Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Country Bear Jamboree at Night - November 1971

Yes, it's time for more of those awesome night photos from the Magic Kingdom, taken by Mr. X during the park's first Thanksgiving season (when WDW was only a month old). 

I have two images featuring the exterior of the Country Bear Jamboree, which was an opening-day attraction, and is still going strong today. As you can see, it was presented by Pepsi & Frito-Lay (Hey Klondike!). I can think of no better meal than a giant bag of Fritos and a liter of Pepsi.  


I thought I'd zoom in to try to see the interior a little better, but the results weren't great.  All I can really make out is what appears to be paintings of pastoral scenes. Tex is wondering about all the hubbub, while the lady behind him is wondering about Tex. Yep, he's single! Go for it, Ella.


Here's a second shot. I have never personally been a big fan of the CBJ, though I acknowledge that it is beloved by many. And hey, Marc Davis was a genius, so I am probably in the wrong!


35 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

Boy, these nighttime images are sure inviting. I'm not the biggest fan of CBJ either, but seeing these views, makes me want to run on down and stand on line.

Thanks again to Mr. X.

Pegleg Pete said...

Thanks, Major. These take me back! I had forgotten about the Pepsi/Frito-Lay sponsorship. The CBJ left a big impression on me the first time I went to WDW in the early '70s as a small child. Still, I've never been able to bring myself to watch any of the holiday overlay shows – and that live-action film a while back was rather horrendous – but I still love the original show. It's got jug band bears! Talking moose! Teddi Berra! I suppose it helps that I like country music and grew up in Nashville. Apparently, though, they've recently shortened the show in Florida. Is nothing sacred? At least it's still going, I guess. As for Disneyland, bring back the bears! (I know, I know – it's a lost cause, but I can dream. Alas, it's all about wookies rather than bears on that side of the park from here on.) I may have to go on YouTube right now for a sixteen minute nostalgia fix.

MRaymond said...

Thanks, Pegleg Pete, Now I have an image of "Country Wookie Jamboree" in my head. Maybe it can be put in Star Wars land.

Kenneth Lane said...

Major the paintings are portraits of the performers, if I recall correctly. (are they still there? Haven't been to WDW in years)


"Country Wookie Jamboree", huh?

"Mama, don't choke little Va-derrrrr.
Mama don't tug on his caaaaaape.
Mama don't choke little Va-derrrrr.
I think you should sabre him instaiiiiid."

K. Martinez said...

Cool! Lester's Possum Park Jamboree!

I enjoy listening to the soundtrack of the Country Bear Jamboree but was never a big fan of watching the show. The exception would be the "Country Bear Christmas Special" which I found quite enjoyable.

I'm liking the nighttime WDW photos. Great quality for that era! Thanks, Major.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

“The Country Wookie Jamboree" that’s AWESOME!

I always loved Country Bear Jamboree, but when I was a kid and they were promoting it on the Wonderful World of Disney I just assumed it was a ride like everything else and D-land. I remember being kind of disappointed when I “went on it” the very first time (rather, attended it the first time). But I still liked it.

When I was a kid I certainly didn’t know who Marc Davis was, but I always gravitated to his work nonetheless.

Thanks Major, and thanks for the photos Mr. X

TokyoMagic! said...

I miss CBJ! I loved the "Christmas" show just as much as the original version, but the "Vacation" show felt very thrown together and from what I've heard, it was. I don't know if this is true, but I was told by someone that "worked" for Disney, that the success of the Christmas show was supposedly so great, that management forced a second "alternate" version of the show. I've mentioned this before, but Tokyo Disneyland still runs all three versions of the show throughout the year.

Now I've heard that not only did the bears in WDW get new fur recently, but they've shortened the show, taking out some songs and some dialogue. I've seen some photos. Gomer (the piano player) is now a blackish color instead of brown.....he might even be black and white.....I can't bear (no pun intended) to look for the pics that I saw online, because it is too painful to see even more destruction of the parks. For that reason, I also never watched the videos of the new edited version on YouTube. I prefer to remember it as it was.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree, there is something about a pretty night photo that makes the attraction look so warm and inviting!

Pegleg Pete, I think that if I had first seen the CBJ when I was younger I probably would have loved it the way so many others do. I remember my first viewing because most of the audience was a large group of college kids, and they laughed way too hard and the jokes, and clapped along, and they all swayed in time to the music, but you could tell that they were doing it sarcastically. It kind of messed up the experience!

MRaymond, a good rule of thumb is that more Wookies = awesomeness.

Kenneth Lane, somebody else will have to answer your questions about the bear portraits, since I have never been to WDW. I know that your lyrics are a parody of an actual CBJ song, though I can’t bring the tune to mind. I need to go to YouTube!

K. Martinez, “Lester’s Possum Park…”, I don’t get it! I have never seen the CBJ Christmas special, did they ever do that in Anaheim?

