Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"The Happiest Show On Earth", circa 1961

It's souvenir time! Only one item today, but there's a lot to look at. You wouldn't think so at first, if somebody handed you this little (2 inches by 4 inches) folded flyer. The Happiest Show On Earth (Just For Fun). It resembles a ticket with a tear-off stub. BUT IT'S NOT!

Surprisingly, the thing unfolds 8 times, leaving you with an item that is 16 inches long. A little unwieldy, to be honest! It would be nice if it had some spot color on it, but I guess money was tight. Or something. There is no date on this flyer, but SeƱor Internet says that it is from 1961, and that seems about right. It's post-Matterhorn, but pre-New Tomorrowland, at any rate.

Let's take a closer look at the top half of side A. Or is it side B? "$1,000,000 worth..." of professional entertainers are showcased daily! That seems like an exaggeration, but "go big or go home", I say. Where else will you see Keystone Kops ("golden saxophones in close harmony"), or an Organ Recital ("popular-old favorites-classical"), or the Shoe Shine Boys, or a pianoman extraordinaire? It's nice to see Christopher Fair, the Court Jester, mentioned. And the Swiss Yodeler!

Continuing down side A or B or whatever it is, you can enjoy all of your favorite Disney characters. I would have liked to meet Captain Hook's crocodile nemesis. Watch the Sheriff and Villain shoot it out in front of the Golden Horseshoe! "Los Monte Carlos" at El Zocalo? Never heard of them! Where's my Gonzalez Trio? See beautiful can-can dancers at the Golden Horseshoe, the Delfin Thursday Trio at the Pavilion Lanai in Adventureland, and the Space Couple in Tomorrowland.

The artist obviously used this publicity photo as reference for his line drawing. But he can't fool me!

On side B (whatever), we are reminded to watch the Big Nighttime Show. "Fantasy In the Sky"! Plus nighttime dancing around the park, including The Elliott Brothers on Main Street, The Young Men From New Orleans in Frontierland (this was before New Orleans Square of course), and even square dancing in the Golden Horseshoe!

Disneyland is the perfect place to take your date. I want to go see The Astronauts at the Space Bar! Who do YOU want to see?

I hope you have enjoyed this vintage Disneyland flyer.


Nanook said...

What a little treasure.

Thanks, Major, for sharing this flyer.

TokyoMagic! said...

This item is a gem. I love the line diagrams. And I see that the child labor laws back then, allowed the Shoe Shine Boys to have at least one day off a week.

JC Shannon said...

This is great, I love the art. A little color would have been nice, I agree. What a great pic of the Space People as well. I would give my best breeding sow for that space suit. I want it...I need it! Sorry, got carried away there. But hey, what GDBer here doesn't want a piece of Disneyland wardrobe to round out their collection. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

I'd like to see the Pirate Trio for the pun alone. But it would be fun to take a day and just wander around and see the all of the entertainment listed here.

K. Martinez said...

What an awesome flyer. Love the entertainment illustrations. In this case B&W is wonderful as it brings out the graphics for this particular piece of Disneyland ephemera in my opinion. Thanks, Major!

K. Martinez said...

As I look in more detail, I love mention of the Delfin Thursday Trio at Adventureland's The Pavilion Lanai (pre-Tiki Room/Tahitian Terrace). I remember watching an old B&W episode of the Walt Disney weekly anthology TV show seeing a band play there when a jungle launch returned to the docks from a trip through the jungle.

DrGoat said...

Wow. Count me in. Could spend hours just on Main Street.
Then off to Adventureland to catch the Delfin Trio and absorb romantic melodies! Delfin must be a surname. Probably not related to Trio Los Delfines. I looked that one up, but nothing on the Delfin Trio.
B&W does work well. No color to distract, just great graphics.
Always like seeing something I've never seen before Major. Nice find. Thanks!

Tom said...

Young Men from New Orleans on the Mark Twain. Straight up. True legends.

Great stuff today Major! Thanks as always for sharing.

Nanook said...

