Monday, April 23, 2018

The Kids of the Kingdom, September 1969

Ah, those clean cut Kids of the Kingdom; they're all about positivity! I wonder what that's like? Must be great.

If there's one thing I know about the Kids of the Kingdom, it's that they love America; that is very groovy! They also love orange and red v-neck cardigans. The skirts on the ladies are just a little too daring for my tastes. Don't worry, I wrote a letter. I appreciate that they were an assortment of ethnicities, and an equal mix of males and females for true equality. 

The back of this particular snapshot says that "Linda de Prisic is 2nd from left". I'm sure Linda is reading this blog - write in, Linda!


Uh-oh, based on their body language, I think that the Kids are getting a little sassy! But in the most wholesome manner possible, of course. Perhaps they are singing "I Dig Rock and Roll Music"? I know the version by "The Mamas and The Papas", and by golly, it will set your toes a-tapping.


18 comments:

Melissa said...

I never got to see the kids of the Kingdom live, but I've always gotten a kick out if pictures and films of them. Linda looks like she's having fun. And those freestanding orange lollipop flowers make me feel like Henry Gibson is going to step out of the wings and recite a poem.

I'm reminded of all the Up With People choral arrangements we sang in my high school chorus. A girl I knew with a beautiful voice and a strict religious upbringing applied to join them and was accepted, but we lost touch after graduation and I don't know if she ever went.

Lots of pigtails and hair doodles in the audience.

K. Martinez said...

The Kids of the Kingdom, corny even by 1970's standards were in my mind, a fixture of the New Tomorrowland (1967) and will always be classic/vintage Disneyland to me. I doubt today's guests would go for something like this. Nowadays most stage entertainment at the Disney theme parks is geared towards promotion of current Disney product and the modern guests expect it. Even though I'd snicker at a singing group like this outside of Disney, even back then, they seemed to be the perfect fit for Disney of that time. They do represent my favorite era at Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

I wonder when The Kids of the Kingdom last performed at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Did they disappear from the theme parks before the arrival of Eisner or after? Does anyone know?

JC Shannon said...

They do have really groovy outfits, it puts one in mind of the Brady Bunch Music Review. Maybe they were copied by the Bunch later. I don't remember ever seeing them personally, but I have seen videos and they were pretty darn good. Short skirts and keen cardis were all the rage, and equality among the races and sexes was just beginning. These kids personify all of that. I love these photos because decades after they were taken, they are window into our history. Thanks as always Major.

Melissa said...

Like I always say, it may be corny, but it's always good, high-quality, cream of the crop corn. That corn is as high as a mechanical elephant's eye, mister.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

It's kinda the anti-woostock for the summer of 69'. Both the performers and the crowd watching.

Public address announcer: "Please beware of some bad brown m&m's being passed around. It's your trip (to the restroom), man."

Patrick Devlin said...

Funny you should mention Up with People, Malissa because that's the thing that makes me sort of back away in dislike. Our nuns at grammar school had us learn some of their songs with some rudimentary choreography and I hated it even then. As others have mentioned Disney always puts on quality shows even if you disagree with the content.

Nice shots, Major. But I'm waiting to hear from Linda!

Nanook said...

@ Patrick-
I think you left-off then last part of the sentence: "...even if you disagree with the content and the choreography and the singing. But then, that's just me.

Patrick Devlin said...

Oh yeah, Nanook the level of quality and execution were, no doubt, top-notch. It's just a personal failing of mine that I have a sort of blind spot with no aspersions cast anywhere close to the Kids...

fromnabulax said...

An aside, “ I Dig Rock And Roll Music” was Peter Paul and Mary, not Mamas and Papas.

I know of a few who went on to big time careers after starting at Disneyland, possibly none more successful than a Richard Carpenter. That being said, I know of at least one Tomorrowland entertainer who went on to a 10 year career with Frank Zappa. You just never know...

Anonymous said...

I recall these singers, but never wasted a second listening, always on to the next ride.

I guess I'm not musical.

Thanks Major.

JG

Progressland said...

K. Martinez - The latest reference I have to The Kids of the Kingdom is 1978. That's not necessarily the last year, though, just the latest on which I have information.

Nanook said...

@ Patrick-
Undoubtedly over the years, there has been a great deal of *individual* musical and terpsichorean talent throughout the ranks of Disney entertainment - but certainly not all who participated. The real problem comes from the top-down. Although there are many areas of 'concern', for me it boils down to two: Trying to be "hip", when they are anything but - which always falls flat; and two, what are some of the most pedestrian and "dumbed-down" musical arrangements which I find insulting to anyone with a working pair of ears. (Yes, I realize that's [mostly] just me). And if anyone wanted to 'do it right', it's Disney. But clearly they have other ideas in-mind which are very much anathema to my way of thinking.

Please understand this isn't a blanket statement - there are some wonderful entertainment moments. But it does apply to a lot of what Disney passes-off as musical "entertainment".

JC Shannon said...

I don't think Disney was trying to compete with La Boheme, the Second Piano Concerto or Fur Elise. When a family spends the day at the Magic Kingdom, a little mindless entertainment is welcome and expected. I don't think anyone in that audience is expecting a performance of Mummenschanz. Please, cut 'em a little slack, they are just a bunch of young people trying to entertain.

K. Martinez said...

@Progressland, thanks for answering my question about when The Kids of the Kingdom might've last performed at the parks. It's a singing group that doesn't necessarily reflect my personal taste in music, but they were very much a part of Disneyland and Walt Disney World and I enjoyed them for what they were; solid family entertainment. I was one of those visitors who took the time to stop and listen to them.

Nanook said...

@ JC-

Please read my comment carefully. My beef is with management, not with the performers. They all work very hard at what they do to provide 'a bit more' than mere "mindless entertainment". The folks 'who think they know best', including, but hardly limited to, Barnette Ricci, should shoulder all the blame.

Also, I think a fairer comparison would be with Broadway productions, and not the original, 'longhair set'.

JC Shannon said...

@Nanook My comments were not directed at you. Just my humble opinion. If I offended you in any way, I humbly apologize.

Nanook said...

@ JC-

Oh, no-! No apologies necessary. Offense was the furthest (make that farthest) thing from my mind. I was rather direct in my first summation of Disney 'entertainment', and realized it could cause some consternation among the GDB followers. Frankly, I was expecting more push-back. I just wanted to make certain I wasn't coming-across as some heathen, bent on destroying the hard work the entertainment performers provide to the park's guests.

I think you'll find we're a pretty even-tempered group, here, often chiding one another's remarks, and welcome all sorts of comments and opinions, as they tend to be subject-oriented and not personal attacks. Please feel free to 'challenge' anything I happen to espouse. I may actually learn something-!

TokyoMagic! said...

The Kids of the Kingdom are my all-time favorite singing group ever!

Ken and Progressland, The Kids of the Kingdom did a Disneyland 25th Birthday show on the Space Stage in 1980! Here's an entertainment listing for the special 25 hour party on July 17th, but I'm pretty sure the show ran for most of that year:

http://bp2.blogger.com/_3jV5FcVqpE8/SHbH4qu0YqI/AAAAAAAACvM/MmCGog_MIFc/s1600-h/1980+25+hours+party+inside1+ver_a.jpg