Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mystery Parade, April 1976

A group of slides from April 1976 mostly consisted of photos of a parade - unfortunately. I'm not crazy about parade photos! But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Add a drop of red food coloring for pink lemonade, why don'tcha.  Anyway, most of these pictures are not that great, so I'm going to post eight in one post. 

Things start promisingly enough with the Dapper Dans. Not parade-related, but who cares. Straw hats, string ties, and goldenrod vests are the order of the day, while badass sideburns are optional. Maybe they are singing, "Back In My Honey's Lovin' Arms".

If a picture is worth taking, it is worth taking twice.

OK, now it appears that we are  really in parade mode, and we have an entirely different barbershop quartet. How many were there? These guys are wearing much fancier embroidered bronzy brocade vests, so they are clearly mom's favorites. 

I should add that I was going to entitle this post "America on Parade", due to the date - that parade debuted in 1975 (the year before the Bicentennial, of course), and there was a televised special on April 3rd of 1976 (the same month as the date-stamp on these slides). My primary memory of this parade is of the large puppet-like figures with oversized heads - and yet, there is not a single photo of those characters in any of my parade photos. What gives?

Meanwhile, Mickey and Minnie pass by (too bad we only see their backs!), decked out, perhaps, in Easter attire? Perhaps this is an Easter parade, and not America on Parade. 

Whoa, that is a crazy angle. Don't fall over, Snow! I call her "Snow" because we are friends. She has a basketful of lovely Spring flowers (from the Flower Market?), and a crown of flowers, supporting my Easter hypothesis.

You can't have Snow White without the Seven Dwarfs; they're right behind her. They look youthful and refreshed, as if they just came back from a relaxing Caribbean vacation. Too bad about the head blocking 1/4 of the image.

Pinocchio is nearly eclipsed by another head, but I think he is safe. For now.

And finally (for today), Alice has left Wonderland for a bit, and she brought Tweedledum and Tweedledee with her. Alice must have been on that same vacation as the Dwarfs, she is very tan!

There are more parade pictures to come - at least two more post's worth. Sorry!


Nanook said...


Do I spy a pack of 'smokes' in the vest pocket of Dapper Dan #2-? And you sure ain't kidding about those ├╝ber-padded gold brocade vests-! They appear padded-enough for inclusion in a
Punch & Judy show.

And poor Alice - her complexion appears to be bordering on spontaneous combustion-!

Thanks, Major.

Jason Schultz said...

Major - My guess is that these photos capture the "special Easter parade" before America on Parade on April 18, 1976:

Disneyland Guide Spring 1976: April 11-18--A Full week of special activities, featuring "America on Parade," and on April 18 "America on Parade" will be preceded by a special Easter Parade, all at regular admission prices. From April 11-17, Disneyland will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight every day. On April 18, Disneyland will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Anonymous said...

They're singing "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Some things you just know...

macpiper said...

Are you sure these guys are the "Dapper Dans"? They don't appear to be wearing Disney style name badges.

K. Martinez said...

The men in the first singing quartet are violating strict Disney grooming standards. Same with the Seven Dwarfs. Shame on them!

The Alice pic is a good one. Thanks, Major.

Jonathan said...

The best things about parade pics are the spectators. I love checking them out.There are some great crowd shots here. The Dapper pix 1 and 2 are baffling me, not hard to do where I am concerned. Dap 1 is missing a button, Dap 3 doesn't have a name tag, and Dap 4 has his vest buttons on the left instead of the right. Pretty sure Disneyland would not approve. The only thing I am sure of is that they are singing "Bohemian Raphsody" But what do I know I'm just a poor boy from a poor family. Thanks Major for the great scans.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe that is one of those old-fashioned transistor hearing aids?? Nah, probably smokes. That fella likes the way cigarettes make his voice sound like Lucille Ball in her older years.

Progressland, thanks for the very detailed info! That explains why Mickey and Minnie were dressed in Easter finery, and why the parade is generally lacking in red, white, and blue. And no big-headed doll monsters! I have a number of Disneyland guides from Easter time, but sadly, not the one from 1976.

Stuart Powley, now that I look more closely, it does look like they are all saying the word “baby”!

macpiper, I am never sure of anything! Especially with two different barbershop quartets performing on the same day. Maybe these guys were the Semi-Formal Sams.

