Thursday, January 10, 2019

Golden Horseshoe Revue, October 1963

I sure wish I'd seen the classic Golden Horseshoe Revue show, with Betty Taylor, Wally Boag, and Fulton Burley. But... no such luck. Which is weird, because the whole thing seems like it would have right up my dad's alley, with those old-timey songs and corny jokes. The next best thing is to listen to the old "Golden Horseshoe Review" album (with Donald Novis), if you can get it.

Today I have three pix taken during a performance circa 1963. Two of them are a bit dark; like this one. That's Betty Taylor on stage, looking adorable. Maybe she just finished singing, "A Lady Has To Mind Her P's and Q's".

Even the waitresses got in on the act! Or are they dancers, cleverly disguised? I've never seen another photo like this, and sure would love to know what they're singing! Mr. Buzzcut (he probably worked at NASA!) sure seems to be enjoying himself a lot.

And lastly, the saucy dancers onstage are almost lost in the darkness. Those flash cubes just couldn't get the job done!


Nanook said...


OH - those poor 'saucy dancers': Off with their heads-! Ouch.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder if the waitresses could have been singing "Happy Birthday" to someone at that table? Maybe it was before the show started, and the banjo player got up on stage to accompany them?

Where are those waitresses today? More importantly, where are those Pepsi cups today? And eeeeeeeeewww....just look at those cigarette butts in that ashtray on the table! Grody to the max!

K. Martinez said...

Are those steer horns on each side of the Betty Taylor image or is it Satan and his twin brother than came by to watch the Golden Horseshoe Revue?

Such a shame they don't have regular shows at the Golden Horseshoe anymore. Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Not sure if this is from the album you were thinking of, Major, (I think so) but audio from the old show can be found here:

Chuck said...

The flashcube wasn't introduced until 1965, so this photographer had to change out each (hot) bulb manually. Imagine the process of trying to take a series of flash pictures, changing out the bulbs, following the show, and deciding which scenes were worthy of documentation (and future publication on GDB). We forget just how far photography has come in the past 55 years.

Nanook, I think the Disney folks may have misunderstood the concept of "topless dance review."

Ken, there were actually large statues of Chernabog on each side of the stage to promote the 1963 re-release of Fantasia. Disney has always been about synergy.

Melissa said...

I love those old-timey Pepsi cups! "Have a Pepsi" is one of my favorite ad slogans - short, to the point, no fussing or beating around the bush. Just have the damn Pepsi already!

The drive-in that hosts the Drive-In Super Monster-Rama vintage horror movie festival I go to every fall has an old Pepsi machine in their snack bar with the same slogan. It still dispenses Pepsi in tall glass bottles.

Graffer said...

My family always bypassed the Golden Horseshoe with comments like "It's only a show', "You have to buy a meal to watch", or "It will take too much time".

What amazed me a few years ago was walking into the Golden Horseshoe for the 1st time and seeing how small everything is especially the stage. Expertly designed, built, detailed & quaint, but very small compared to my expectations.

The Golden Horseshoe Revue episode of Wonderful World of Color (I think it is part of the Treasure series) used creative camera angles make it look huge.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the dancers do look odd, don’t they?!

TokyoMagic!, I suppose that’s possible - I’ve never heard of that happening, but then again, I haven’t heard of a lot of things. I love those Pepsi cups (wonder if they said “Disneyland” on them?), and from now on I’m going to be sure to have ashtrays full of cigarette butts on the table. The perfect accent.

K. Martinez, yes, they had large steer horns on either side of the Golden Horseshoe stage - but you probably already knew that. Even Satan (and his brother Kip) enjoy a fun musical revue sometimes.

Scott Lane, that is the album (with some added material at the beginning)! If it wasn’t for that, I would have no inkling of what a show at the Golden Horeshoe was like. The “Wonderful World of Color” special is fun, but it has all kinds of added business with Annette and Ed Wynn.

Chuck, the flashcube remark was supposed to be a joke, but I admit that it didn’t land very well (in other words, it wasn’t funny)! There’s some old movie where there are lots of press photographers (with their giant Speed Graphic cameras) snapping pictures like mad, and there’s a shot of the ground, covered with spent flash bulbs. Maybe you know what movie that is?

Melissa, I wish the saying was “Just have the damn Pepsi already!”. Perhaps you should have gone into ad copy? That Super Monster-Rama sounds super fun. Amazing that they still use the old Pepsi machine - I guess it’s not all plastic like modern ones probably are.

Graffer, I don’t think I even realized that there was a show inside that building. We just hurried past it toward our next destination. It was only upon learning about Disneyland history that I became familiar with Wally Boag and Betty Taylor. I have since been inside the theater (one time I watched a “Woody’s Roundup” show), and you are right, it is smaller than one might expect.

JG said...

Wow, those folks in front had great seats.

I remember Dad's Instamatic with flash cubes, also the old camera with the bulbs, but don't recall him using it.

I never saw this show as a little kid. like most of you, we rushed past on the way to something else. Mom and Dad were also down on it because it was a "saloon" with those saucy dancers. Might have been because of the tobacco use too. They were notorious Puritans.

Much later, on one of my high school trips, I went in with my friends and saw the original Wally Boag show, just that one time. It was great and I felt so "illicit", going to a saloon show.

A few years back, we took in a Billy Hill show with my kids. It was fun, but nothing to compare to the WB show.

The little theater is a gem, like so much of the original Disney architecture and interiors. They had a touch for scale and proportion that later generations of designers lost somehow. I'm sad to hear there are no longer regular shows. Wonder why this is, with so many other shows and parades etc?

Thanks for these pictures, Major, and everyone for the comments.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, there used to be a kind of flash cube that could be triggered by pressing a little wire on the bottom. Being bratty kids, we would fire them all off (it was so much fun!), and my poor mom would find a package of spent flash cubes just when she needed one. I don’t think my folks cared about the GH being a saloon, but we still never did it. I really don’t know WHY we skipped the things we did! I agree, Billy Hill was lots of fun, but how could it compete with the classic Horseshoe Revue? I can’t help wondering how different a fancy western saloon with a stage would be today - my guess is that it wouldn’t be nearly as amazing.

Chuck said...

Major, I know that many theme parks built saloon show venues after Disneyland, but most of them are pretty "blah" by comparison, usually only being one-story structures with relatively low ceilings and stages. The only exception I've seen is Cedar Point, which has not one but two saloons, and, while not quite as "picture perfect" as the Golden and Diamond Horseshoes, they are still pretty impressive for a theme park that wasn't built by filmmakers. Built in 1967 and 1971, they have high ceilings, tin ceiling panels, some ornate scrollwork, balcony seating, etc., and one even features a detailed mural behind the bar. I haven't visited in years, but they both appear to still be used for live stage shows.

Scott said...

I believe that Betty Taylor once sat on my lap during a show at the Golden Horseshoe. I was about ten years old, it was about 1966, and Ms. Taylor was singing some musical number during which she walked through the audience and made brief stops at several tables, making jokes and singing. When she got to my parents' table, she flopped right down in my lap; much to the amusement of my parents and the rest of the audience, and much to the chagrin of my pre-pubescent self.

My parents kidded me about that for years.