Monkey Cage Kurt, I’m like you, I generally like rides rather than shows. I can see why Marc Davis enjoyed the AA figures so much - he was all about gags and characters. But I like a little mood and atmosphere.

TokyoMagic!, I know most people love the show... just not me! It's like certain classic movies that leave me cold, even though they are acknowledged greats by nearly everyone. It's a bummer that they re-skinned the Florida bears so poorly. WHY? I wonder if somebody thought that the new colors were improvements, or if they just didn't give a crap enough to try to match the old ones. Speaking of videos, I finally watched a video of the Jingle Cruise. I hated it!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, it didn't make you want to "Jungle All The Way"? Yeah, it's pretty lame. Last year was the first year that they stuck all the "trash" in the waterway, but it wasn't really any better the year before that. It's funny how they see something that works like the Christmas version of CBJ, or Small World Holiday and then they try to replicate that success by forcing that same idea into attractions where it really doesn't work, like the Jungle Cruise. But who am I? As long as it makes them tons of money, I guess that's all that matters.

Chuck said...

I can't wait for the Life Day overlay in Star Wars Land!

To be honest, after the headline, I was a little disappointed in today's post. I was really looking forward to some night-time photos of the actual show.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, will Princess Leia sing and will they have a mini hologram of Diahann Carroll dancing?

K. Martinez said...

Major, Lester's Possum Park is a parody of CBJ from "A Goofy Movie".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edXVt2u5HZM

The CBJ Christmas Special premiered in both DL and WDW during the 1984 holiday season. Here's a post showing pics from Anaheim that I sent you for a Dec. 2013 post.

http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-parade-1996-part-three.html


TokyoMagic!, The Jingle Cruise looks junky. It'd be cooler if Disney did a nighttime voodoo/zombie overlay for the Jungle Cruise during Halloween Time instead of the Christmas overlay which makes no sense.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Daytime photos of the actual show are much better anyway.

Nanook said...

I agree the Christmas overlay on the Jungle Cruise makes little sense. But it does allow a whole new set of jokes to be added to the spiel - and many of them are actually quite funny.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Jingle Cruise!?! What a bunch of poop!!! Whatever maniac came up with that lame idea?! I didn’t know what it was, but as you may have guessed I looked it up. POOP!!!

Sorry about the language Major, I know you are trying to maintain a family friendly forum here. I just couldn’t help myself.

K Martinez: I checked out the link to the Possum Posse Jamboree. I was never a big Goofy fan, nor a fan of the Disney TV animation studio, but I did see the Goofy Movie years ago and I thought they did a REALLY good job on it. It was actually fun and very entertaining. I was really surprised.


Now I know were the Possum Posse got there name. Has anybody ever seen “Guy on a Buffalo” by the Possum Posse? Look it up, it’s awesome!

Chuck said...

TokyoMagic!, I'm holding out for Luke Skywalker in kabuki make-up and hearing Boba Fett call the gang "Friend."

K. Martinez said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, I was a huge fan of "DuckTales" but never cared for the other Disney Animated TV shows at that time. I probably liked it because I read a lot of "Walt Disney's Comics & Stories" and "Uncle Scrooge" comics. Carl Barks and Don Rosa were some of my favorite duck artists.

Chuck, I had to look up "Life Day" since I had no idea what you were talking about. I finally found it on Wookieepedia. Shame on me for not knowing all about the Star Wars universe!

Chuck said...

I have vivid memories of watching that slow-motion train wreck on its one and only airing. I remember desperately wanting to like it, but even at ten I knew it was a piece of felgercarb (and yes, I did just cross universes; right year, though).

TokyoMagic! said...

I know some of us get off subject here on Major P.'s blog and I'm sure I'm right up there on the list as one of the worse offenders, but I just love how a post about WDW's Country Bear Jamboree facade from 1971 has led us to the train wreck that was/is, "The Star Wars Christmas Special". That is just one of the reasons why I love all of you! Seriously.

I somehow missed seeing that one and only airing of The Star Wars Xmas Special during my childhood and I had heard that Lucas said it would NEVER be available to the public. I thought the only way to view it was to get a bootleg copy, but I was surprised a couple years ago when I found it on YouTube. Let's just say, "jaw dropping-ly" horrible! Or I guess calling it POOP would work for me too, huh Monkey Cage Kurt? And I agree with you about the Jingle Cruise. It definitely makes you say to yourself, "WTH?" ("What the heck?") ;-)

K. Martinez said...

Now you've all got me curious about this Star Wars Xmas Special which I've never seen. Looks like I'll have to check it out.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Captain Bunny Trails AWAY!!!
And you haven’t even looked up “Guy on a Buffalo” yet.

“POOP”?! You kiss your mother with that mouth???