The Delfin Trio, according to DisneyHistory101... led by “Miss [Dell’finn Kalaupaona] ‘Thursday’ Poaha”, Miss Hawaii, 1950) from the Pavillion Lanai. The Honolulu-born Dell-Finn (Poaha) had performed in Australia, Japan, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles after becoming Miss Hawaii! Now, she would briefly continue to perform 3 1/2 octave vocals (and occasional piano) daily (except Tuesdays) at the Tahitian Terrace in Disneyland! SEE THEM HERE

And, the Pirate Trio, according to Paul Anderson... The attractive, all-female Pirate Trio was part of the musical line up for Date Nite, a popular nighttime promotion that was designed especially for couples. It was scheduled every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the summer and a special “Starlite Ticket Book” was available after 7pm that featured two Main Gate Admissions and admission to a choice of 12 attractions. The band entertainment was open to Date Niters, as well as all regular Disneyland guests. The Trio was the only musical act in Fantasyland and according to a 1961 Disneyland press release performed at the “new Pirate’s Cove.” Much to the chagrin of many a male Date Niter, the striking threesome (who cared how they sounded?) did not return for the summer season of 1964 (perhaps too many female members of the Date Nite demographic complained). AND, LOOK HERE

zach said...

What a fun flyer. I wish I had saved more of that kind of stuff from wherever I went. I don't miss the color.

That does look like a million dollars of entertainment. Organ music was a little more popular in those days and I remember Korla Pandit came to our local music store. Our family had an organ and I took lessons for a few months that didn't stick.

Wow, square dancing. We did that in grammar school. Don't tell but I liked it!

Thanks,Major. I do look forward to walking around DL soon, looking for the interesting entertainment they still have.


zach said...

Thanks, Nanook. I never thought I would ever use the words lovely and pirate together.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s not the most beautiful flyer, but it’s a fun one!

TokyoMagic!, they also each got a complimentary bowl of gruel every 8 hours.

Jonathan, maybe I’ll have to make my own “spot color” version of this flyer! I do love the space suit, so much like the kind in movies from the 1950s. And that big globe of a helmet! That would be at (or near) the top of my list if I could have any piece of Disneyland wardrobe.

Chuck, it almost seems like you could spend a full day just watching free performances, and never even set foot on any rides!

K. Martinez, this is such a relatively modest flyer, with the exception of its size… 4” X 16”! So strange. But easy to fit in a shirt pocket or purse I suppose. Glad you liked this one.

K. Martinez, I don’t remember hearing of the Delfin Thursday Trio before, though I probably have and just forgot. I have seen photos of a band performing on the Tahitian Lanai, along with a pretty hula dancer, but have no idea if it was the DTT.

DrGoat, I found an article that says that the band was led by “Miss Dell’finn Kalaupaona”, who was MIss Hawaii, 1950. I would have never guessed! I don’t know the Trio Los Delfines. No color to distract?! I wouldn’t mind a splash of blue or orange here and there!

Tom, Walt apparently loved Dixieland, he really had some great performers in his new “land”!

Nanook, it sounds like you found the same article I did regarding the Delfin Thursday Trio! I have a color photo of the Pirate Trio on the blog, but am too lazy to look for it right now. I remember it took a lot of restoration, but it was a fun discovery.

zach, this flyer is not super rare, they show up on eBay from time to time, and I don’t even think they go for very much money, in spite of their age. For some reason, music performed on an organ just doesn’t do it for me, my Aunt Florence had an electric organ in her basement, and she would play for us. I loved her, but oh man was I bored! But then she would probably serve us her homemade strawberry pie, and all was good again. I’ll bet square dancing is a great way to meet girls! I hope you get to walk around DL very soon.

zach, what about “Red” in the revamped Pirates of the Caribbean? She’s quite a looker.

JG said...

Major, this is a real find to me, I knew of almost all these groups one way or another through the blogs, although some are new.

But seeing all of them listed this way by "land" is very impressive and shows the commitment to live entertainment that just hadn't registered with me before, since it includes the characters and peripheral groups like the Shoeshine boys, mountain climbers, jesters (!), and yodelers.

Was this anonymous Yodeler the voice that became part of the loop track background music for the Matterhorn? I remember that sound pretty vividly and just heard it again recently on a YouTube soundtrack video.

Thanks Nanook for the videos, my lunch hour entertainment is now covered.