K. Martinez, in spite of all the publicity received by the famous grooming standards, we do see exceptions to the rules - CMs in Frontierland seemed to occasionally get away with a beard or mustache. But even so, I am both shocked and extremely offended by that man’s facial hair! ;-)

Jonathan, some of my favorite photos from the park are examples that give us a good look at the guests. The clothes they are wearing, the ticket books, guide books, and brightly-colored paper bags in their hands, the souvenir hats, or the looks on faces of excited kids. It really brings the image to life. As for the Dapper Dans (real or not), I did not notice so many inconsistencies with their garb. A few years in jail should straighten them right out!

Chuck said...

I was going to guess they were singing "Bohemian Rhapsody," which reached #10 on the Billboard charts the previous week, but Stu's probably correct.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Tweedle may not be so dumb. He appears to be scoping out the girl in the tube top and daisy dukes. A little racy for cool temps of early spring in so cal., and mom appears to still be scolding her about her outfit.

Jonathan said...

@Chuck, Great minds think alike.

Anonymous said...

Fun pics today, Major. Made better by the comments, in the traditional GDB fashion.

@Alonzo, the object of Tweedle's attention is also in the photo behind Snow White, she seems to be having a great time.


Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Do I spy a pack of 'smokes' in the vest pocket of Dapper Dan #2-?

Nanook, maybe that is one of those old-fashioned transistor hearing aids??

The object in question is a pitch pipe, for getting the starting note of the song.

I'm confident that neither of these quartets are the Dans; I think they must have been guest performers.

I sang Sweet Adelines (female barbershop) in high school, and I can't imagine the thrill it would have been to have the chance to perform at the home of the Dapper Dans!

Chuck said...

Guest performers...or unlicensed buskers?

I wonder what would happen if four dapper dudes discreetly decamped to Disneyland, met on Main, and started singing sweetly in syncopation?

Melissa said...

1. This must be the famous Dapper Dans cover band, the Dingy Dwanes. It's 1976 and they aren't decked out in Bicentennial red, white, and blue? Commies!

2. Hey, that bass is the only one without a name tag. It must have popped off when he went for the low E in “My Mild Irish Rhododendron.” The baritone should spend less time singing in the barbershop, and more time getting his mustache and sideburns trimmed. Hippies!

3. And now, Dingy Dwaynes cover band the Drippy Daves, with their best-remembered (and best forgotten) hit, “Drowned by the Old Mill Stream.” Drippies!

4. Twinspotting powers, activate! Right smack-dab in the middle of the crowd, two adorable blond boys in blue shirts, one shading his eyes from the sun. And Mickey is dressed in a purple tailcoat and top hat, just like the Dreamfinder! Dreamy!

5. At least Snow White is in patriotic colors. And the flower basket and crown are a lovely touch. Daisies!

6. ”Too bad about the head blocking 1/4 of the image.”
“What's that in the road, a head?” Dopey!

7. That particular version of Pinocchio seems to be stuck somewhere between puppet and real boy, firmly in the depths of the uncanny valley. Creepy!

8. Alice looks like she's stuck between a civilian one-finger point and a Cast Member two-finger point. Or maybe the camera just caught her in the middle of twiddling her fingers. Either way, even a mediocre Disney parade is as good as anyone else’s best. Spiffy!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
I will have to share with a former CM and tour guide your wry comment regarding Alice’s muddled attempt at pointing. Tour guides, probably above all others, are painfully-aware of proper Disney “speak”, and anything less than the proper Disney Way is most frowned upon. (I was constantly teasing her about the ‘two finger pointing’).

Chuck said...

You know, now that I'm home and can see all of the images, the second guy from the right in the second quartet looks an awful lot like Steve Lawrence did in the mid-'70s...

Anonymous said...

Looking at all the head shots in these photos, it makes me feel almost privileged to live in an era of digital photography where you can take as many photos as you want and scrap all the bad ones.

Back then? You took a bad shot, you were stuck with it because you were limited to how many photos you could take. Tech these days is grand, ain't it?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I would not be surprised if the Dapper Dans will soon be expected to sing barbershop versions of contemporary hits. The kids will love it!

Alonzo, believe me, I noticed that girl! I think she will show up in a few other photos as well. Stay tuned.

Jonathan, you were also thinking “Bohemian Rhapsody”?! What are the odds?

JG, yes, the comments have saved today’s middling photos!