YES, POOP! I was 13 when the Star Wars Holladay Special first aired, and even though I was just Star Wars BANANAS at the time I was just moaning and groaning through the whole thing. I mean come on, flippin Bea Arthur in a Star Wars show, YAARHG! The only redeeming factor was the footage barrowed from the film, which was awesome to see back in the days before video rentals. Remember those days?

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Oh wait; I’m still Star Wars bananas. It’s so sad.

Chuck said...

Ken - be prepared for disappointment. As Monkey Cage Kurt says, the best parts are probably the redubbed/extended out-takes from the original film. I haven't been able to force myself to watch this in its entirety in 37 years, although I'm buckling down this weekend and going to make myself do it. Enjoy!(?)

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Chuck, DON’T DO IT! You’re still a young man. You have a lot to live for!

steve2wdw said...

Back in the 70's, it was common to have to wait through two to three show cycles before getting into the theatre. The queue was always so long, that a small shop along side the theatre was turned into queue space (it's now a shop again). The show was indeed shortened by a few minutes and the set list rearranged....and while the mounted heads on the wall are in constant acknowledgment of the show on the stage, their banter has been significantly scaled back. The show is indeed tighter-before the shortening we actually noticed it's pace seemed slow for today's audiences-but some of the old time charm is gone. It does "look" and "sound" great now, as the big refurb did replace fur and speakers. It's always a must do, and thankfully, it's placement along the main thoroughfare of Frontierland assures that there's rarely an empty house-something the Critter Country/Bear Country version suffered from. Rumor has it that the Christmas Special may return in 2016....fingers are crossed as I've never seen it.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Just finished watching it. I think felgercarb is the appropriate word in describing the Star Wars Holiday Special. What has been seen can not be unseen. I'll never look at Wookies the same way again.

Monkey Cage Curt, I was 18 and out of the house with no TV in my apartment when it first aired. How lucky I was! I'm afraid not even the out-takes from the film could save it for me, but I can see how it could cause excitement back when no other media was available. As for remembering the days before video rentals, I remember the days before HBO and Showtime. Man, how limited were the choices then!

K. Martinez said...

@steve2wdw, That would be awesome if the CBJ Christmas Special returned to the Magic Kingdom. I only saw it a few times at Disneyland and was surprised by how much I really enjoyed it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I love that line. "What has been seen can not be unseen." I am going to have to remember that one! Oh, and I'm about 5 years younger than you it seems, but I still remember a time before HBO and Showtime. I remember the first cable stations/companies in our area were "On TV" and "Select TV". Do you remember those? And when they merged it became Onselect....or was it On Select?

Chuck said...

I'm so sorry, Ken. Like the Force, Itchy the Wookiee will be with you...always.

K. Martinez said...

@TokyoMagic!, I get the impression that quite a few of us GDB readers were born sometime in the 1960's or are basically the same generation. For some reason I don't remember the name of the early cable companies. That's fuzzy to me.

Major Pepperidge said...

WHOA! I go away for a couple of hours...! The Star Wars Christmas Special... I saw that on a bad copy of a VHS tape. It is fascinatingly horrible. Art Carney, Bea Arthur, what what WHAT? Like most people, I can live the rest of my life never having to watch it again. Was Chewie's kid named "Itchy"? I knew it was something ridiculous. Why not give him a REAL name like "Major Pepperidge"? Hollywood is so out of touch. I don't know if I have much to add to the conversation, but it has been lots of fun to read!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

That’s funny Major! See what goes on when there’s no parental supervision? We’re completely out of control.

It was indeed a good one today; I’m just glad I decided to chimed in and be a part of it. Even if nobody did look up “Guy on a Buffalo”

Kenneth Lane said...

Chuck gets extra-credit for crossing Universes but staying in the same year!('78) My friends and I most likely used that very same adjective to describe the train wreck that was the SW Holiday Special. (which, I believe, aired at Thanksgiving, not Christmas) But not one of you has mentioned the one REAL good part - the animated segment that introduced Boba Fett. It's almost....ALMOST...worth sitting through the rest of the show for. Once.

Poor Ken Martinez.....I rushed down here to try to warn you NOT to watch that thing only to find I was too late to save you. Sad to hear you're now scarred for life like the rest of us!


Kurt: I did!

Chuck said...

Itchy was Chewie's dad. His son's name was Lumpy. I'm tellin' ya, you can't make this stuff up.

Monkey Cage Kurt - just looked up "Guy On a Buffalo" and loved it. Now I'm tempted to track down "Buffalo Rider," the film that inspired it. It can't be any worse than the Star Wars Holiday Special, can it?

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Chuck, you’re AWESOME! Did you watch all four parts? It may not be as bad as the SW Holiday Special, but it’s comparable. And Buffalo Rider doesn’t have an animated Boba Fett in it.

YES INDEED, you are right Kenneth; the animated segment was indeed noteworthy. The design was highly stylized and the animation was a bit odd, but overall it was by far the best part of the production. I remember hoping it would be a series of its own. Now go give Guy on a Buffalo another chance.