still tie a perfect knot).

If Walt and Roy didn’t 100% believe the stories they told, they did the best damn job I’ve ever seen in my life of pretending they did. You can see it in everything they built, even if they were only indirectly involved by several degrees. I’ve known a few people in my life who had that skill to a smaller degree, and it’s a fascinating thing to watch. It makes crazy-ass things that have no right to work (like America Sings), work.

In conclusion, geese! HOOOOOONK!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my introduction to "Ta-=Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay" was on "The Banana Splits" show. Remember the two little girls playing guitars?

K. Martinez, I know many people have a great affection for America Sings; I really loved the Carousel of Progress, but wasn't as crazy about America Sings; the "pop goes the weasel" joke got on my nerves!

Melissa, I agree with you, Walt Disney sincerely liked the products his studio made. Even his daughter Diane thought that his humor was corny, which he admitted was true. Meanwhile, I want to believe that W.C. Fields really WAS married to Margaret Dumont! Clearly, I am one of those people who loved Disney movies, and would drag friends and family to see films that nobody else wanted to see. The only one I regret is "Lt. Robinson Crusoe, USN"!

Irene said...

One of the inside jokes I enjoyed about the robot/ex goose from Star Tours/America Sings is that the robot would sing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" while he was doing whatever he was supposed to be doing with the cargo. Not sure if he does anymore while he is scanning the luggage before loading it on a Star Trader (is that what they're called? Can't remember).

Major Pepperidge said...

Irene, I only heard about the robot that sings "I've Been Working on the Railroad" fairly recently, and don't know if that feature is in the revamped attraction. I think the vehicles are called Star Speeders, or at least they used to be.

TokyoMagic! said...

I would gladly trade Splash Mountain in order to have America Sings back! I couldn't believe that they just let the Carousel Theater sit there abandoned for 10 years after it closed, but I was horrified with what eventually replaced it. It has now been 16 years that we have had to live with that piece of garbage they call Innoventions. In 4 more years, it will have been there as long as The Carousel of Progress and America Sings combined. How sad is that?

Irene said...

Yes, probably Star Speeders - Star Traders is the store you have to go through to get back out into Tomorrowland! Yes, TokyoMagic it is really sad.