Major and JC, my shiny foil spacesuit is one of my prize possessions, I wear it every day when I look at GDB and other Disney blogs. Seriously, the photo of me with the spaceman is one of my cherished early Disneyland memories, and that's why he is my avatar on-line.

I'm curious about square dancing in the Golden Horseshoe? They must have cleared the tables to do that, and it sounds like fun. I love square dancing since you can be clumsy like me and still pull it off.

This is also maybe the only full line-up of the costume characters that I have seen, and the Crocodile would be high on my list for sure. Tick Tock Captain Hook!

Any news on the Arvon Dale Orchestra? I'm off to Google.

Thank you Major. Such a lot of fun today.


DrGoat said...

Thanks for the links, Nanook. What I wouldn't give to be sitting under one of those umbrellas via the Wayback machine.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I bet the “Pianoman Extraordinaire” played ragtime - I loved hearing that music on Main Street.

I can only imagine how much fun, and romantic, a date night in Disneyland was back then!

Nanook, I love your Delfin Trio photo attached. Did you notice the family seated on the left? I think they’re practicing social distancing - everyone appears to be sitting at separate tables.

Major, is this flyer difficult to refold, like a map? Thank you for sharing it today!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Andrew, a fold-out map is what we used before smartphones and GPS. ;o)

If you want some laughs, google “Can a 21st Teenager Fold a Map, Use a Phone Book or Dial a Rotary Phone?”

"Lou and Sue" said...

“laughs” may not be the best choice of words that I used, but you will find this interesting.

Melissa said...

This is the first time I’ve ever heard square dancing at the Golden Horseshoe mentioned! I have so many questions!

Was it an exhibition or was it a dance for guests? Was it outside or inside the building? If inside, how did they arrange the space? Yee, and I cannot stress this enough, haw.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, not long ago I felt like I was pretty familiar with most vintage Disneyland paper items, but thanks to a collector friend, I’ve been introduced to many MANY rare and beautiful pieces that are completely new to me. It’s pretty amazing! It makes me feel as if my collection is pretty run-of-the-mill. I am not positive, but I don’t think the yodeler is the one that guests would hear while in line for the Matterhorn - I believe that is from a record. If I recall correctly, the yodeler’s name was something like Fred Burri, though I might have that completely wrong! You joke about a shiny foil spacesuit, but they had one in the gift shop at the science museum in downtown L.A. that was reminiscent of the ones the Mercury 7 wore. Unfortunately it was only available in kid’s sizes! They also had orange jumpsuits that looked like the ones the Apollo astronauts wore in some photos. So jealous! I can only assume that you are right and that they cleared the tables for the square dancing, but it’s only a guess. I’m glad you enjoyed this flyer!

DrGoat, ME TOO!

Lou and Sue, strangely the “Pianoman Extraordinaire” only knew “Chopsticks”. It got old in a hurry, but it was OK because customers didn’t stick around for long, making room for new ones. Photos of Date Nites show young people all dressed up in their finest, it looks pretty neat. And no, this item is easy to refold, it sort of wants to go right back to its folded-up state.

Lou and Sue, oh man, I thought I’d skipped a reply to Andrew. But you were just letting him know what’s what. I’ve seen videos of kids trying to figure out a rotary phone, but it seems hard to believe that they can’t fold a map (though they can sometimes be tricky, admittedly) or use a phone book! I still remember one of those Jay Leno walk-around things where he showed a photo of the Beatles to young people, and they had NO idea who they were. Amazing.

Lou and Sue, hey, I can laugh at young folks - and they can laugh at me right back!

Melissa, it sounds like the square dancing was for the guests! I’d love to know for sure though - it would be fun to find a good photo of that event. I’m not sure where they would have done it outdoors - but that doesn’t mean it never happened.

Chuck said...

Thanks to the Pianoman Extraordinaire discussion, I now have "Mr. Piano Man, Please!" stuck in my head. Which is better than having a piano stuck in my head, I guess.

Chuck said...

Found your Pirate Trio post, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, as long as they gave the Shoe Shine Boys some complimentary gruel, then I guess it was okay to work them for six day in a row. I forgot to mention in yesterday's post, that I've also never tried porridge.