Melissa, ah, good call on the pitch pipe. OK, these guys might not be the “Dans”, but… why wouldn’t they use their “house band”? My dad sang in a barbershop quartet, and we used to listen to albums by “The Buffalo Bills” when I was a kid, so I have a real fondness for that kind of music.

Chuck, it would be just like the yodeling kid in Walmart - now he’s a big star.

Melissa, from now on I need you to write this blog; this way I can spend more time visiting my psychic.

Nanook, I think that “Alice” has realized her mistake in mid-point, and knows that she will be severely reprimanded when the parade ends. There will be blood.

Chuck, jeez, I thought you were kidding, but it really DOES look like Steve Lawrence!

The Magic Ears Dudebro, yeah, these are not the greatest photos in the world. Off-kilter, poorly composed, etc. And yet… I’m still glad to have them. I love digital photography, but thanks to the old slides and photo prints, I can collect these artifacts from a bygone era.

Nanook said...

Also, Melissa-

You say pitch pipe eh-? I'm thinking more along the lines of a flask. Well... to 'lubricate' those 'ol vocal cords on those dry So. Cal. days.

Nanook said...


Wow - I was on vacation for a week and yet I totally missed the "Yodeling Walmart Boy" story. What is wrong with me-??!! Coming up now on the 5th anniversary of Slim Whitman's death, and mulling-over that yodeling loss to the world, this miracle occurred. Who can argue with first performing on the Ellen Show, and then doing the same at his local Walmart Store in Harrisburg, Illinois-? I have yet to accomplish either feat - or even visiting Harrisburg, Illinois. (No offense, Harrisburgians).

dean finder said...

In the gold vests, I thought they were Century 21 real estate agents

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm very late to the party, but I agree with yours and Progressland's assessment of it being an Easter Day Parade. The Easter Week Entertainment Guide that I posted earlier this month, is for one year earlier (1975) and at the bottom of the second page, it states, "Disneyland's old-fashioned Easter Parade on Easter Sunday.....A colorful Main Street procession of antique cars, flowers and fantasy!" I believe they used to do a special parade like that just on Easter Day, every year. Now I'm wondering when they stopped doing it.

Melissa said...

Nanook, a combination flask and pitch pipe? Perfect for drinking songs!

"Just because you can't see sharp, you don't need to be flat - our pipes are A natural!"

Jason Schultz said...

Major - I don't own an original Spring 1976 guidebook, either, but luckily VDT posted it ten years ago! http://vintagedisneylandtickets.blogspot.com/2008/02/spring-1976-disneyland-guide-book.html

TokyoMagic - The last reference I've found to an Easter Parade was 1982:

Disneyland Line (4/8/1982): putting on a parade

Along with baskets, bonnets and bunnies, this Easter Sunday will also bring us the traditional Easter parade. And no where is there a more colorful parade than the one presented here at Disneyland.

This year the parade will be prefaced by an old-fashioned walking race to the end of Main Street. The winner of this exciting contest will then be the guest of honor at the parade's end.

In addition to the old-time vehicles and turn-of-the-century themes, the parade will also feature some familiar scenes from past parades, such as Mary Poppins and the Pearly Band, a Silent Movie vignette and a baseball game. Brand new this year is "By The Sea," completed with muscle men and bathing beauties!

The Easter Parade will run one time only, on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., from Town Square to Small World.

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. She's barely visible, but there is a lady on the float with Pinocchio, who is wearing an "Easter Bonnet." By the way, I think Alice was rapping.

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. (again) Thanks for that info, Progressland! Come to think of it, I remember the Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt events in 1983 and 1984, but I don't remember any mention of an Easter Day parade those years. In my book, 1982/83 was the beginning of the end, anyway! (When they bulldozed Captain Hook's Pirate Ship and Skull Rock.)

Melissa said...

Thanks, Progressland! Extra barbershop quartets make sense if they were having a general old-timey event before the parade like the 1982 celebration you describe. I hope someday pictures of those muscle men and bathing beauties turn up on GDB!

We'll probably never know more about Fake Steve and the Lawrencetones, but can anyone with better eyes than mine pick out any words on the Yellowvests' name tags?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Thanks, Progressland for posting the link to the guidebook. But now like an earworm song you can't stop singing I'm gonna have to dig out and watch both Gus and Treasure of Matecumbe or it'll drive me nuts. A double feature of Disney cheesiness that will rattle my lactose intolerance.

Patrick Devlin said...

Ooh, I hope Alice comes back to visit too!