Wouldn't it be great if the square dancing at the Golden Horseshoe took place on TOP of the tables? In 1980 and 1981, DL had a show called The Bear Country Hoedown. It was a square dancing show which took place out in the middle of Bear Country, while guests sat on the ground. At the end of the show, the performers would grab people from the audience and teach them some steps, and then they would do a routine with those guests.

In response to the photo Nanook provided of the Pirate Trio, I was going to say that their short skirts and go-go boots are giving me a Del Rubio Triplets vibe. But then when I looked at the older GDB post that Chuck provided a link to, I see that I said that back in 2017. At least I'm consistent! Rose Nylund would say, hot water and oat brand every morning takes most of the credit.


I have a wooden sign - double sided - with the Pirate Trio showtimes on one side and the Tahitian Terrace hours on the other. I got it from our neighbors who had purchased a group or vintage hot rod and car show signs at a estate sale in San Diego in the early 90’s. At first I wasn’t sure it was even from Disneyland because at the time I had never heard of The Pirate Trio .... but was familiar with the Tahitian Terrace .... then for awhile I figured it was just from one of the many tiki/Hawaiian bars that cone and went in the 50’s and 60’s that happens to share the same name as the Disneyland counterpart. Then a few years later a friend showed me a sign with almost the EXACT Tahitian Terrace sign in a old photo of the Disneyland restaurant and an almost identical sign!! And eventually I sound out about the Pirate musical trio. But why were two different location attractions - one in fantasyland and one in Adventureland on the SAME wooden sign? Did the Pirate Trio ever perform at the Tahitian Terrace?? For private party nights maybe?? The Pirate Trio side had much more faded colors so my conclusion was the sign started out as The Pirate Trio and when they were no longer the Disneyland Sign Shop “flipped” the Sign over and used the blank opposite side to make a “ new” Tahitian Terrace sign!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I have to admit that "Mr. Piano Man, Please" is kind of an ear worm. Is that from the Sherman brothers?

Chuck, thank you!

TokyoMagic!, I'm not really sure what "porridge" is. Maybe oatmeal is a kind of porridge? If so, then yes, I've had it! My dad was a fan of "Cream of Wheat", but I never had that either. I'd like to see square dancing atop the Golden Horseshoe tables. At the end, the dancers could dive into the audience like rock stars. I predict that in three months, a mashup of punk rock and square dancing is going to be all the rage. Thanks for the info about the Bear Country square dancing, I had no idea. The three pirate gals definitely have a Del Rubio Triplets vibe - I'm trying to think if I first saw them on some Pee Wee Herman show? They had their 15 minutes of fame around then. Who is Rose Nylund?

Melissa said...

I think porridge and oatmeal are the same thing. Cream of Wheat, farina, grits, hasty pudding; it’s all good.

The eternal question: can you square dance on round tables?

Up until a few years ago, anyway, they were still doing a hoedown like that in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom, in the open area in front of Grizzly Hall.

Mike, that double-sided sign sounds so cool! I wonder if the Pirate Trio ever moonlighted in Adventureland - pirates are sort of a pivot chord between there and Fantasyland.

Chuck said...

Major, "Mr. Piano Man, Please!" is indeed a Sherman Brothers original.

Ear worm is right - my wife bought me The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song for Christmas in 1993, and ever since then that song jumps into my head whenever I hear the words "piano man." Kicked Billy Joel right to the curb.

Omnispace said...

This is a fascinating piece of ephemerma. And to think at that time one could buy basic admission into the park (no attraction coupons)and enjoy all these offerings.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major and Melissa, I haven't tried Farina, but I have had Cream of Wheat and did not care for it. I've also had cooked oatmeal. It's not my favorite, but I can force myself to eat it, if I first sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of it.

Melissa, you are right about cooked oatmeal being a type of porridge. But apparently, all porridge isn't made from oats. Something else I've never tried, is Peas or cold. Or in a pot, nine days old. They say that some like it hot, and some like it cold. Then there are those who supposedly like it in a pot, nine days old.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I forgot to answer your question. Rose Nylund is Betty White's character, on "The Golden Girls."